NEC Permanent Label Requirements

Our local inspectors are interpreting "permanent label" in NEC 690 to mean a plastic engraved placard. I would like to hear some opinions from elsewhere in he country and find a better solution. The main problems with engraved signage is the cost and inflexibility. Inspectors want the system specs engraved (amps, volts) so there is no standardization. We are running into delays because it takes time to get these made. And did I mention the cost?!

I want to purchase an appropriate labeling machine. Any suggestions? I am looking at the Duralabel Pro thermal printer which has media that is UV, chemical, water resistant. I am going to have to convince the inspectors that our solution satisfies the permanent label definition.

Any guidance appreciated...

Comments

  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements

    At one time the printed foil lables were in wide use, but they don't last long. As far as I know the embossed heavy foil is still legal, but the size of the lettering is usually pretty limited.

    However, I don't recall the lables themselves being all that expensive, on the order of $5-$8 or so from a few online or local sources, for example.

    The engraving machines themselves run anywhere from a few hundred to the low thousands, depending on features, sizes handled, and type of materieals. Some of the high end one can engrave anything on anything, as can the laser ones.
  • fafcosolarfafcosolar Registered Users Posts: 7
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements

    Has anyone out there invested in a low to moderate cost engraving machine? Which one?

    We've been using a local engraver, but the cost per PV system is typically around $120. Ordering online we can get the cost down to about $50. Unfortunately, that takes even longer.

    One big factor is flexibility and speed. If we have our own printer/engraver, we can be much more nimble. We've had to delay inspections over a week just because of a placard. Argh!
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements

    We have an older version of this http://www.rolanddga.com/products/engravers/egx30A/

    A tad expensive, but if you dig around there are used and discounts available.

    You can figure another $200-$400 for materials (plastic sheet etc) and engraving bits. There are manual machines available, but they are much more limited, and you need to sometimes buy several sets of templates, which can end up being pretty expensive. If you are going to buy a machine, I would only go with a computer controlled one. Also handy for making up lables with logos, your phone # etc.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,653 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements

    Wow! I guess these don't cut it for your inspector;

    http://www.altestore.com/store/Enclosures-Electrical-and-Safety/NEC-Compliant-Safety-Labels/c1146/

    (NAWS doesn't carry these, Mods feel free to remove if you'd like)

    I guess not if they require system specs, this is all I have on my off grid system, with a large sign stating "Power Disconnects" on the cabinet Door, it lives outside. The Power Disconnects signe is just a home made sign with pigment inks laminated and attached to outside.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,653 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements

    Yep, just found an article from Home Power;

    http://homepower.com/article/?file=HP132_pg30_ATE_5

    Appears to have changed in 2008...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,007 admin
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements

    Oh no--more pretty much useless warning labels.
    1. Maximum AC circuit current in house--see main breaker--Solar will only be 20% or so of main breaker
    2. Maximum AC circuit voltage--See main breaker panel / utility drop. Probably no different than any other home on the block.
    3. Maximum DC system voltage: Note that all NEC circuits are constructed from 600 VAC maximum rated voltage components. For DC Max voltage, multiply by the sq. root of 2 (849 volts DC)
    4. Maximum operating current will be 80% of rated branch circuit breaker.
    5. Train fire fighters about electricity. Save money on stupid labels.
    Does any of this apply to large battery banks? Heck of a lot more energy and a lot more dangerous than solar panels and GT inverter.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,653 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements

    lol

    For what it's worth I noticed the labels I have are for a "grid Connect" system though My (Pulse/Trace power center)PC-250 has a DC breaker as well as a Photovoltaic breaker...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements

    I was so worried that my solar system wouldn,t pass inspection. I studyed as much as I could, ask questions and been getting homepower magizine. Looked for an electrician and couldn,t find one in my area that ever done a solar system. Got a 2005 nec book and even updated some to 2008 nec. Got a licenced electrician that wanted to wire up my system to make it legal. My state is still using 2005 nec. Inspecter didn,t seem any more knowlegeble than the electrician. Said all he did was a windturbine. I ask the inspector where He wanted the labels. He said whereever I wanted them and didn,t even need them. Now that I jumped thru the hoops and my system has the passed sticker is that permanently good? Solarvic.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,007 admin
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements

    As far as I have seen (which ain't much)--There has never been a NEC forced upgrade of home wiring... Nob and tube, aluminum wiring, old style insulation, etc... Not used in new construction.

    If there was a safety recall on a piece of equipment--that could happen. Decades ago (early 1960's?)--there was a recall on a breaker panel. A friend's father saved a few of those recalled boxes and then, thank you very much, installed them in the new family home he built (he was the ultimate recycler--before it was cool). Decades later, during a home inspection for sale of the home--Inspector found those long recalled boxes in the home.... Retrofit before sale was required.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements

    Technically any time you do something to upgrade or repair the system it is supposed to be brought to current code.
  • tallgirltallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements
    halfcrazy wrote: »
    Technically any time you do something to upgrade or repair the system it is supposed to be brought to current code.

    That only applies to the portion being repaired or upgraded. For example, if you add a receptacle to a bedroom, the receptacle has to be protected by an arc fault breaker. But if you replace a broken PAR holder outside the garage, no such requirement exists for all of the bedroom circuits.
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements

    I understand my requirements as a master electrician.

    My point was if I get called to replace an inverter I have to bring the power system side of the solar system to NEC.

    My other point was to show there is no obligation to maintain a system to current NEC only when it is worked on.
  • tallgirltallgirl Solar Expert Posts: 413 ✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements
    halfcrazy wrote: »
    I understand my requirements as a master electrician.

    My point was if I get called to replace an inverter I have to bring the power system side of the solar system to NEC.

    My other point was to show there is no obligation to maintain a system to current NEC only when it is worked on.

    That's correct for that example. It's not correct for an entire electrical system. No point scaring someone into thinking they have to bring an entire dwelling up to code each time they do something unrelated to everything else.

    For example, if you replace an inverter, you don't have to add arc faults to bedrooms even though that's what code says is required today.

    (And I'm picking on arc faults because I hate them.)
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements

    If you read my first statement it says "Technically any time you do something to upgrade or repair the system it is supposed to be brought to current code" this is exactly what I said the second time around as well and it is what you have said so why do you feel the need to Follow me around and argue with everything I say?

    Here are a few for you argue away

    The sky is blue
    Grass is green
    Water is wet
  • newenergynewenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements
    halfcrazy wrote: »
    The sky is blue
    Grass is green
    Water is wet

    In a lot of places right now the sky is gray, the grass is brown and water isn't wet.

    (maybe ice doesn't count as water, if so water is still wet)
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,653 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements
    halfcrazy wrote: »
    "Technically any time you do something to upgrade or repair the system it is supposed to be brought to current code"

    I read what you said the same way she did, thinking you were saying "it' or the system in total was to be brought up too code.

    I think every one's on the same page now....
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • audredgeraudredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements

    I'm confused again! The dura label isn't good enough? Must it be engraved?
  • GreenerPowerGreenerPower Solar Expert Posts: 264 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: NEC Permanent Label Requirements
    halfcrazy wrote: »
    The sky is blue
    Grass is green
    Water is wet
    Half, I am crazy
    Full, I am p*&$!
    Bright, the lights on
    Dark, the lights off
    Simple, it is that.
    halfcrazy wrote:
    ...to upgrade or repair the system it is...
    "it" is the "system" in repair, fairly obvious for people in the trade, may be not so for general readers.

    As the labels, the ratings need to be on the label as the new requirement. I think anything not easily weathered or fainted is OK. But the local inspector is the final ruler. So, check with him/her if possible.
    GP
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