Electrical equipment that has NOT been accepted, certified, labeled, or listed by an NRTL is not acceptable to the AHJ unless it has satisfactorily passed a documented safety inspection.
Candidates for EESP Inspector must be Qualified Electrical Workers (QEWs), and must have prior experience with electrical equipment construction and testing methods. Berkeley Lab Engineering Technologists and Electricians who are QEWs are considered suitably experienced to perform the duties of EESP Inspector. Other candidates may submit their experience and credentials to the EESP Program Manager for review and approval. Additionally, EESP Inspectors must complete:
EHS0383, Electrical Equipment Inspector training.
Contact the EESP Program Manager to arrange training if you meet the necessary prerequisites. Candidates who pass training course EHS0383 are authorized by the EESP Program Manager as EESP Inspectors to inspect equipment, and will be added to the Inspector List.
EESP Inspectors must retake EHS0383 at least every three years.
EESP Inspectors are responsible for inspections of non-NRTL listed electrical equipment in accordance with Pub3000, Chapter 14, and are additionally expected to be familiar with, at a minimum:
- NFPA 70, National Electrical Code
- NFPA 79, Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery
- NFPA 790, Standard for Competency of Third-Party Field Evaluating Bodies
- NFPA 791, Recommended Practice and Procedures for Unlabeled Electrical Equipment Evaluation
- UL 508, Industrial Control Equipment
- UL 508A, Industrial Control Panels
- UL 60950-1, Standard for Safety, Information Technology Equipment – Safety; Part 1: General Requirements
- UL 61010-1, Standard for Safety, Electrical Equipment for Measurement, Control, and Laboratory Use; Part 1: General Requirements
Equipment inspections must not expose anyone to electrical hazards. Electrical testing requiring live voltage measurements must follow the electrical safe-work practices in the Electrical Safety Program. All other electrical testing and the construction inspection must be performed with the equipment in an electrically safe work condition in accordance with the ES&H Manual Electrical Safety and Lockout/Tagout programs.
Inspections follow the requirements of NFPA 791, Recommended Practice and Procedures for Unlabeled Electrical Equipment Evaluation. While NFPA 791 generally tells the inspector what parts of the equipment to check, specific design or performance criteria are found in a number of supporting standards. The inspector must determine, based on the type of equipment being inspected, which primary standard is most applicable to be used in conjunction with NFPA 791.
All equipment that is subject to EESP inspection must be inspected by one or more of the following methods. Additional criteria may be applied at the discretion of the EESP Program Manager or Inspector.
- Low-risk equipment must receive an external inspection using the following criteria:
Guarding: A visual inspection is made to verify that the equipment is intact, undamaged, does not have any hazardous exposures, is being used in accordance with its design intent, and will not be subject to any unusual environments, stresses, or damage that may compromise safety.
Cord: A visual inspection is made to verify the cord’s physical integrity, proper wire size and length, connector type, and strain reliefs.
Overcurrent protection: The fusing is inspected for appropriate rating and application.
Ground bond testing: A ground bond tester is used to verify that the equipment can withstand a prolonged high current in the grounding path (at twice the rated load current, but no more than 10 A). Typically, a value of 100 milliohms or less is required. The resistance of the power cord is not included.
Equipment leakage current testing: An inline Ground Fault Current Interrupter (GFCI) is used on cord-and-plug equipment to verify that equipment leakage current does not exceed 5 mA. If the equipment fails this test, further evaluation is required to determine the source of the leakage and to see if repair is required.
Markings: All markings required by relevant standards must be in place.
Usage: The equipment usage must be evaluated to ensure it conforms to the intended design.
- Medium-risk equipment must be evaluated by the low-risk inspection criteria above. Additionally:
Fusing must be evaluated to ensure that all ungrounded current carrying conductors are properly fused.
The voltage rating and range of the equipment must be verified for suitable operation at the desired utility voltage.
The cord cap must be evaluated for proper rating and National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) plug and receptacle configuration.
- For high-risk equipment, a comprehensive inspection checklist must be completed based on NFPA 791, Recommended Practice and Procedures for Unlabeled Electrical Equipment Evaluation, which will examine some or all of the following elements, as appropriate. Manufacturer warranty or component sensitivity may preclude some of the inspection elements:
Electrical code considerations
Construction of enclosures
Main overcurrent protective device
Maintenance receptacles and lighting
Distances between uninsulated energized parts
Insulation resistance test (megger or hi-pot)
Ground bond test
Measurement of input voltage while under maximum design load
Measurement of input full load current while under maximum design load
Temperature rise of heat producing devices
Safety interlock functional testing
Emergency stop testing
Legacy equipment will not always be compliant with the latest construction standards. The EESP Inspector must use discretion in allowing for minor deviations from current standards. No deviation is allowed for shock hazards or other immediate safety hazards likely to cause fire, electrical shock or arc blast. If necessary, contact the EESP Program Manager to assist in making a determination.
Equipment from other DOE Facilities
Equipment that has undergone inspection at another DOE Facility is considered acceptable if the inspection record is examined and found acceptable by an EESP Inspector. Such equipment must be documented in the EESP database, along with a copy of the inspection report.
Equipment that passes the EESP inspection, or that passes the Third-Party Field Evaluation must be labeled with the FEP’s field evaluation sticker and must be labeled with a green AHJ APPROVED label.
Equipment that fails the EESP inspection must be labeled with a red AHJ FAIL label.
Equipment that fails may be Conditionally Accepted for 120 days, and should be labeled with a yellow CONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE label.