The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!


2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Recent Posts
Parking lot pole light swap....
by gfretwell
10/22/16 09:52 PM
International Wire Colour Codes
by Texas_Ranger
10/22/16 08:24 AM
Son of Sparky
by HotLine1
10/20/16 07:43 PM
Speaking of Plugmold ...
by gfretwell
10/17/16 02:37 PM
Broken battery charger? Check for cobwebs!
by gfretwell
10/17/16 02:30 PM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm˛ flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 12
renosteinke 6
HotLine1 6
ghost307 5
Potseal 4
Who's Online
2 registered (gfretwell, mbhydro), 251 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#18047 - 12/05/02 01:11 PM When is temporary NOT temporary?
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
We've all seen these scenarios. Sometimes we've been guilty of them ourselves (we who should know better ).

Your sockets are behind large pieces of furniture like bureaus or beds or closets.
Or the cord on the appliance you wish to install - like a radio or a fax machine on top of the desk is too short to reach the socket on the floor or the wall.

A lot of people take the ever popular extension cord (usually the 16-gauge SPT-type zip cord) and use it to hook up such devices.

Now, I'm not bringing up obvious non-listed uses such as stapling the cord to the wall in a "permanent" fashion - but simply just letting it lie on the floor as if it were a simple elongation of the appliance's cord.

Now...the idea is that the appliance won't ever move from where you put it - the radio/TV or the fan or the desk palmp stays where it is, permanently plugged into this extension cord which is in turn permanently plugged into the outlet with the cord running loosely on the floor out of the way. I would say the same thing for the window air conditioner that is 12 feet away from the nearest outlet and you have to use an "appliance extension cord" running along the side of the room to use it (once again, not stapled).

Is this a safe "listed" use? Would it be considered temporary or permanent?

Or is the definition of "temporary" only applicable to a portable piece of equipment you only use for a little bit (like a drill or a small fan) and then unplug and put away into storage?

I'm curious.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#18048 - 12/05/02 04:45 PM Re: When is temporary NOT temporary?
John Steinke Offline

Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 509
Loc: Reno,Nv., USA
Technically, the 90-day rule applies. This is the reason that UL will not list outlet strips that are, in their opinion, too easy to permanently mount.
If it wasn't for wiremold, there wouldn't be an easy solution.

#18049 - 12/05/02 04:51 PM Re: When is temporary NOT temporary?
Bjarney Offline

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
This is a related question. Has anyone noticed that terminology has changed a bit?

Some (all?) devices that were at one time marked "Temporary Power Tap" are now labeled "Relocatable Power Tap."

#18050 - 12/05/02 05:01 PM Re: When is temporary NOT temporary?
George Offline

Registered: 02/23/02
Posts: 380
The NEC stops at the recept.

I believe that temp as used in the NEC is the use of none UL approved materials in electric circuits. One example might be to make up an extension cord using MN cable to make an extension cord from the temp pole to the breaker box.

#18051 - 12/05/02 05:07 PM Re: When is temporary NOT temporary?
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6791
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Does not the term "extension cord" mean that it's to beused as an extension for an appliance, lamp, or other item?? They are not called "temporary wiring" are they?

To use an extension cord as Sven describes is the intent of usage for this item. Yes, people abuse extension cords; undersized (cheaper ones are OK mentality); and as substitutes for permanent wiring.

If it's used in a proper manner, as Sven describes, whats the problem??


#18052 - 12/06/02 02:44 PM Re: When is temporary NOT temporary?
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
all this 'extention cord' stuff we in the trade are privy to makes me wonder why they just don't make better ones...

or is that a 'wag the dog' comment?

#18053 - 12/06/02 05:46 PM Re: When is temporary NOT temporary?
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
Reminds me of a few Active Bank Branch Remodels, with the AHJs' of City / County of Los Angeles.

Inspectors walking the job for Final Electrical Inspection did not like the useage of the typical Plug-Strips w/ TVSS Protection at the Teller Stations, mostly where the strips had been mounted to the Teller Line via the captive screw mounting slots on the back.

IBM sets up the Equipment all plugged into one strip, then mounts each strip via screws. They also tie wrap everything to minimize sloppy cables.
Makes for a clean install when they are finished.

Per each Teller Station, I design / Install a 4 plex IG receptacle with another Duplex IG receptacle 6" to the right. There is also a 4 plex Convenience receptacle. All outlets fit into a pre-cut "templated" layout.

IBM prefers to use the TVSS protected strips at each point of connection, so all the peripherals + cpu run through one strip.

Long story short [ya, right! ], some Inspectors in LA would not sign off final with the plug strips being used as described above.
Talk about fun, try shuffling Tellers around on a 12 Station Teller Line - 8 Active Tellers - while I brought down each Machine, connected the cords directly to Receptacles, then bring Machine back up!

Many unhappy people!!!

BTW, these Teller Stations [Computers] run OS/2 warp 4x with EXTREME security / firewall protection, virus protection and LAN / WAN connection / verification. 5 Minutes is a "Fast" time for a Cold Boot!

After learning this sweet lesson, prior to Inspection I place all cords into Receptacles and leave the TVSS plug strip plugged in - to attempt in catching locally produced TVSS's.
No one ever changes anything, nor have their been TVSS related problems.
p.s. Each Subpanel designed to drive T/S, W/S and Servers have TVSS protection at the Subpanel.

Scott s.e.t.
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

#18054 - 12/06/02 07:09 PM Re: When is temporary NOT temporary?
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6791
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Man, that sounds like a first class install.
Last one we did:
two circuit IG plugmold; 6" oc; 6' length
twelve receptacles total at each location.
Quad GP receptacle in lower kick area.
Wouldn't ya know.....the computer installer comes in with the power strips and plugs into the GP quad & daisy chains the strips.
AHJ shows for final, sees the strip chains and has a fit! Told him "by others"; waste of breath. Had to get computer guy back, straighten him out, and reschedule inspection.

BTW, We do the TVSS at the panels also.


#18055 - 12/06/02 07:23 PM Re: When is temporary NOT temporary?
INTP Offline

Registered: 09/10/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Dallas, Tx, USA
I only have those bright colored extension cords, myself. No temptation to leave them connected, since I know my wife won't put up with it...

I had an extension cord short out under my bed one night when I was a kid (no load at the time). I've been really adverse to extension cords ever since.


ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals