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Joined: Jan 2005
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Cat Servant
Ah, yes . . . My point exactly!
It’s ironic that the code you cited is fairly recent ( meaning less than a quarter century ago) — right about the time suspended ceilings went out of fashion. That’s about par for the code; after all, it wasn’t until everyone switched to cell phones that the NEC decided to worry about supplying power to your old land-line!
Here’s the rub: For decades large retail spaces — supermarkets, hardware stores, discounters — used large spaces with suspended ceilings. Equipment, such as cash registers, was powered using “drops” from above. These were fine — unless you wanted to power carts of fried chicken that you could move about. Today the cart sits near register #4; tomorrow we’ll want it over by register #7. And, we need to push the card aside each night to make way for the stockboys and cleaners.
Mount a box to the suspended ceiling? Good luck navigating all the code issues that creates.

Now the issue might be moot. When did you last see a “box store” with a drop ceiling? Such stores all have open ceilings, “hiding” the ducts, etc., above the glare of dangling lights. That creates the other situation I’ve shown: pipes dropping from the sky with only the flimsiest support.This is not because the electrician is lazy; there simply isn’t anything to hang your stuff from. On the “plus” side, inspections typically take place before these drops are needed

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Joined: Dec 2000
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AFAIK The prohibition against cord through holes through in ceilings, floors, walls predates my entrance into the trades.

Joined: Jan 2005
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Cat Servant
On word: Dishwashers.

I think the NEC has lost its way.

Codes are “one size fits all” solutions. I believe we’ve forgotten the very first paragraphs in the book. Remember the cautions that the code is a MINIMUM code for SAFETY, that the code is NOT a design manual, that a compliant installation might be inadequate by other measures?

More and more the NEC tries to “improve” Things. “Perfect” is the enemy of “good enough.” Just think of recent additions that require the use of products that didn’t even exist when the code proposals were written.

Other rules appear to exist solely for the convenience of the inspector.

The Code has extended its reach into new areas, proudly forging on, without regard for building design, utility jurisdiction, or changes in our lives.

Especially questionable are the rules that reach beyond the electrical trade into areas that are performed by other trades or are not subject to inspection.

As a result, two things have happened.
First, the code has grown from a pocketbook to a monstrosity larger than the New York phone book.
Second, we’re put in position where even the most conscientious tradesman finds he’s been (as one study argued) committing “three felonies a day.”

Left out of the code is pleasing the customer and good design.

Joined: Jan 2005
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Cat Servant
As for the picture I posted of the polling place with the cords dropping through the suspended ceiling . . . I don’t think any compliant solution is possible.

The room is ordinarily used for meetings, as a staging area, as a social hall, or as a classroom. Having a forest of power drops would preclude such uses. Covering the floor with extension cords introduces countless other issues. Designing a dedicated room for something that happens every other year (elections) is unrealistic. After Election Day, those cords disappear above the tiles until next time.

Lest I risk going too far afield: A year from now I suspect code compliance will be the last matter the election commission will worry about — and even the most arrogant inspector isn’t going to red-tag the place.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,883
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You might be able to squeeze that polling place through the "temporary wiring" loophole. It would require GFCI tho. 590 is really somewhat poorly written since it mostly addresses wiring during construction but it acknowledges Christmas lights are included and we all know the NEC goes on vacation at Christmas. I just see Chevy Chase on a ladder with his T-50, stapling lights to the eaves and remember seeing that going on every December my whole life.
As for "mission creep";
I do agree the manufacturers have way too much power in the CMPs and that leads to abuses where they are simply using the code as a marketing tool for their latest invention, even when it is still an untested design.

Greg Fretwell
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