Reconditioned Electrical Equipment Now Included in the NEC — Revisions underscore the safety and reliability of reconditioned electrical equipment

Two significant code revisions recommended by the Professional Electrical Apparatus Reconditioning League (PEARL) were adopted for inclusion into the latest version of the National Electrical Code®, 2017 Edition (NEC®). These revisions represent the first time since its inception in 1897 that the NEC® makes reference to product condition, specifically allowing for reconditioned, remanufactured, and refurbished electrical product.

“These revisions underscore that reconditioned electrical equipment is considered valuable, safe and reliable for use in the field,” said David Rosenfield, past president of PEARL. “When the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) opened their doors to PEARL to discuss their position and acknowledgment of the demand and need for reconditioned electrical equipment, we felt supported and empowered to proceed with our proposed revisions. PEARL’s change proposals were intended to present reconditioned equipment as a substantial part of the sourced market and to identify that there are certain essential requirements with products falling into the reconditioned class.”

The NEC® 2017 Edition, which was published in August 2016, includes PEARL’s proposed changes to NEC® rules 110.3 and 110.21. PEARL’s contribution to NEC 110.3 – Examination, Identification, and Use of Equipment – ensures that reconditioned equipment is acknowledged and considered for use in installations.  PEARL’s revision to NEC 110.21 – Equipment Markings-Reconditioned Equipment – requires reconditioned equipment to be marked with the name, trademark, or other descriptive marking that identifies the organization responsible for reconditioning the electrical equipment. The date of reconditioning is also required to be marked on the equipment.

According to Howard Herndon, president of PEARL, and NEC® code revision champion, the impact of these changes to the electrical equipment industry is extensive.

“As a standards developer and educator, PEARL is fully committed to the betterment of the industry,” said Herndon. “Our organization’s Certified Technician program is focused on teaching professionals that it is imperative to use proper procedures during an installation. It is equally important that the equipment being used meets the highest standards. Since the NEC® is the authoritative voice in the industry, including reconditioned equipment in the NEC® helps to alleviate misconceptions about reconditioned equipment and its capabilities.”

With PEARL celebrating its 20th anniversary as an organization this year, the adoption of these code revisions in the NEC® is a noteworthy milestone and has U.S. infrastructure implications as well.

“As equipment ages in the U.S., it can be challenging to acquire replacement parts from manufacturers, especially if the equipment has been in place for so long that the replacement parts are no longer made,” said Rosenfield. “Acknowledgment of reconditioned electrical equipment in the NEC®  is a ‘seal of approval’ providing a level of assurance that reconditioned equipment is a valuable and reliable component of the electrical system, and its usage is indispensable for maintaining and strengthening our country’s infrastructure.”