Code Quiz: Article 366
Based on the 2014 NEC
Questions and answers written by Mark Lamendola, who has worked as a master electrician, electrical inspector, and design engineer. Mark is an IEEE Senior Member, and the Code article author for Codebookcity.com. Since 1996, he has been writing National Electrical Code articles for electrical trade magazines and has an extensive portfolio of hundreds of NEC articles..
After a series of Articles on various raceways, from Article 350 to Article 362, the NEC jumps to Article 366.
When you run conduit or tubing, you must pull conductors through them. That seemingly simple step actually involves a lot of calculation and assembly. Not to mention figuring out a strategy for pulling the conductors through the raceway without damaging them.
Think of the typical control cabinet. It uses gutters. No danger there of slopping pulling lubricant onto the electronics, because with gutters you don't have to use it.
Gutters also alleviate much of the assembly work Typically, they snap together. They are also very amenable to prefabrication, which is one reason the types of applications using gutters often come with the gutters prefabbed and installed. You just need to run the conductors through them and then snap the covers back on.
In the typical gutter application, the gutter is there more to organize the conductors for an overall neat appearance rather than to protect them the way, say, rigid conduit does.
But gutters have fairly severe limitations. There's no way you could, for example, distribute 480V power throughout a manufacturing plant using gutters. This, however, doesn't mean you have to do that distribution in conduit or tubing. You can save time and money with gutters.
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