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NECA 130-2010

Standard for

Installing and Maintaining


Wiring Devices
An Americ an Nation al Sta nda rd

Published by

National Electrical Contractors Association

NECA 130-2010
Standard for

Installing and Maintaining


Wiring Devices

An American
National Standard

Published by

National Electrical
Contractors Association

<This page intentionally left blank>

Table of Contents
Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v
1.
1.1
1.2
1.3

Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Products and Applications Included . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Products and Applications Excluded . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Regulatory and Other Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

2.

Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

3.
3.1
3.2
3.3

Receiving, Inspecting, Handling and Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4


Receiving and Inspecting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

4.
4.1
4.2
4.3

Rough-In . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Outlet and Device Boxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Wiring Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

5.
5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
5.7
5.8

Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Electrical Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Conductors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Grounding and Bonding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Installing Wiring Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Coverplates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Testing Wiring Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

6.
6.1
6.2

Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Inspections and Testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Annex A: NEMA Wiring Device Configuration Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16


Annex B: Reference Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

iii

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(This foreword is not a part of the standard)

Foreword

National Electrical Installation Standards are intended to improve communication among specifiers, purchasers, and suppliers of electrical construction services. They define a minimum baseline of quality
and workmanship for installing electrical products
and systems. NEIS are intended to be referenced in
contract documents for electrical construction projects. The following language is recommended:
Wiring devices should be installed and maintained in accordance with NECA 130-2010,
Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring
Devices (ANSI).
Use of NEIS is voluntary, and the National Electrical
Contractors Association assumes no obligation or liability to users of this publication. Existence of a
standard shall not preclude any member or nonmember of NECA from specifying or using alternate
construction methods permitted by applicable regulations.
This publication is intended to comply with the edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) in effect
at the time of publication. Because they are quality
standards, NEIS may in some instances go beyond
the minimum requirements of the NEC. It is the
responsibility of users of this publication to comply
with state and local electrical codes when installing
electrical products and systems.

Suggestions for revisions and improvements to this


standard are welcome. They should be addressed to:
NECA Standards & Safety
3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 215-4521 Telephone
(301) 215-4500 Fax
neis@necanet.org
www.neca-neis.org
To purchase National Electrical Installation Standards,
contact the NECA Order Desk at (301) 215-4504 tel,
(301) 215-4500 fax, or orderdesk@necanet.org. NEIS
can also be purchased in .pdf download format from
www.neca-neis.org/standards.
Copyright 2010, National Electrical Contractors
Association. All rights reserved. Unauthorized
reproduction prohibited.
National Electrical Installation Standards, NEIS, and the
NEIS logo are trademarks of the National Electrical
Contractors Association. National Electrical Code and
NEC are trademarks of the National Fire Protection
Association, Quincy, Massachusetts.
Cover photo courtesy of Pass and Seymour/Legrand.

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1. Scope

This standard describes the installation and maintenance procedures for wiring devices.

1.1 Applications Included


This standard covers the installation and maintenance of low-voltage wiring devices permanently
installed on building premises wiring systems for residential, commercial, and industrial applications in
non-hazardous (unclassified) locations, such as for
convenience receptacles, lighting switches, disconnect
switches, and fixed, stationary or portable electric
signs. It applies to:
a) Wiring devices rated 600V and less
b) Receptacles
c) Switches

a) Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) or


Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)see
ANSI/NECA-169, Standard for Installing and
Maintaining Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters
(AFCIs) and Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters
(GFCIs)
b) Floor service outlets
c) Floor poke-through assemblies

1.3 Regulatory and Other Requirements


a) All information in this publication is intended to
conform to the National Electrical Code
(ANSI/NFPA Standard 70). Installers should always
follow the NEC, applicable state and local codes,
and manufacturer's instructions when installing and
maintaining wiring devices.

d) Timers
e) Combination devices
f) Coverplates
g) Attachment plugs and plug connectors
h) Occupancy sensors
i) Dimmers

b) Only qualified persons as defined in the NEC


familiar with the construction and operation of
wiring devices should perform the technical work
described in this publication. Administrative functions such as receiving, handling and storing required
in Section 3, and other tasks can be performed under
the supervision of a qualified person. All work
should be performed in accordance with NFPA 70E,
Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.

j) Pin and sleeve connectors and receptacles


k) Multi-outlet assemblies

1.2 Applications Excluded


This standard does not cover wiring devices that are
installed in hazardous locations or are temporary
installations. It does not apply to:

c) General requirements for installing electrical


products and systems are described in NECA 1-2006,
Standard Practices for Good Workmanship in Electrical
Construction (ANSI). Other National Electrical
Installation Standards provide additional guidance for
installing particular types of electrical products and
systems. A complete list of NEIS is provided in
Annex B.

2. Definitions

Attachment
Plug

A device that, by insertion in


a receptacle, establishes a connection between the conductors
of the attached flexible cord and
the conductors connected permanently to the receptacle.

from the receptacle mounting


strap.
Lighting Outlet

An outlet intended for the


direct connection of a lampholder or luminaire.

Back-Wired
Wiring Device

Wiring device with conductor


connections made on the back
of the device with clamping
plates tightened using threaded
terminal screws.

Multioutlet
Assembly

A type of surface, flush, or


freestanding raceway designed
to hold conductors and receptacles, assembled in the field or at
the factory.

Hazardous
(Classified)
Location

Those locations where fire or


explosion hazards may exist due
to flammable gases or vapors,
flammable liquids, combustible
dust, or ignitable fibers or flyings.

Outlet

A point on the wiring system at


which current is taken to supply
utilization equipment.

Pigtail

Short lead used to connect a


device to a branch-circuit conductor.

Pin and Sleeve


Devices

High-capacity wiring devices


that integrate environmental
protection with switching, fusing, and/or safety interlocks for
power delivery to equipment in
wet or corrosive environments.

Concealed

Device

Rendered inaccessible by the


structure or finish of the building. Wires in concealed raceways
are considered concealed, even
though they may become accessible by withdrawing them.
A unit of an electrical system
that carries or controls electric
energy as its principal function.

Exposed (as
On or attached to the surface or
applied to wiring behind panels designed to allow
methods)
access.
Isolated
Ground
Receptacle
2

Receptacle outlet with the


equipment ground contact and
terminal electrically isolated

Pre-Wired Wiring Wiring device with either


Device
factory-installed pigtails connected to the terminals of the
wiring device, or a pigtail connector that snaps into the
wiring device and is captively
held or is secured with a screw
or clamp, if provided.

Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices

Receptacle

A contact device installed at the


outlet for the connection of an
attachment plug. A single
receptacle is a single contact
device with no other contact
device on the same yoke. A
multiple receptacle is two or
more contact devices on the
same yoke.

Receptacle
Outlet

An outlet where one or more


receptacles are installed.

Raceway

An enclosed channel of metal or


nonmetallic materials designed
expressly for holding wires,
cables or busbars, with additional functions as permitted by
the NEC. Raceways include, but
are not limited to, rigid metal
conduit, rigid nonmetallic conduit, intermediate metal conduit, liquidtight flexible metal
conduit, flexible metallic tubing,
flexible metal conduit, electrical
nonmetallic tubing, electrical
metallic tubing, underfloor
raceways, cellular concrete floor
raceways, cellular metal floor
raceways, surface raceways,
wireways and busways.

Side-Wired
Wiring Device

Wiring device with terminal


screw conductor connections on
the side(s) of the device.

Screwless
(Push-In)
Terminal
Wiring Device

Wiring device with holes in the


back of the device that are used
to connect stripped conductors
by inserting individual conductors into the holes. These devices
are restricted to 15-ampere branch
circuits, will only accept 14 AWG
solid copper conductors, and are

NECA 130

most commonly found on residential-grade wiring devices.


Switch

A device used to make (or


close) or break (or open) an
electric circuit or to divert current from one conductor to
another.

Switch,
General-Use

A switch intended for use in


general distribution and branch
circuits. It is rated in amperes,
and it is capable of interrupting
its rated current at its rated
voltage.

Switch,
General-Use
Snap

A form of general-use switch


constructed so that it can be
installed in device boxes or on
box covers, or otherwise used in
conjunction with recognized
wiring methods.

Switch,
Motor-Circuit

A switch rated in horsepower


that is capable of interrupting
the maximum operating overload current of a motor of the
same horsepower rating as the
switch at the rated voltage.

Tamper Resistant A personal protection device


Receptacle
that inhibits the ability to insert
foreign objects into the device.
Primarily installed in residential
and pediatric locations of
healthcare facilities.
Yoke

Metal or polycarbonate mounting strap on which a wiring


device or devices are attached.
The yoke is used to attach the
wiring device to the device box
or device cover.

3. Receiving, Inspecting, Handling


and Storage
3.1

Receiving and Inspecting

a) Deliver wiring devices individually wrapped in


factory-fabricated containers in unopened cartons or
bundles as appropriate, clearly identified with manufacturer's name, listing mark from a qualified electrical products testing laboratory (label), and grade or
identifying number.
b) Visually inspect packaging upon delivery.
Carefully unpack materials to inspect for concealed
damage resulting from shipping and handling. If
damage has occurred, notify the delivering carrier
and the manufacturer in writing immediately, and
note the condition of the shipment on all copies of
the delivery receipt. Request a carrier inspection, and
file a claim with the carrier.
c) Compare components and accessories received
with the bill of materials to verify that the shipment
is complete. If the shipment is not complete, notify
the manufacturer in writing immediately. Verify that
equipment and accessories received conform to
approved submittals and manufacturer quotations.
d) If components and accessories are to be stored
prior to installation, reuse the original packing materials. Leave the packing materials intact until wiring
devices are ready for installation, when possible.

3.2

Handling

a) Wiring devices and accessories are typically small


components. Handle in accordance with manufacturer recommendations in order to avoid damage to
components and accessories.
b) Verify that the lifting capacity of the handling
equipment is adequate for handling palletized shipments.
4

c) Handle wiring devices carefully to avoid damage.


Avoid dropping, impact, jolting, jarring, rough handling, etc.

3.3

Storage

a) Store wiring devices and accessories in a clean,


warm, dry, well-ventilated room with a moderate
temperature ranging between 4.4C (40F) and
37.7C (100F).
b) Provide suitable protection until final assembly is
complete. Protect from weather, rain, snow, dirt, corrosive gases or fumes, dust, foreign objects, and
rodents. Moisture in combination with cement dust
is very corrosive to electrical and electronic equipment.
c) Store components and accessories in a monitored
area to discourage vandalism and theft, and out of
the way of construction traffic.

4. Rough-In

4.1

General

a) Determine the types of finish surfaces and construction materials used on the project. Verify that
wiring methods, device and outlet boxes and supports are suitable for wiring devices, the type of construction and occupancy.
b) Protect outlet and device boxes from plaster, drywall joint compound, mortar, cement, concrete, dust,
paint, and other materials that may contaminate the
raceway system, conductors, and cables during construction.
c) Generally install wiring devices in multi-gang
boxes when more than one device is required in one
location.
d) Verify the proper direction and clearance for door
swings before rough-in.

4.2

Outlet and Device Boxes

contractor, engineer of record, and owner for resolution. Do not proceed until conflicts are resolved.
c) Comply with the table in the NEC for standard
boxes if the boxes are metal and conductors are all
the same size. Comply with the table in the NEC for
nonstandard boxes if the boxes are nonmetallic or
conductors of different sizes are installed in the same
box. Make proper allowance for device fill.
Conductors, no part of which leave the box, are not
required to be counted towards conductor fill.
d) Comply with NEC depth requirements for flushmounted outlet and device boxes in combustible and
non-combustible finish surfaces. Verify the finish
surface details and set boxes and plaster, tile or extension rings to the proper depth for the surface finish.
Generally set boxes perfectly flush to the finished surface to permit the wiring device yoke to seat firmly
against both the box or plaster ring and the finished
construction surface.

a) Carefully select outlet or device box, box and ring


combination and box in compliance with applicable
local Codes and the NEC considering box size, device
size, branch circuit wire size, and how the box and
device relate to applicable grounding or bonding
provisions considering the type of outlet or device
box used.

e) Install boxes level and plumb, securely supported


by structural or framing members. Do not install
boxes back-to-back in walls.

b) Mount outlet and device boxes where required by


applicable Codes. Generally comply with layout
drawings for wiring device locations. Coordinate
exact locations of all devices with equipment, millwork, counters, fin radiation, windows, etc., by reference to the general building drawings, by actual measurements during rough-in, and in consultation with
the owner, engineer, general contractor, and construction inspector. Refer conflicts to the general

g) Do not place wall finish materials over outlet and


device boxes. Do not cut holes for boxes in finish
materials with routers using the sides of the box as a
guide.

f) Ensure that boxes enclosing flush devices, such as


switches and receptacles, are completely enclosed on
the back and sides.

h) Mount outlet and device boxes not less than


50mm (2 in.) and not more than 300mm (12 in.)
from the trim where installed near doors, corner
walls, etc.
5

NECA 130

Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices

i) Generally locate wall switches and dimmers at the


latch side of doors with the edge of the outlet box
approximately 75 mm (3 in.) from the doorframe when
possible. Avoid locating boxes behind open doors.

Mount above counter outlet and junction boxes


200 mm (8 in.) above countertop surfaces or at
backsplash level, but no higher than 500 mm (20
in.) above the countertop surface.

j) Where surface-mounted wiring methods are used,


provide suitable surface outlet or device box or surface mounted box-and-cover combination.

Coordinate the mounting height of specific-use


receptacles with equipment and finishes. Install
within 1.8 m (72 in.) horizontally of the intended point of use, or as indicated on contract documents.

4.2.1 Mounting Height


a) Verify mounting heights when installing outlet
and device boxes. The mounting height of wallmounted outlet and device boxes is generally measured from the finished floor surface to the centerline
of the box.
b) Install outlet and device boxes on uniform surface
finishes. Do not install boxes in locations with different finish surfaces at the box location. Coordinate
mounting heights for boxes on walls with a wainscot or
walls that are to be partially tiled. Mount boxes at a
height that ensures that the faceplates required for the
installation will fit entirely on only one type of finished
surface. Install device boxes in brick or block walls so
that the cover plate does not cross a joint unless the
joint is troweled flush with the face of the wall.
c) Mount outlet and device boxes in accordance with
applicable Codes and contract documents. In the
absence of mounting height requirements, mount
boxes in accordance with the following:
Mount exterior outlet boxes 600 mm (24 in.)
above finished grade.
Mount interior receptacle outlet boxes 450 mm
(18 in.) above the finished floor surface.
Mount device boxes for switches 1.2 m (48 in.)
above the finished floor surface.
Mount outlet boxes for wall-mounted clocks
2.44 m (96 in.) above the finished floor surface
when possible, or 150 mm (6 in.) below the ceiling when not possible. Center clock outlets
located above doors between the ceiling and the
top of the door trim.
6

4.3

Wiring Methods

a) Ensure the wiring method(s) are suitable for the


occupancy, or portion of the occupancy, as well as for
all environmental conditions listed. Use suitable fittings that are designed and listed for use with that
particular wiring method.
b) Use wiring methods suitable for the environment.
c) Plan cable and raceway entrances into outlet and
device boxes carefully, keeping in mind that unused
openings in boxes must be effectively closed.
d) Where possible, make up all branch circuit wiring
prior to wall covering installation. Install pre-wired
wiring device pigtail connectors during rough-in.
Use conductors that meet minimum length requirements to terminate devices and form conductors for
device installation in the box.
e) Ensure that all phase, neutral, and equipment
grounding conductors of a circuit are grouped
together in the same cable, raceway, or box opening
when installed in metal conduit, tubing, or metallic
cable assemblies.
f) Ensure that the wiring method includes a grounding means that can be extended to switches when
they are installed. Provide a grounded or neutral
conductor for switches with a pilot light.
g) Splice, connect, and terminate grounded or neutral conductors in such a manner as to be able to
remove a device without interrupting continuity of
the grounded or neutral conductor of multiwire

Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices

NECA 130

branch circuits, or single-phase circuits that share a


common neutral conductor.
h) Coordinate rough-in wiring in multi-gang boxes
in the correct position for each device. In general,
locate switches in multi-gang boxes closest to the
loads that they control.
i) Identify rough-in wiring. Label switched conductors used for three-way and four-way switching to
prevent the inadvertent switching of a grounded or
neutral conductor. Re-identify any white or gray
conductors of cable assemblies used for switch-legs
or switch-loops at all locations where the conductors
are visible and at all accessible points. Label wiring
and conductors in multi-gang boxes to simplify
wiring device installation at a later date.

5. Installation

5.1

or ceilings constructed of noncombustible material, such as concrete, tile, gypsum, or plaster.

General

a) Install electrical wiring devices in accordance with


the manufacturers installation instructions and electrical rating for each device. Install wiring devices in
strict accordance with approved shop drawings and
with equipment manufacturer's recommendations.
b) Verify that wiring devices are compatible with
wiring methods, loads served, expected service life,
construction materials, fire ratings, type of occupancy, and installed environment. Consider installing a
higher grade of wiring device in environments subject to heavier conditions of use. Ensure that wiring
devices are at least rated for the nominal operating
voltage of the branch circuit.
c) Install wiring devices in boxes or assemblies that
are designed for the purpose and that are securely
fastened in place. Install wiring devices only in boxes
that are clean and free from excess building materials,
dirt, and debris.
d) Install wiring devices and coverplates after all
raceways, boxes and conductors are installed, and
after all wall preparation, painting and finish work is
complete.
e) Verify that box gaps and setbacks comply with
Code requirements:

Ensure that the front edge of boxes, plaster


rings, extension rings, or listed extenders that
have flush-type coverplates are flush with or
extend past the finished surface in walls or ceilings constructed of combustible material, such
as wood.
f) Use a torque screwdriver when a torque is recommended or required by the manufacturer.
g) Coordinate wiring device colors with the owner.
h) Test branch circuit wiring for short circuits and
ground faults prior to energization and use. Test
equipment grounding conductor continuity. Correct
wiring deficiencies.

5.2

Electrical Safety

a) Neglecting fundamental installation and maintenance requirements may lead to personal injury or
death, as well as damage to electrical equipment or
other property. All work and actions must conform
to the requirements of NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in
the Workplace.

Ensure that openings or gaps around device


boxes or plaster rings are effectively closed with
no more than 3 mm (1/8 in.) gap between the
opening and the surface finish.

b) Do not work on energized equipment. Do not


enter equipment enclosures when components are
energized. Electrically isolate conductors and equipment in accordance with established procedures and
manufacturers instructions and recommendations.
Guard energized conductors and equipment in close
proximity to work.

Ensure that the front edge of boxes, plaster rings,


extension rings, or listed extenders that have
flush-type coverplates are not set back from the
finished surface more than a 6 mm (14 in.) in walls

c) Consider all ungrounded and grounded metal


parts of equipment and devices to be energized at the
highest voltage to which they are exposed unless they

Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices

are de-energized and tested in accordance with


OSHA requirements.
d) De-energize conductors and equipment by opening source switching devices to completely isolate
equipment and circuits from all power sources before
exposing any conductors. Test conductors and equipment at both source and equipment terminals to confirm that they are de-energized. Use suitable voltage
testing equipment that is properly rated for the energy
present. Apply appropriate lockout/tag-out devices in
accordance with OSHA or NFPA 70E requirements.
e) Use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment
(PPE) and established safety procedures when working on or near energized electrical equipment, or
equipment that has not been de-energized in accordance with NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the
Workplace. Do not wear conductive articles such as
watches, rings, etc.
f) Use insulated hand tools when working on or
around energized equipment. Use only tools that are
properly rated for the energy present. Maintain tool
inventories to ensure that all tools are removed from
equipment prior to energizing.
g) Use care in opening and closing doors to energized equipment. Conductors and terminations may
be exposed and within reach of openings.
h) Carefully inspect the work area and remove any
tools and objects left inside equipment, on switches
or in receptacles before energizing. Completely
install all devices, doors, covers, cover plates, barriers,
etc., before energizing equipment.
i) De-energize and safety tag or otherwise identify
potential hazards due to electrical equipment
(including switches and receptacles) being serviced in
the event that it becomes necessary to leave the
immediate worksite.

5.3

Conductors

a) Terminate conductors to wiring devices in accordance with manufacturer instructions and listing
requirements.

NECA 130

b) Ensure that conductors are selected, coordinated


and applied within the temperature ratings of the
wiring device terminals.
c) Follow manufacturer color-coding of conductors.
Ensure that ungrounded (hot), grounded or neutral,
and equipment grounding conductors are connected
to the proper terminal(s). Wiring device terminals
are typically color-coded with the ungrounded or hot
terminal being brass in color, the grounded or neutral terminal being silver in color, and the equipment
ground terminal being green in color. Many manufacturers also provide markings on the back of the
device identifying terminals by name, such as hot or
phase, neutral, and ground. Three way switches may
have one terminal that is dark in color and marked
common for the attachment of the ungrounded
supply conductor or switch leg.
d) Verify that conductors are compatible with terminations. Only connect aluminum conductors or copper-clad aluminum conductors to wiring devices
with terminals marked CO/ALR to indicate suitability for such connections. Terminate aluminum
conductors in accordance with NECA 104, Standard
for Installing Aluminum Building Wire and Cable.
e) Ensure that conductors meet Code required minimum length after each wiring device is installed.
Form lengths of conductor slack neatly near the back
of the box before installing wiring devices. Form the
slack in conductors to relieve stress and tension from
wiring devices at terminations and connections. Do
not use tools or instruments with sharp edges to
form conductors.
f) Do not strip insulation from conductors until just
before they are spliced or terminated on devices.
Strip the correct length of insulation evenly around
the conductor using tools designed for the purpose.
Avoid scoring or nicking of solid wire or cutting any
strands of stranded wire.
g) Splice, connect, and terminate grounded or neutral conductors in such a manner as to be able to
remove a device without interrupting continuity of
the grounded neutral conductor of multiwire branch
9

NECA 130

Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices

circuits, or single-phase circuits that share a common


neutral conductor.
h) Provide unshared neutral conductors on line and
load side of dimmers according to manufacturers'
device listing conditions in the written instructions.
Do not install dimmers on multiwire branch circuits,
or single-phase circuits that share a common neutral
conductor.
i) Wiring device screw terminals and clamping plates
are designed to connect stranded wire. Twist strands
together before connecting stranded conductors to
wiring device terminals. Ensure that all conductor
strands are installed in wiring device terminals to
prevent conductors and terminations from overheating and to prevent possible shorting by conductor
strands making contact with other metal parts or
touching uninsulated equipment grounding conductors. Do not crimp spade terminals onto stranded
conductors for termination under wiring device terminal screws.
j) Tighten electrical connectors and terminals
according to manufacturers published torque tightening values. Ensure that no conductor insulation is
trapped under screw terminals or clamping plates.
k) Use appropriately sized conductor pigtails to connect wiring devices to 15- and 20-A circuits when
branch circuit conductors are larger than 10 AWG.
l) Do not wrap electrical tape around wiring device
terminals. Taping wiring device terminals will prevent heat dissipation from the wiring device.
m) Cut off and reterminate any previously used conductor wires that show nicks, gouges, discoloration,
erosion, missing strands, or other damage, or that are
otherwise suspect.
5.3.1 Terminating Conductors on BackWired Devices of Other Than the Screwless
Type
a) Strip each conductor to expose the manufacturers
recommended length of bare conductor.
10

b) Insert each stripped conductor through a wiring


hole in the back of the wiring device. Do not crimp
spade terminals onto stranded conductors for termination under wiring device terminal screws.
c) Ensure that the bare conductor is inserted
between the clamping plate and the terminal.
d) Tighten each terminal screw to the recommended
torque value to secure the conductor to the wiring
device.
e) Tug on each conductor to confirm that each connection is tight.
5.3.2 Terminating Conductors on SideWired Devices
a) Back out each terminal screw from each terminal
far enough to allow the conductor to be placed
between the screw head and the terminal plate.
b) Strip each conductor to expose the manufacturers recommended length of bare conductor using the
strip gauge located on the back of the wiring device.
c) Bend the conductor in a clockwise direction to
form a loop to fit snugly approximately two-thirds to
three-quarters of the way around the terminal screw.
Looping the wire in a clockwise direction will tend to
pull the wire more tightly around the terminal screw
as it is tightened.
d) Place the loop of conductor around the terminal
screw and tighten the screw to the manufacturers
recommended torque value until the conductor is
firmly held in place. Ensure that the conductor does
not contact other metal parts of the wiring device.
Ensure that all conductor strands of stranded conductors are installed in wiring device terminals to
prevent conductors and terminations from overheating. Do not crimp spade terminals onto stranded
conductors for termination under wiring device terminal screws.

Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices

5.3.3 Terminating Conductors on Screwless


(Push-In) Terminal Devices
a) Strip each conductor to expose the manufacturers
recommended length of bare conductor using the
strip gauge located on the back of the wiring device.
b) Insert the bare portion of the conductor into a
terminal hole in the back of the device to secure the
conductor to the wiring device.
c) Tug on each conductor gently to ensure it is secure.
5.3.4 Connecting Pre-Wired Devices

NECA 130

other fasteners that are not suitable for connecting


grounding or bonding conductors to enclosures
including outlet and device boxes. Do not use a
cable clamp screw for connecting equipment grounding conductors.
e) For replacement switches only where an equipment-grounding means does not exist in the box or
where the wiring method does not contain an equipment grounding conductor, a snap switch having a
metal yoke is permitted to be installed without being
grounded, and a nonmetallic coverplate must be
used.

b) For pre-wired devices with pigtail connectors,


plug the pigtail connector into wiring device body.
Twist the connector to lock into the wiring device, if
so equipped. Tighten the mounting screw, if equipped.

f) For isolated ground receptacles, two separate and


independent equipment grounding conductor paths
are required. Connect the grounding terminal of isolated-ground receptacles only to the designated, insulated, isolated equipment grounding conductor of
the branch circuit. Connect metal outlet boxes and
raceway only to the branch circuit typical equipment
grounding conductor.

5.4

5.5

a) Connect the pre-wired wiring device pigtail conductors to the corresponding branch circuit conductors.

Grounding and Bonding

a) Permanently and effectively ground all wiring


devices, boxes, raceways, cables and conductors in
accordance with NEC requirements.
b) Connect the grounding terminal of each wiring
device to branch-circuit equipment grounding conductors, where provided, and to metal outlet and
device boxes. Bond each switch in multi-gang boxes.
c) Make equipment grounding conductor connections and splices so that the removal or disconnection of any wiring device does not interrupt the continuity of the branch circuit equipment grounding
conductor.
d) Use listed devices, such as ground clips or ground
screws identified for the purpose, to connect equipment grounding conductors to metal boxes and
enclosures. Use identified wire connectors to splice
or connect equipment grounding conductors. Do
not use sheet metal screws, drywall screws, screws
with washers used to compress conductors, or any

Installing Wiring Devices

a) Install wiring devices in accordance with manufacturer's written instructions, with applicable
requirements of NEC and ANSI, in accordance with
their listing, and with recognized industry practices
to fulfill project requirements.
b) Tighten unused terminal screws on wiring devices
prior to installing wiring devices in outlet and device
boxes to improve clearance to other metallic objects
or equipment grounding conductors.
c) Remove fiber or plastic washers used to hold
mounting screws in wiring device yokes when
installing wiring devices in metallic boxes to allow
metal-to-metal contact.
d) Remove the wiring device mounting ears only as
necessary to mount wiring devices in surface-mounted boxes or old-work boxes to ensure proper seating of the wiring device to the front edge or face of
the box and to ensure that no gap is left between the
coverplate and the wall or ceiling surface.

11

NECA 130

Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices

e) Provide permanently installed isolation barriers


between adjacent wiring devices, and ensure that
wiring methods enter outlet and device boxes in
appropriate locations where the voltage between
adjacent devices exceeds 300 volts.
f) Install devices and assemblies level, plumb, and
square with building lines. Align devices vertically
and horizontally. Securely fasten devices into boxes.

Adjust the ampacity of dimmers when multiple


dimmers are installed in a single enclosure.
General use AC snap switches are permitted to be
used on resistive and inductive loads, tungstenfilament lamp loads, and motor loads. Ensure
that the load does not exceed the ampere rating
of the switch at the applied voltage. Ensure that
inductive loads do not exceed 50% of the ampere
rating of the switch at the applied voltage.

g) Ensure that wiring devices seat firmly against


both the front edge, or face, of the box or plaster ring
and the construction surface at the same time. This
may be achieved with the use of standoff spacer
shims installed behind the yoke of the wiring device
when the wiring box is unduly recessed below the
finished construction surface.

c) Install wall switches with a consistent orientation


so the same direction of operation will open and
close circuits, generally up or to the left for the ON
position. Install dimmers with a consistent orientation so the same direction of operation will brighten
and dim the lights throughout the project, generally
up for brightest position.

h) Ensure that conductor wires do not become


trapped between the wiring device box and the yoke
of the wiring device.

d) Install illuminated switches and switches with


pilot lights to provide a convenient means to visually
locate lighting control in especially dark areas. Install
switches with pilot lights to monitor loads that are
remote or unseen from the switch location, such as a
roof-mounted exhaust fan.

i) Direct slack conductor wires away from terminal


screws of adjacent wiring devices, and ensure that
uninsulated equipment grounding conductors are
clear of any other terminal screws.
5.5.1 Switches, Timers, Dimmers and
Occupancy Sensors

e) Verify that dimmers are compatible with fluorescent ballasts. Verify that dimmers used for fan speed
control are listed for that application.

a) Install switches, timers, dimmers and occupancy


sensors in accordance with the NEC and with manufacturer recommendations.

f) Adjust initial time delay and sensitivity settings of


occupancy sensors in accordance with manufacturer
recommendations.

b) Ensure that switches, timers and dimmers are


used within their permitted ratings:

5.5.2 Receptacles

Ensure that switches used to control tungstenfilament lamp loads are suitable for supplying
tungsten-filament lamps or T-Rated, and that
tungsten-filament lamps are limited to 120 Volts
and do not exceed the ampere rating of the
switch.
Ensure that motor loads do not exceed 80% of
the ampere rating of the switch. Switches rated
in horsepower are suitable for controlling motor
loads within their ampere and voltage ratings.
12

a) Install receptacles in accordance with their ratings. A single receptacle installed on an individual
branch circuit and receptacles rated greater than 50
amperes must be rated not less than the overcurrent
device protecting the branch circuit.
b) Install grounding-type receptacles on grounded
branch circuits. Provide non-grounding-type receptacles for ungrounded, two-wire branch circuits.
c) Install receptacles so the mounting strap or yoke
contacts the finished wall surface where boxes are set

Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices

NECA 130

back slightly from the finished wall surface, or contacts both the finished wall surface and the box, plaster ring, or raised cover that projects from the finished surface where the box is installed flush with the
finished surface.

cord-and-plug connected equipment. See Annex A.


d) Remove tinned leads of equipment pigtails prior
to terminating on plugs and connectors to prevent
cold flow loosening of wiring device terminations
with tinned copper conductors.

d) For exposed wiring methods, install receptacles in


a cover and held against the cover by more than one
screw or in a cover identified for securing by only a
single screw.

e) Tighten terminations to manufacturer-recommended torque values.

e) Grounding-type receptacles mounted vertically


should have the grounding conductor opening at the
top. Receptacles mounted in the horizontal position
should be mounted with the neutral conductor (long
slot) up.
f) Install hospital grade receptacles in patient bed
locations in general patient care and critical care
areas. Connect the grounding terminal of hospital
grade receptacles to an insulated copper branch circuit equipment-grounding conductor.
g) Receptacles installed in pediatric locations of
health care facilities shall be listed tamper resistant.

f) Ensure that cord plug removable inserts are used


in compliance with manufacturer recommendations,
and are removed when installing larger diameter
cords. Tighten plug cord grips in accordance with
manufacturer recommendations to prevent conductor shearing and cord pull-out. Provide external
strain relief for pendant cord outlets.
g) Do not install right-angle plugs on equipment
that is frequently plugged and unplugged, unless it is
specifically designed for this purpose (i.e. incorporates a bail wire assist handle or similar unplugging
aid). Improper removal of right-angle plugs places
greater strain on the plug and the receptacle than
straight plugs.
5.5.4 Replacing Non-Grounding Receptacles

h) Install weather-resistant receptacles in wet and


damp locations. Receptacles installed outdoors and on
rooftops also require GFCI protection. See
ANSI/NECA 169.
i) For dwelling units, install tamper-resistant receptacles in all areas specified in NEC Article 210 for
both accessible and not readily accessible locations.
5.5.3 Attachment Plugs and Connectors
a) Install attachment plugs and connectors in accordance with the NEC. Ensure that cord plugs are listed for the installed environment.
b) Terminate conductors and assemble plugs in
accordance with manufacturer instructions.
c) Match NEMA wiring device configuration, voltage and current ratings and number of conductors to
equipment requirements for plugs and receptacles for

a) Replace existing non-grounding receptacles


installed on ungrounded two-wire branch circuits
with new non-grounding receptacles.
b) Replace non-grounding receptacles installed on
ungrounded two-wire branch circuits with grounding-type receptacles in accordance with the NEC.
Connect the equipment grounding terminal of the
grounding-type receptacle to any accessible point on
the grounding electrode system, to an accessible
point on the grounding electrode conductor, or to
the equipment grounding terminal bar within the
enclosure where the branch circuit for the receptacle
or branch circuit originates. Alternatively, install
grounding-type receptacles on ungrounded two-wire
branch circuits protected by GFCI circuit breakers.
Label such receptacles no equipment ground and
GFCI protected. See ANSI/NECA 169.

13

NECA 130

Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices

c) Replace non-grounding receptacles installed on


ungrounded two-wire branch circuits with groundfault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles in accordance with the NEC and ANSI/NECA 169. Label
such receptacles no equipment ground. Such GFCI
receptacles are permitted to protect grounding-type
receptacles that are labeled no equipment ground
and GFCI protected.

5.6

Coverplates

a) Install coverplates that are suitable for the intended purpose and the installed environment. Install
gasketed weatherproof enclosures and covers for
wiring devices installed outdoors in a damp or wet
location. Do not install coverplates intended for
flush-mounted boxes on surface-mounted boxes.
b) Install coverplates level, plumb and parallel to
adjacent surfaces or trim. Align coverplates vertically
to within 1.6mm (1/16 in).
c) Ensure that coverplates completely cover openings
and seat firmly against the finished surface of the
wall or ceiling. Repair finishes and remount boxes
when standard coverplates do not fit flush or do not
cover rough wall openings. Do not use oversized or
extra-deep plates.
d) Generally, provide coverplates to match the color
of wiring devices with metal mounting screws with
head color to match coverplate finish, unless otherwise indicated on contract documents, or where
color selection is by the owner.
e) Provide a common coverplate for wiring devices
installed in multi-gang boxes.
f) Align coverplate mounting screw slots in the same
direction, either vertical or horizontal. Do not overtighten coverplate mounting screws. Overtightening
can cause the coverplate to warp, dimple, bend, and
in the case of plastic faceplates, crack or break.

5.7

Identification

a) Provide circuit identification labels or engraving


on the coverplate for each wiring device when
14

required by contract documents or for emergency


systems located in hospitals or other healthcare facilities. Label coverplates to identify the source panelboard and branch circuit number. Label coverplates
to identify the loads that are being controlled, such as
switches for exhaust fans, motors, equipment systems, etc., or areas being lighted where switches control devices that are out of sight, or where three or
more switches are gang-mounted.

5.8

Testing Wiring Devices

a) Follow recommended safe work practices when


testing branch circuit wiring and wiring devices. See
Section 5.2.
b) After energizing, test wiring devices for proper
voltage, polarity and ground continuity. Correct
faulty circuit conditions, remove malfunctioning
wiring devices and replace with new devices, and
retest.
c) Check specialty switches and receptacles equipped
with indicating lights for normal operation. Test
timers for appropriate time delay operation.
d) Test dimmers per manufacturers instructions.
Verify that dimmers function as intended. Operate
dimmers connected to fluorescent fixtures at full
brightness for the full burn-in period as specified or
recommended by the lamp manufacturer.
e) Shake attachment plugs, listening for sounds such
as rattling that may indicate loose screws.
Disassemble plugs as necessary to inspect and correct
problems.
f) Replace stained or painted wiring devices and
coverplates. Replace defective wiring devices, and
wiring devices and coverplates damaged during construction.

6. Maintenance

6.1

General

a) Replace wiring devices that are misapplied,


improperly installed, damaged, worn (including
receptacles that insufficiently retain plug blades), that
show signs of overheating or discoloration, or that
show any sign of alterations of a blade or connection
slot. Use a listed receptacle slot tension tester to verify adequate tension, which will assure proper connection to attachment plugs.
b) Remove plugs by the plug housing. Do not
remove plugs from receptacles by pulling the cord.

6.2

Inspections and Testing

e) Test ground continuity of isolated ground receptacles annually.


f) Inspect cords, plugs, and connectors for physical
and thermal damage annually. Coordinate with
annual equipment inspections, where required. Test
ground continuity and shake plugs, listening for
sounds such as rattling that may indicate loose
screws. Inspect crimp-type cord grips for broken
conductor strands. Disassemble plugs as necessary to
inspect and correct problems.
g) Verify that strain relief clamps of plugs and connectors properly grip cord jackets tightly across the
full width and depth of the clamp.

a) Ensure that wiring devices are listed for the


installed environment and are compatible with
device ratings and configurations.
b) Verify that wiring devices are securely fastened to
outlet and device boxes. Verify that appropriate coverplates are installed and secure, and contact the finished surface on all edges.
c) Check receptacles for firm contact grip of the
inserted plug blades each time equipment is connected or disconnected from the device.
d) Visually inspect wiring devices for evidence of
physical or thermal damage before each use, and at
least monthly. Check for increased temperatures in
receptacles and switches with suitable heat indicating
or sensing devices at least annually, or more frequently if suspect. Inspect wiring devices for signs of
alteration to achieve unintended connectability. Shut
off, do not use, and replace damaged, discolored, disfigured, modified, hot, sparking, popping, or otherwise suspect wiring devices, or if ozone is detected in
their immediate vicinity.
15

(This annex is not part of the standard)

Annex A: NEMA Wiring Device


Configuration Chart
Please see wiring device configuration charts on the following two pages.
Charts reprinted from ANSI/NEMA WD-6-2002 (R2008) Wiring DevicesDimensional Specifications by permission of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Copyright 2008 by the National Electrical
Manufacturers Association. All rights including translation into other languages, reserved under the Universal
Copyright Convention, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, and the
International and Pan American Copyright Conventions.

16

Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices

NECA 130

17

NECA 130

18

Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices

(This annex is not part of the standard)

Annex B: Reference Standards

This publication, when used in conjunction with the National Electrical Code and manufacturers literature,
provides recommended guidelines for installing and maintaining wiring devices. The following publications
may also provide useful information:
National Fire Protection Association
1 Batterymarch Park
Quincy, MA 02169-7471
(617) 770-3000 tel
(617) 770-3500 fax
www.nfpa.org
NFPA 70-2011, National Electrical Code (ANSI)
Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
333 Pfingsten Rd.
Northbrook, IL 60062-2096
Customer Service:
(877) ULHELPS (1-877-854-3577) tel
(360) 817-6278 fax
www.ul.com
UL Standard 498, Attachment Plugs and Receptacles
UL Standard 20, General-Use Snap Switches
National Electrical Manufacturers Association
1300 North 17th Street
Suite 1752
Rosslyn, Virginia 22209
Phone: (703) 841-3200
Fax: (703) 841-5900
www.nema.org
NEMA WD 6-2002 (R2008)

19

NECA 130

Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices

National Electrical Contractors Association


3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 657-3110 tel
(301) 215-4500 fax
www.necanet.org
Current National Electrical Installation Standards published by NECA:
NECA 1-2006, Standard for Good Workmanship in Electrical Construction (ANSI)
NECA 90-2009, Recommended Practice for Commissioning Building Electrical Systems (ANSI)
NECA 100-2006, Symbols for Electrical Construction Drawings (ANSI)
NECA 101-2006, Standard for Installing Steel Conduits (Rigid, IMC, EMT) (ANSI)
NECA 102-2004, Standard for Installing Aluminum Rigid Metal Conduit (ANSI)
NECA/AA 104-2006, Recommended Practice for Installing Aluminum Building Wire and Cable (ANSI)
NECA/NEMA 105-2007, Recommended Practice for Installing Metal Cable Tray Systems (ANSI)
NECA 111-2003, Standard for Installing Nonmetallic Raceways (RNC, ENT, LFNC) (ANSI)
NECA/NACMA 120-2006, Standard for Installing Armored Cable (AC) and Metal-Clad Cable (MC) (ANSI)
NECA 130-2010, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices (ANSI)
NECA 200-2010, Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Temporary Electric Power at
Construction Sites (ANSI)
NECA 202-2006, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Industrial Heat Tracing Systems (ANSI)
NECA 230-2003, Standard for Selecting, Installing, and Maintaining Electric Motors and Motor Controllers (ANSI)
NECA/FOA 301-2009, Standard for Installing and Testing Fiber Optic Cables (ANSI)
NECA 303-2005, Standard for Installing Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) Systems (ANSI)
NECA 305-2001, Standard for Fire Alarm System Job Practices (ANSI)
NECA 331-2009, Standard for Building and Service Entrance Grounding and Bonding
NECA 400-2007, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Switchboards (ANSI)
NECA 402-2007, Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Motor Control Centers (ANSI)
NECA/EGSA 404-2007, Standard for Installing Generator Sets (ANSI)
NECA 406-2003, Standard for Installing Residential Generator Sets (ANSI)
NECA 407-2009, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Panelboards (ANSI)
NECA 408-2009, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Busways (ANSI)
NECA 409-2009, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Dry-Type Transformers (ANSI)

20

Standard for Installing and Maintaining Wiring Devices

NECA 130

NECA 410-2005, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Liquid-Filled Transformers (ANSI)
NECA 411-2006, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) (ANSI)
NECA 420-2007, Standard for Fuse Applications (ANSI)
NECA 430-2006, Standard for Installing Medium-Voltage Metal-Clad Switchgear (ANSI)
NECA/IESNA 500-2006, Standard for Installing Indoor Commercial Lighting Systems (ANSI)
NECA/IESNA 501-2006, Standard for Installing Exterior Lighting Systems (ANSI)
NECA/IESNA 502-2006, Standard for Installing Industrial Lighting Systems (ANSI)
NECA 503-2005, Standard for Installing Fiber Optic Lighting Systems
NECA/BICSI 568-2006, Standard for Installing Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling (ANSI)
NECA/MACSCB 600-2003, Recommended Practice for Installing and Maintaining Medium-Voltage Cable
(ANSI)
NECA/NEMA 605-2005, Recommended Practice for Installing Underground Nonmetallic Utility Duct (ANSI)
NECA 700-2010, Standard for Installing Overcurrent Protection to Achieve Selective Coordination (ANSI)

21

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National Electrical Contractors Association


3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100
Bethesda, Maryland 20785
301-657-3110 301-214-4500 fax
www.necanet.org
Index # NECA 130-10 | 5C-9/10