Charlie Trout

Code Contributor

Charlie Trout is most known for his work with the National Electrical Code (NEC). He helped write the NEC Since 1990; he was a member of NECA’s National Codes & Standards Committee and chairman of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s Code-Making Panel 12 (on cranes and lifts). He was also an acknowledged expert on electric motors for industrial applications and was the chief author of NECA 230 2003, Standard for Selecting, Installing, and Maintaining Electric Motors and Motor Controllers (ANSI). In 2001, he was named chairman of NECA’s Technical Subcommittee on Wiring Methods, which is responsible for NEIS publications dealing with the installation of raceways, cables, support systems, and related products and systems.

He was the president of Main Electric in Chicago and worked as a technical consultant for Maron Electric in Skokie, Ill. As a member of the Western Section of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors, he not only conducted notably thorough inspections but also helped create a cadre of inspectors whom he trained to his high standards as a code-enforcement instructor at Harper College.

In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training and was inducted into the Academy of Electrical Contracting that same year.

From 2009 through 2013, he wrote for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR.

He was the author of an important textbook, "Electrical Installation and Inspection." Moreover, he reached thousands of participants in the electrical industry as the author of NECA’s popular Code Question of the Day (CQD). Each weekday, about 9,000 subscribers received a practical mini-lesson in how to apply the requirements of the latest NEC.

In October 2015, Charlie Trout passed away. He will be missed.

Articles by Charlie Trout

December 2013
Charlie Trout, author of Code FAQs and Code Question of the Day, has retired. Enjoy these highlights from his past responses. Sealing conduit that passes into refrigerated room
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  • GFCI protection at in-ground swimming pool

November 2013
Charlie Trout, author of Code FAQs and Code Question of the Day, has retired. 
For the rest of 2013, enjoy these snippets from his daily responses.
 Calculating conductors and breakers
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  • Service panel makeup

October 2013
Charlie Trout, author of Code FAQs and Code Question of the Day, has retired. 
For the rest of 2013, enjoy these snippets from his daily responses.
 Follow specs or nameplate?
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September 2013
Editor’s note: Charlie Trout is moving on to retirement. This edition of Code FAQs will be the last collection of questions and answers he will provide. For the next few months, tune in for a “best of” series of Code Questions of the Day by Charlie. A new writer will be introduced in January. READ MORE
August 2013
If you have a problem related to the National Electrical Code (NEC), are experiencing difficulty in understanding a Code requirement, or are wondering why or if such a requirement exists, ask Charlie, and he will let the Code decide. Questions can be sent to codefaqs@earthlink.net. Answers are based on the 2011 NEC.
 Grounding well casings
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July 2013
If you have a problem related to the National Electrical Code (NEC), are experiencing difficulty in understanding a Code requirement, or are wondering why or if such a requirement exists, send in your questions and we will let the Code decide. Questions can be sent to codefaqs@earthlink.net. Answers are based on the 2011 NEC. READ MORE
June 2013
If you have a problem related to the National Electrical Code (NEC), are experiencing difficulty in understanding a Code requirement, or are wondering why or if such a requirement exists, ask Charlie, and he will let the Code decide. Questions can be sent to codefaqs@earthlink.net. Answers are based on the 2011 NEC.
 The purpose of overcurrent protection
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May 2013
If you have a problem related to the National Electrical Code (NEC), are experiencing difficulty in understanding a Code requirement, or are wondering why or if such a requirement exists, ask Charlie, and he will let the Code decide. Questions can be sent to codefaqs@earthlink.net. Answers are based on the 2011 NEC.
 Connecting the grounding 
electrode conductor
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April 2013
If you have a problem related to the National Electrical Code (NEC), are experiencing difficulty in understanding a Code requirement, or are wondering why or if such a requirement exists, ask Charlie, and he will let the Code decide. Questions can be sent to codefaqs@earthlink.net. Answers are based on the 2011 NEC.
 Considering voltage drop
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