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#103152 - 05/01/02 11:41 PM Found When Sheetrock Was Removed
Joe Tedesco Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA

Please accept this as a code violation for "What's Wrong Here?"

Flexible cords and cables are not permitted as a substitute for fixed wiring and should not be concealed behind walls.


This photo shows an outlet that was uncovered within an office building when some sheetrock was removed during a major renovation project of the facility.

Please note that the building was purchased by a local University, and the electrical installation may have been done by the original owners.

I believe that this installation could be considered for several violations, but I have
chosen NEC 400-8 (1) and (5).

Dennis L. Ferguson
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

2014 / 2011 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
#103153 - 05/02/02 08:28 AM Re: Found When Sheetrock Was Removed
Bill Addiss Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Admitedly, I'm guessing here that one reason for rules regarding flexible cords has to do with deterioration of the insulation over time. I have seen cords where the (rubberized ?) insulation is at the point where it crumbles when touched. What are the worst types of conditions for flexible cords to be under? ... Hot & Dry?


#103154 - 05/14/02 08:39 PM Re: Found When Sheetrock Was Removed
John Steinke Offline

Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 509
Loc: Reno,Nv., USA
I'd have to look at the UL testing protocols to speculate as to why (or when) romex and SO cord are/are not interchangeable. Off the top of my head, I suppose that, in most situations, using SO in place of a "permanent wiring method" is more of a technical violation than a true hazard. I think that the code section was meant to address the semi-permanent use of extension cords, etc., where more protected methods should be used. I'm only guessing.
As to rubber "crumbling;" this is usually the result of long-term exposure to ozone in the air. Acid in the air can also cause this.
Lest anyone think that I'm endorsing things like the one in the photo- I most certainly am not! I think the "temporary wiring" clause is abused enough as it is. Indeed, the more I work with Romex. MC, etc., the more I like bending pipe!

#103155 - 05/15/02 07:42 AM Re: Found When Sheetrock Was Removed
resqcapt19 Offline

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2209
Loc: IL
I don't think that the jacket of the SO cord stands up over time. I am in the process of removing a DSC system control panel at a chemical plant. The power supplies were cord and plug connected with SO cord and the jackets are falling apart. The THWN and PVC jacketed control cables in the same panel are in perfect shape. The cords and other wiring is all about 12 years old. I would expect that the jacket of NM is PVC like the shielded cables and would stand up much better over time then the SO cord. It is not just the jacket on the SO cord that is crumbling, the insulation on the conductors is also in poor shape, even where it was protected by the outer jacket.

#103156 - 05/18/02 11:34 PM Re: Found When Sheetrock Was Removed
ed-n6ec Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 2
Loc: Fullerton, Calif. USA
The sad part of a kludge installation like the one shown is that it is so easy to do it right, and probably cheaper than using that expensive HD 5-15P plug. Using an extension box and knockout cover on the wall, a short piece of 12-2 BX between the two boxes would work great, be easy to put together, and meet code. Ed.

#103157 - 05/25/02 06:18 PM Re: Found When Sheetrock Was Removed
elektrikguy Offline

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 133
Loc: woodstock,ga,usa
ED, I was just wondering if you would wrap tape around the joints after conceiling joints on a wall? I hope you twist those wires REALLY good?

#103158 - 05/26/02 05:09 AM Re: Found When Sheetrock Was Removed
Gwz Offline

Registered: 04/29/02
Posts: 199
No one has mentioned 314.29 [ 370-29 ] of the original box being accessible.

[This message has been edited by Gwz (edited 05-26-2002).]


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