Energized Use of Insulation Piercing Connections

Natfuelbilll

Senior Member
How risky is this at 120V?

We have a UPS that nobody wants to shutdown.

Any more than plugging in your vacuum cleaner?
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
We do it all the time with metering wires.

Not new installations, but maintenance and re metering existing setups.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
We use them live all of the time also. Not an issue if you know what you're doing working around live conductors.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
My project has Safety Sam calling it disallowed per 70E.
We don't have a safety Sam nor do we follow NFPA70E so we will install these on energized condcutors. Does NFPA70E specifically prohibit this type of work for a qualified electrician?
 

paulengr

Senior Member
We don't have a safety Sam nor do we follow NFPA70E so we will install these on energized condcutors. Does NFPA70E specifically prohibit this type of work for a qualified electrician?

Yes but 70E does not apply to 1910.269. Also it is specifically referring to wiring in terms of working on equipment. Insulation piercing connectors designed for live work are clearly a form of “disconnect” or in this case “connect”. It’s similar to cutouts, bus plugs, or racking breakers in and out. The equipment is designed for connection while live and it’s more of an equipment operation than actually wiring or I wiring. It can be done safely with the proper PPE which in this case probably means very little. There is a possible arc flash hazard at 240 V and OSHA documented a fatality in 2009 but I have never seen even lab evidence at 120 V so the hazard is strictly shock. Since these connectors are insulated the required PPE is probably minimal. If you had a defective one could you get a shock? Insulated pliers or dry, clean leather gloves (per the rule for plugs) might not be a bad idea.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
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Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Yes but 70E does not apply to 1910.269. Also it is specifically referring to wiring in terms of working on equipment. Insulation piercing connectors designed for live work are clearly a form of “disconnect” or in this case “connect”. It’s similar to cutouts, bus plugs, or racking breakers in and out. The equipment is designed for connection while live and it’s more of an equipment operation than actually wiring or I wiring. It can be done safely with the proper PPE which in this case probably means very little. There is a possible arc flash hazard at 240 V and OSHA documented a fatality in 2009 but I have never seen even lab evidence at 120 V so the hazard is strictly shock. Since these connectors are insulated the required PPE is probably minimal. If you had a defective one could you get a shock? Insulated pliers or dry, clean leather gloves (per the rule for plugs) might not be a bad idea.
I wasn’t aware 1910.269 applies to work after the point of delivery.
The manufacturer says they are safe for energized installs as long as there isn’t a load.
I wasn’t really sure when we first started using them.
We did our own field testing on them before we started using them. One of my original concerns was the bolt head snapping off as it’s designed leaving the smallest bit of energized anything exposed.
I have had an issue with the guys leaving the cover cap off of the tap and having an exposed bit of tap wire left out. They told me they left it like that to check voltage...
We don’t do that any longer. I had them go back to the installs and either replace the caps or install new connectors properly.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
We don't have a safety Sam nor do we follow NFPA70E so we will install these on energized condcutors. Does NFPA70E specifically prohibit this type of work for a qualified electrician?
NFPA70E has specific conditions in which work can be done energized. Such as If it creates a hazard, you will be shutting down life support o hazardous location venting, etc..

I don’t see the installation of these connectors being “energized” work. There are no exposed energized parts at all as I’m sure you know if installed per the manufacturers directions.

“You are completing an energized electrical work task when there are exposed energized electrical conductors or circuit parts that you may approach and/or interact with that can expose you to an electric shock or create an arcing fault that results in an arc flash.”
 

paulengr

Senior Member
I wasn’t aware 1910.269 applies to work after the point of delivery.
The manufacturer says they are safe for energized installs as long as there isn’t a load.
I wasn’t really sure when we first started using them.
We did our own field testing on them before we started using them. One of my original concerns was the bolt head snapping off as it’s designed leaving the smallest bit of energized anything exposed.
I have had an issue with the guys leaving the cover cap off of the tap and having an exposed bit of tap wire left out. They told me they left it like that to check voltage...
We don’t do that any longer. I had them go back to the installs and either replace the caps or install new connectors properly.

OSHA states 1910.269 applies to generation, transmission, and distribution. POD is strictly a contractual boundary. It is not a term used by OSHA or NESC. It is mentioned as an example by NEC but it is definitely not the deciding factor. It’s usage (utilization equipment or not). By way of examples Appendix A in 1910.269 gives guidance as to when .269 does NOT apply upstream of the POD and letters of interpretation discuss cogen facilities as an example where .269 applies downstream of the POD.

I was using these all as examples of why you should or shouldn’t do energized work. Under Subchapter S the rule is that energized work is exempt if it is under 50 V, not feasible, or causes greater hazards. Testing, startups, and non contact work are exempted. It would be very hard for instance to test voltage de-energized, hence OSHA exempts this. Quite often the greater hazard rule applies but it is not a greater inconvenience rule.
 
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