All questions and answers are based on the 2005 NEC.

Q. Am I required to bond around reducing washers?

A. Surprisingly enough, the answer is no. You don't have to bond around reducing washers, if the reducing washers are listed (Figure). According to the UL “White Book,” category QCRV, “Metal reducing washers are considered suitable for grounding for use in circuits over and under 250V and where installed in accordance with the National Electrical Code.”

Q. What are the GFCI protection requirements for a receptacle supplying a water fountain?

A. GFCI protection is not required by the NEC for outlets supplying drinking water fountain equipment.

Q. Does an above-the-range combination microwave/hood fan require a dedicated circuit if it's cord-and-plug connected?

A. Yes [422.16(B)(4)(5)], and be sure to comply with the following as well [422.16(B)(4)]:

  1. The flexible cord must terminate with a grounding-type attachment plug.

  2. The length of the cord must not be less than 18 in. or longer than 36 in.

  3. The range hood receptacle must be located to avoid physical damage to the flexible cord.

  4. The range hood receptacle must be accessible.

Q. What are the rules on mixing emergency circuits in the same raceway or enclosure with nonemergency circuits?

A. To ensure that a fault on the normal wiring circuits will not affect the performance of emergency wiring or equipment, all wiring from an emergency source (or emergency source distribution overcurrent protection) to emergency loads must be kept entirely independent of all other wiring and equipment, except [700.9(B)]:

  1. Wiring in transfer equipment enclosures.

  2. Exit or emergency luminaires supplied from two sources of power.

  3. A common junction box attached to luminaires supplied from two sources of power.

Q. Does the NEC require safety chains on high-bay lighting fixtures?

A. No, this is not an NEC requirement.

Q. Can AFCI-type receptacles be used to meet the requirements of the NEC?

A. Yes, if the AFCI is located within 6 feet of the branch-circuit overcurrent device, as measured along the branch-circuit conductors — and if the circuit conductors are installed in a metal raceway or a cable with a metallic sheath [210.12(B) Exception]. Because of the limited demand, AFCI protection devices of the receptacle type are not made. Therefore, this point is moot.

Metal parts that serve as the effective ground-fault current path must have the capacity to conduct safely any fault current likely to be imposed.