Where to buy pre-tabbed NEC & NESC HANDBOOK, and should I? - Power Exam Sub Forum - Engineer Boards
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SparkyBill

Where to buy pre-tabbed NEC & NESC HANDBOOK, and should I?

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I got verification from the NCEES that the NEC 2017 will be used for the April 2020 and October 2020 test (thank god) so not switching to the NEC 2020 yet. 

I have more money than I do time, I have heard many people mention that you can buy the NEC HANDBOOK and NESC HANDBOOK already tabbed. Does anyone have a link? i found the Mike Holtz website where he sells his custom tabs but I didn't see anywhere they had them installed. 

Also, do you see a reason for me wanting to buying the book this way? I didn't think "looking through the book to place my tabs" would gain me much knowledge.

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You need to get familiar with the book anyway so you might as well just spend the 15-20 minutes and tab it yourself. 

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I bought Mike Holts tabs and they worked pretty well for me.  I don't recall spending any more than 15-20 mins as LyceeFruit mentioned above to install them.  It wasn't a big deal at all to put them in.  If it only costs a few more bucks to get them installed, that's great if you can find it.

I also bought Tom Henry's key word index.  It's useful, and it helped me a couple of times during the exam, but I knew the sections pretty well by the time the exam came around.  His key words help you find the sections quickly, but I know his page numbers were not always accurate so I just used them to find the relevant sections.  The index at the back of the NEC 2017 is almost as good as TH's key word index.  However, if I had to do it over again I would still have bought it, as it helped at least a couple of times.  

I also highly recommend finding more code related practice exam problems, such as the one Justin Kuawale sells (Eng Pro Guides).  

One more thing...this has not been mentioned as a priority before, but if money is no object, I HIGHLY recommend getting the NFPA 780 (lightning protection).  Not going to say why, just HIGHLY recommend!  😡  That's all I'm going to say about that.  😇

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Another question, does anyone have a preference on the NEC handbook being softbound or hardback? I am seeing the tabs + softbound on Mike Holt's website. I prefer all my books to be hard back if possible. 

There wouldn't be a problem with me buying my handbook on amazon and then buying tabs from him separately would it? 

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If your preference is hardcover and its available, get it.

I'm indifferent personally, paperback weighs less to carry in to the exam room.

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If you prefer hardback, stick with it.  I bought the NESC (Safety Code) and pretty sure I ordered it paperback (but not spiral bound).  It came in the mail spiral-bound.  I was surprised how small and lightweight it looked.  I even did a double-take wondering if I ordered the wrong thing.  I had the PDF of an older version I had printed out and put in a hard binder.  I needed the latest (2017) version so I had to buy it.  I have to say it was easy to navigate through and carry around (when you're making 2-3 trips just to get all your things to the library desk for timed practice exams, weight starts to matter lol).  

There is no problem buying tabs separately.  You can tab your references in any which way you want.  You can even hand write stuff on post-it-notes and use them as tabs as you want to.  You just can't bring post it notes into the exam room (in other words, all your stuff must be tabbed prior to entering the exam room). 

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1 hour ago, LyceeFruit said:

If your preference is hardcover and its available, get it.

I'm indifferent personally, paperback weighs less to carry in to the exam room.

Yeah I don't see it on Amazon or anywhere for the hardback edition. I might be forced to get the softback. 

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Just now, SparkyBill said:

Yeah I don't see it on Amazon or anywhere for the hardback edition. I might be forced to get the softback. 

I'm seeing 2 hardbacks on Amazon at the moment.  Also there are used options.  

If you get the softback, I would recommend the spiral-bound.  Easier to flip-through and navigate than the regular paperback.

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6 minutes ago, MEtoEE said:

If you prefer hardback, stick with it.  I bought the NESC (Safety Code) and pretty sure I ordered it paperback (but not spiral bound).  It came in the mail spiral-bound.  I was surprised how small and lightweight it looked.  I even did a double-take wondering if I ordered the wrong thing.  I had the PDF of an older version I had printed out and put in a hard binder.  I needed the latest (2017) version so I had to buy it.  I have to say it was easy to navigate through and carry around (when you're making 2-3 trips just to get all your things to the library desk for timed practice exams, weight starts to matter lol).  

There is no problem buying tabs separately.  You can tab your references in any which way you want.  You can even hand write stuff on post-it-notes and use them as tabs as you want to.  You just can't bring post it notes into the exam room (in other words, all your stuff must be tabbed prior to entering the exam room). 

1/10 recommend printing and putting into a binder. Thats what I did and it takes up so much space. Binders get heavy. And the rings fail. But I couldn't borrow the copy from work.

The NESC only comes as spiral bound that I've seen

 

And I agree with your tabbing point. I tabbed the NEC with the tabs. And then used post-it flags for the sections that I kept seeing pop up in my practice so I could get these quicker. The NEC tabs are what the NFPA deems handy (I can't speak to the handbook, I have the code book) so extra post-it tabs are key. 

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Just now, LyceeFruit said:

1/10 recommend printing and putting into a binder. Thats what I did and it takes up so much space. Binders get heavy. And the rings fail. But I couldn't borrow the copy from work.

The NESC only comes as spiral bound that I've seen

 

And I agree with your tabbing point. I tabbed the NEC with the tabs. And then used post-it flags for the sections that I kept seeing pop up in my practice so I could get these quicker. The NEC tabs are what the NFPA deems handy (I can't speak to the handbook, I have the code book) so extra post-it tabs are key. 

Yes good point.  I forgot about that.  My NEC has a few handwritten tabs I added after seeing some things in sections that weren't tabbed.

You're probably right about the NESC coming in spiral-bound only and I just didn't pay attention lol.

Edited by MEtoEE

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Just now, MEtoEE said:

Yes good point.  I forgot about that.  My NEC has a few handwritten tabs I added.

You're probably right about the NESC coming in spiral-bound only and I just didn't pay attention lol.

Really only noticed the spiral bound thing in the last month or so while arguing with my dept head to get updated versions & extra copies lol

In that time, I learned that there were tabs for the NESC. Which I don't think are as necessary as the tabs for the NEC. The questions on the test for the NESC aren't that bad and the index in the NESC is a lot more useful so could just have personal tabs and save money there. 

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I tabbed my own NESC and you're right about the index.  

Just out of curiosity I just looked up NFPA 780 (lightning protection) and I'm still appalled at how much these things cost.  😡

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19 minutes ago, MEtoEE said:

I'm seeing 2 hardbacks on Amazon at the moment.  Also there are used options.  

If you get the softback, I would recommend the spiral-bound.  Easier to flip-through and navigate than the regular paperback.

Can you please post a link for the spiral version to the amazon search you found, and if its against the rules simply PM me instead?  I can't get it to pull up for me. :(

After getting my last "how to pass the PE  guide" book in spiral bound I've learned to love them!

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Posting references to books aren't against the rules (that I know of anyway).  

NESC 2017 Spiral Bound (Amazon lists a paper-back option above the "spiral bound", which I thought I bought but it came spiral anyway.  Probably better in my opinion since when it lays completely flat no matter what section you're in.

https://www.amazon.com/National-Electrical-Safety-Code-C2-2017/dp/1504419936/ref=tmm_other_meta_binding_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

NEC 2017 Spiral Bound:

https://www.amazon.com/NFPA-70-National-Electrical-Code/dp/1455912794/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=nec+2017+handbook+spiral&qid=1573501556&s=books&sr=1-4

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26 minutes ago, MEtoEE said:

I tabbed my own NESC and you're right about the index.  

Just out of curiosity I just looked up NFPA 780 (lightning protection) and I'm still appalled at how much these things cost.  😡

I don't think it's a necessity to get that book (I didn't look up the cost), I did take the exam this cycle so I know why you're suggesting to get it. 

But unless NCEES releases a new exam spec for Spring 2020, I don't think it should be purchased *yet* 

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PE Electrical and Computer:  Power exam converts to CBT (computer based testing) starting in 2021, so I'm wondering if that's when they'll write a new exam spec.

I guess what I'm saying is, I doubt they would write a new exam spec for 2020, since it will just be one year before they convert to CBT.

 

Edited by MEtoEE

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6 minutes ago, MEtoEE said:

PE Electrical and Computer:  Power exam converts to CBT (computer based testing) starting in 2021, so I'm wondering if that's when they'll write a new exam spec.

I guess what I'm saying is, I doubt they would write a new exam spec for 2020, since it will just be one year before they convert to CBT.

 

I totally agree, it'd be ridiculous and OP confirmed with NCEES that NEC 2017 will be used for the 2 2020 exams. 

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51 minutes ago, LyceeFruit said:

I don't think it's a necessity to get that book (I didn't look up the cost), I did take the exam this cycle so I know why you're suggesting to get it. 

But unless NCEES releases a new exam spec for Spring 2020, I don't think it should be purchased *yet* 

The exam spec does not list that NFPA 780. It may be useful to have to understand what is in the code, but it is not *needed* as a reference for the exam. I feel very confident in my answers to the exam questions on lighting protection without having this code accessible during the exam. The old adage of "using the test to take the test" seems appropriate for this subject.

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Just now, DilutedAr18 said:

The exam spec does not list that NFPA 780. It may be useful to have to understand what is in the code, but it is not *needed* as a reference for the exam. I feel very confident in my answers to the exam questions on lighting protection without having this code accessible during the exam. The old adage of "using the test to take the test" seems appropriate for this subject.

100% agree

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1 hour ago, MEtoEE said:

Posting references to books aren't against the rules (that I know of anyway).  

NESC 2017 Spiral Bound (Amazon lists a paper-back option above the "spiral bound", which I thought I bought but it came spiral anyway.  Probably better in my opinion since when it lays completely flat no matter what section you're in.

https://www.amazon.com/National-Electrical-Safety-Code-C2-2017/dp/1504419936/ref=tmm_other_meta_binding_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

NEC 2017 Spiral Bound:

https://www.amazon.com/NFPA-70-National-Electrical-Code/dp/1455912794/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=nec+2017+handbook+spiral&qid=1573501556&s=books&sr=1-4

Your last link isn't showing the NEC "handbook" it is showing me just the codebook.

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You're correct.  It may be possible that the NEC 2017 Handbook is only available in hard back.  

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My suggestion would be not to buy a pre tabbed one. Buy NEC untabbed and tab it yourself as you start preparing for the exam. This will help you a lot as you progress with your preparations.

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Does anyone have a link to the hardback HANDBOOK edition? I can't seem to find it. 

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1 hour ago, MEtoEE said:

Sadly looking at the reviews, this isn't a legit copy. This is someone "printing it themselves" and then you buying it with pages upside down etc. :(

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