Glossary of Terms

clearance. An obstruction-free distance between two objects.

COMCO. Communication company. Overhead cable television and telephone company wires are commonly referred to as COMCO wires.

common ground point. The conductor used to connect the grounding electrode to the equipment grounding conductor and/or to the grounded conductor of the circuit at the service.

conduit. A listed or approved pipe with a smooth interior surface to permit easy drawing in of electrical conductors. A conduit may be metallic or nonmetallic, depending on its usage, in accordance with codes and standards.

corrosion inhibitor. Electrical joint compound used to retard oxidation of electrical connections.

direct burial. The installation of electrical conductors in a trench, without the use of conduit.

distribution design department. The designated representative of FEC, responsible for coordination of new or revised services to FEC members. The distribution design department responds to inquiries on policies, standards, practices, rates, and energy utilization.

drip loop. A loop formed in overhead secondary conductors at the weather head to prevent the entrance of water into the service entrance conduit and equipment.

electrical inspection agency. The qualified representative of a city, county, or State of Montana, who has been authorized by governmental agencies to inspect electric service installations.

FEC. Flathead Electric Cooperative Incorporated

guy. A cable or brace used to relieve the strain of overhead conductors on masts and poles.

listed. Equipment or material accepted by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, inspection agency, or other organization concerned with product evaluation.

meter jaws. Spring-loaded receptacles inside a meter base that connect the terminals of a meter to the source and load conductors of the service.

meter base. The mounting device for socket-type meters, consisting of meter jaws, connectors, and an enclosure.

NEC. National Electrical Code which governs the installation of member electrical equipment.

NEMA. National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

NESC. National Electrical Safety Code which governs FEC electrical equipment.

neutral. The grounded conductor in a single-phase, three-wire or three-phase, four-wire system. The service conductor at zero potential to ground.

point of attachment. The point where the FEC’s service line and the member’s system are interconnected.

qualified worker. An FEC employee who has received specialized training to perform non-electrical work.

seal. A locking device to secure a meter or service entrance equipment to assure safety and security.

select backfill. Native soil or soil brought in from another area, free from sharp objects, rocks, scrap building material, and corrosive material.

self-contained. In reference to meter bases, a device designed and rated to continuously carry the entire capacity of the service. The current self-contained meter base maximum rating typically used is 400 amperes (also called a single-phase class 320 amp meter).

service line. Conductors from FEC’s system to the member’s point of delivery which can be overhead or underground.

service entrance conductors. On overhead services, member owned conductors which extend between the meter base and the point of delivery.

service entrance equipment. Service conduit, conductors, weather head, meter base, pedestal, enclosures, service disconnect, and service panel.

service mast. The conduit above the meter used to provide mechanical protection for the service conductors and to support the service drop.

temporary service. An electrical service installed by the member and connected by FEC to provide power on a temporary basis (for the duration of an electrical permit).

UL. Underwriters Laboratories. A recognized test laboratory which lists materials it has tested and accepted.


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