NFPA 79 Cable Requirements

In 2007, NFPA update involved cable selection options required under section, which indicated that single- or multi-conductor AWM was not permitted unless the completed assembly was listed prior for such use. In NFPA 79 2012, AWM was permitted as long as certain requirements were met as specified within the standard. That being said, the acceptability of AWM required a thorough review of the standard because the allowance was not automatic. If the requirements were not followed, or deemed non-compliant by the inspection authority, serious repercussions could occur. With the release of NFPA 79 2018, this edition now also makes reference to cable in Chapter 4 “General Requirements and Operating Conditions”. Traditionally with previous NFPA 79 revisions any references to Wire and Cable was dedicated primarily to Chapters 12 and 13. Cable has been mentioned under chapter 4 as it directly corresponds to the conditions surrounding Variable Frequency and Servo Drive Systems. This topic is further discussed in the LAPP’s latest edition of the NFPA 79 white paper.

Perhaps one of the most overlooked items regarding the installation of equipment and machines in an industrial or commercial setting is selection of the proper cable. This could be due to expenses surrounding the original purchase price of machines, equipment, and mounting hardware (conduits, trays, raceways), plus labor costs necessary to complete the installation. Intentional or not, cable election seems to be given a secondary degree of attention in the design and installation process. Unfortunately, this can prove to be very costly to the building contractor, machine fabricator, manufacturing occupant, and all others involved in the process. Today, with the ever increasing prevalence of lawsuits and insurance liability issues, proper cable selection is now more important than ever.

In keeping with the principles of the Lapp Group, customer education is at the top of the list. We strive to keep our customers aware of breaking industry changes. For a more detailed technical explanation, please see our White Papers.

It is of utmost importance to always remember that upon an inspection any of the cabling used is subject to interpretation by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). Only the AHJ has the experience and proper qualifications to provide final determination concerning cabling installation requirements. While Lapp USA can offer an opinion concerning interpretation of certain aspects of National Electrical Code (NEC) articles or NFPA 79 regulations, we are prohibited from providing any type of final determination.

To view NFPA 79 Compliant Cables please click here.