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#184917 - 02/25/09 03:03 PM flexible cord thru drop ceiling?
CRW Offline

Registered: 02/11/01
Posts: 160
Loc: Bethlehem, PA USA
Are there any scenarios where you can run a flexible cord through a drop ceiling? I was told we could run a cord from a box above a ceiling, through the tile, with a cord connector on the end. This is for an appliance that is in the middle of an institutional kitchen, away from the wall, so we can't use a fixed receptacle. 400.8(2) seems to not permit this, but it also says, "Unless specifically permitted in 400.7..." which could then refer to 400.7(6)&(8). I questioned this whole thing at work (without citing the actual code, I didn't have it with me at the time) but the foreman said it was OK to do. What do you think?

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#184919 - 02/25/09 03:29 PM Re: flexible cord thru drop ceiling? [Re: CRW]
leland Offline

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
400.7 says nothing of passing through ceilings. it speaks to cords for equipment.
400.8 is the guide.

I would install a ceiling box and drop a cord with strain relief and twist lock cap.Don't forget,if it is 120 volt 15 or 20A GFCI is needed. 210.8(B)(2)

Edited by leland (02/25/09 03:30 PM)
Edit Reason: 210.8

#184921 - 02/25/09 04:56 PM Re: flexible cord thru drop ceiling? [Re: leland]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5193
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Passing a cord through the ceiling tile, as you describe, is a code violation in two ways: there's a flexible cord above the grid, and the cord is passing through a partition.

That said ... I recognize that this is often done, and that circumstances often make even a ceiling box impractical. I'm not quite sure where to go with this ... maybe a proposal for the next NEC cycle - but I'm not sure how one would write it.

Drop ceilings, once the 'wunderkind' of building, are quickly becoming a major headache. Perhaps their time has passed.

#184927 - 02/25/09 05:49 PM Re: flexible cord thru drop ceiling? [Re: renosteinke]
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6602
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Another old addage from NJ....

"Drop ceilings hide a multitude of sins"

That said, cord thru the tile is a no-no. A ceiling grid mounted box, suitable coverm strain relief, & TL is accepted

However, a TL recept mounted in the ceiling box, face down, that the cord from the equip plugs into may be a better way.

Some AHJ's cite the cord from the ceiling box in the first scenario as using cord for permanent wiring, and red flag this, absed on 400.7 & 400.8 interpertations.


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