Panelboard Bonding in Patient Care Vicinities

Krista Biason, PE
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Article 250 of the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) addresses grounding and bonding requirements for electrical installations — addressing topics ranging from bonding jumpers to grounding of electrical equipment to ungrounded systems and even a section on how to prevent “objectionable currents.” What this Article doesn’t address is the specific requirement in health care facilities for bonding of panelboards in patient care vicinities. This requirement is above and beyond the requirements identified in Art. 250.

what-not-to-do.jpgA direct connection from a branch circuit panelboard ground bus to a reference ground bus does not meet the patient care vicinity requirements of NEC 517.14.

Article 517.14 [Panelboard Bonding] of the National Electrical Code (NEC) is one of the unique requirements for a health care facility. It’s been in the NEC for quite a while — at least for the duration of my career. This Article is intended to addresses the risk of creating a potential difference between panelboards that could put a patient at risk for electric shock. Most health care facilities are served by multiple branches of power, and the Code is pretty clear regarding what branch and how many sources of each branch are required (or allowed) in patient care areas.

Read the full article here via Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M). 

Topics: Healthcare, Engineering


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Krista is an electrical engineer with more than 20 years' experience specializing in healthcare electrical design. More >

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