The new National Electrical Code will be implemented in 2020, and one major change will impact reconditioned equipment. Next year, some new labeling and “transparency” will change the look of reconditioned equipment.
To help explain how the new code will impact distributors and manufacturers, Eaton’s Tom Domitrovich, Vice-President of Electrical Sales, and Maralee Williams, Product Manager of Aftermarket Molded Case Circuit Breakers, joined tED magazine Publisher Scott Costa on the “DistributED with tED magazine” podcast to talk about the changes.
“There was a change that was made in the last cycle in the 2017 code where we created this reconditioned equipment section where you have to mark who did the reconditioning,” Domitrovich said on the podcast. “And I look at it as transparency. You are going to have to put your name on it that you did the work. Now this cycle in the 2020 code, we talked about the original listing mark. So when we look at when a product is shipped from a manufacturer, we put it through certain tests and we will list a product to a standard. Once we pass all those tests… we put a label on that item that it has passed all certifications. Once you make the modifications, you have to remove that listing mark and the original label needs to be taken off.”
Williams also pointed out that it’s the transparency that is the biggest change to the code for next year. “You couldn’t tell whether or not a breaker had potentially been refurbished or not,” Williams said. “So a lot of times people will sell a product that has been mis-represented as new. Because of the transparency, we’re able to better identify the potential for products to be refurbished, and have stronger teeth in our messaging out to our distributors as to why they don’t want to buy products that have been refurbished.”
Some states have already started work on enforcing the new code, but Domitrovich pointed out that more needs to be done to make sure safety remains a priority.
“I don’t think that activity is going to stop just because of the changes in the NEC,” Domitrovich told the podcast. “I can clean the outside up (on a molded case circuit breaker), and make it look brand new. When I talk to end users, knowing the history of a product is really critical. But when you are sourcing your solution from somebody that is not a distributor of the manufacturer of that product, and it’s outside of the normal channels, you really don’t know the history of that product.”
Williams agreed that installers and contractors should know what she describes as a “chain of custody”.
“If you don’t know the chain of custody or if you don’t see the connection between your supplier and the manufacturer, that’s a red flag right away,” Williams said. “What we find is when you ask a lot of questions of the end users of our products, they lose the connectivity of where it came from. So what we have done with our programs is make sure that distributors do not have to go to other brokers to make the competitively priced products available to them.”
If you want more information on the new NEC code and what it will mean for distributors and manufacturers, you can read about it in Domitrovich’s blog “For Safety Sake”. You can also listen to the entire “DistributED with tED magazine” podcast on any podcast player, including Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play.