I have a question concerning floor mounted receptacles. The location is a church platform constructed of OSB sheeting. I am the electrical contractor on this church addition but the church members, some of which are employed as electricians, have taken responsibility for installing everything for the sound system and receptacles on the platform. My prints instructed me to supply (4) 120V 20A circuits to the platform and deadend them in 4x4x2-1/8 boxes under the raised platform. It isn't uncommon for the platform receptacles to be located towards the end of these jobs(I do a lot of churches)after they have come up with their new platform layout but I usually install the floor boxes/receptacles. I always use a Raco 6224 listed floor box and cover for floor boxes I install and have always assumed a listed floor box had to be used. The "electricians" at this church have installed gangable wall boxes with plaster ears in the OSB floor securing the boxes to the floor with drywall screws through the plaster ears. I don't know of a 2 gang receptacle cover that I would be comfortable installing in a floor. I don't see a double duplex receptacle and plastic cover surviving a spike high heal or chair leg. What code reference could I give them to deter them from proceeding with their plan?
Whats that they say about great minds thinking alike? I have just sent the violations forum a pic of this exact violation!
Your problems with using a 'standard box' are numerous. You've already identified the problem of someone breaking the coverplate. You are also not able to adjust the heigth of the box, to acount for the finished floor. The box itself is only supported on one side. And- An unused receptacle is fully exposed to water and falling debris.
Ironically, it is the flush mounting of the box that makes this different from, say, mounting plugmold on the floor. I suppose that, were the receptacle mounted in a place that you could be confident it would never be stepped on (like under an altar), you might be able to get away with it. Otherwise- forget it- use the right box!
I priced on made by Carlon at the parts house, and I think it cost $10....quite affordable!)
What code reference could I give them to deter them from proceeding with their plan?
Forget the code for a moment and think about the church members employed as electricians. This is a BIG sore point with me.
You probably remember the pastor who was electrocuted a few months ago. His death was directly attributable to an unqualified and unlicensed individual who installed and wired the heaters in the baptismal.
No way would I stand for this, I don't care who they are, and neither should you. If the church won't listen to reason I wouldn't hesitate for a second to turn them in. If your religious convictions get in the way of your professionalism then perhaps you shouldn't be working there.
This stuff has got to stop!
[This message has been edited by hbiss (edited 03-20-2006).]
Funny you say "High heel"... I have a personal rule for floor outlets... "Must be able to support 350# woman standing on sigle high heeled shoe..." Which rules out most cut in versions unless proper blocking is installed. My reasoning for it, a guy I used to work with installed one, and along comes the movers to bring in a client things and one wheel of a 2-wheeled cart pushed the box right through the floor. I had to go fix it, with the 350# client standing there saying, "I could have put my foot through that."
Some cut in versions are actually a 1 gang cut in, and suposedly listed for the purpose. (Off the top of the head... Cant remember the brand, but don't think the make a 2 gang version like it.) I won't install it if I can't get bracing up under the sub-floor, and under the ears where they sit on finish, and a heavey brass plate is installed, spanning the weakend opening. To do otherwise, you would have a sort of cantelevered portion of sub-floor on one or more sides of the box. Just waiting for that 350# woman!
Either way, I think a good replacement for your current situation would be a suitable box and properly braced.
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: Floor boxes#63526 03/21/0609:27 AM03/21/0609:27 AM
"No way would I stand for this, I don't care who they are, and neither should you. If the church won't listen to reason I wouldn't hesitate for a second to turn them in. If your religious convictions get in the way of your professionalism then perhaps you shouldn't be working there." hbiss, you are assuming a lot with that statement. MY work has been properly inspected and passed by the AHJ on rough-in. Being a reasonable person(or at least I like to think so)my intention was to approach these guys before final to give them a chance to correct their violations. They are licensed electricians in their area. If they leave their floor boxes as they are I will be pointing them out to the AHJ on final as well as the fact that they were not on the prints and outside of the scope of my contract. The breakers serving these receptacles will also be locked out with my Brady lockout/tagout kit until the AHJ signs off on their install. My religous convictions do not interfere with my professionalism. I have no idea where you got that from. I simply prefer to give someone the opportunity to correct something like this before I run and tell on them. If that makes me unprofessional then so be it. I also don't understand what your "sore point" is. The church has pulled a separate permit for the work they are doing themselves on the remodeling of the existing part of the building. Work that licensed tradesmen who happen to be members of the church perform permitted work on the church is none of my business. When it involves connection to my installation I step in and make sure it is in compliance with the NEC. I think that's fair and professional. Life it hard enough without lugging around a huge chip on my shoulder. An old guy once told me that a chip on the shoulder is a pretty good indication of wood farther on up.
Re: Floor boxes#63527 03/21/0610:26 AM03/21/0610:26 AM
Try not to take things too personal. We once had a series of pics here of church wiring, done by volunteers. The discussion that followed revealed that many of us had encountered unacceptable wiring in these situations.
The most common theme was the use of residential methods in a location (the church) that required commercial practices. In Reno, that means "No Romex, no plastic pipe," etc. This is but one of the reasons the mention of "Church work" make many of us shudder- and start looking for the exits!
To answer your question, equipment must be intended for its' environment, and must be used according to its' listing. "Cut in" boxes, even the metal ones, are not listed as floor boxes. Nor are the covers listed for being stepped upon. With the boxes attached to the sub-floor, you are probably also going to have flammable material (the floor) exposed to the contents of the box. It's likely the carpenters didn't even know a real box existed for this use. Unless these are in a protected location (say, under a table), they just won't do.
Reno, Point well taken. I am an EC that does several churches every year. It's not uncommon for church members to offer "sweat equity" on these jobs. I always politely decline. If someone at the church wants to do part of the work they can pull a separate permit for it. I usually involve the AHJ in these situations to make sure everyone is clear on what work is in the scope of my contract and what's not. Usually involving the AHJ discourages them but sometimes, when there is a licensed electrician at the church, it doesn't. I have declined a church job or two when they just wanted me to install the service and let them take it from there. It takes diplomacy to let folks know what is at stake for me as an EC without needlessly offending someone. What I objected to in hbiss post was the reference to"religous convictions getting in the way of professionalism". I didn't see anything in my post that should have provoked that. I have participated on this forum a long time and appreciate all of the help I have received.
Ok, I'll admit I was assuming something and was out of line with the "religious convictions" statement, at least in your case. But it's not unusual for somebody belonging to a church to call themselves an electrical or sound contractor when they possess little more than a familiarity with the subject.
Your statement church members, some of which are employed as electricians...led me to believe that these people have nothing in the way of experience except the desire to help the church. In a later post you say that "they are licensed electricians in their area".
We come down hard on DIY's and homeowners who do electrical work and what they do only affects their own safety and that of their family. When a church encourages their own to do work it can endanger hundreds of innocent people yet the attitude is to look the other way because they are a church. This tragically resulted in a death as I mentioned above.