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#77630 - 06/28/01 06:53 PM Metal or plastic Face plate

We are in a debate on what should, or should not be used. I was told that we must use a metal face plate for Garage GDO's, yet, another electrician told me that it doesn't matter. Which is correct. Note: It made logical since at one point to use the metal, to protect the wires in the GDO's recepticle-if a fire was to break loose. (located in the ceiling of the garage--does not need GFCI protection).

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#77631 - 06/29/01 04:44 AM Re: Metal or plastic Face plate
Redsy Offline

Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
There is a requirement(although the std. escapes me right now. Joe?) that fire ratings must be maintained in the event of penetrations in fire rated walls(attached garages would apply). This includes disallowing back-to-back penetrations in the same stud cavity, limiting the total area of the wall space allowed for device boxes(100, and using metal boxes on fire-rated walls. If a metal box is required to maintain fire resistance ratings, a plastic plate seems to diminish its effectiveness.

#77632 - 06/29/01 05:08 AM Re: Metal or plastic Face plate
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
To properly maintain the fire rating of the ceiling, the box should be wrapped with an approved fire pad. If there was a requirement for metal plates, they would be required in all fire corridors, etc. Besides, why have a metal plate when the fire will burn right through the plastic device?

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 06-29-2001).]

#77633 - 06/29/01 09:12 AM Re: Metal or plastic Face plate
Joe Tedesco Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
Redsy: See the FPN,

Section 300-21. Spread of Fire or Products of Combustion

Electrical installations in hollow spaces, vertical shafts, and ventilation or air-handling ducts shall be made so that the possible spread of fire or products of combustion will not be substantially increased.

Openings around electrical penetrations through fire-resistant-rated walls, partitions, floors, or ceilings shall be firestopped using approved methods to maintain the fire resistance rating.

FPN: Directories of electrical construction materials published by qualified testing laboratories contain many listing installation restrictions necessary to maintain the fire-resistive rating of assemblies where penetrations or openings are made.

An example is the 24-in. (610-mm) minimum horizontal separation that usually applies between boxes on opposite sides of the wall.

Assistance in complying with Section 300-21 can be found in these directories and product listings.
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#77634 - 06/29/01 04:01 PM Re: Metal or plastic Face plate
njelectricmaster Offline

Registered: 04/29/01
Posts: 110
Loc: Lead, South Dakota
Hello From Colorado!!!!!!!

I have noticed on the inside of the plastic boxes that I use, The single gang boxes are rated for 2 hour fire and the 3/0 light boxes are rated for 4 hour fire.

We are required to use only 4 hour fire rated boxes in the cielings.

Any one else???????
Jon Niemeyer

#77635 - 06/29/01 04:28 PM Re: Metal or plastic Face plate
Tom Offline

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
Allied makes 1 & 2 gang fiberglass boxes that are 2 hour rated, can be in the same stud space & don't need putty pads. I don't think a metal faceplate is part of the fire rating on any box.

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

#77636 - 06/29/01 06:19 PM Re: Metal or plastic Face plate
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
I must apologize. I was thinking in terms of metal boxes, which have holes in them.

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 06-29-2001).]


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