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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline OP
Why does this section of the NEC specifically require that receptacles adjacent to the mirror and above the counter be controlled by switches, and why does it require a pilot light outside the dressing-room door?

I wondered whether there might have been some incidents in the past of hair-curling tongs or something similar being left on and causing a fire, hence the exterior pilot lights which could be checked by somebody just walking down the corridor.

However, I've looked back at the same rule in the 1971 code and the different wording makes me question that:
520-73. Switches required. All lights and receptacles in dressing rooms shall be controlled by wall switches installed in the dressing rooms. Each switch controlling receptacles shall be provided with a pilot light to indicate when the receptacle or receptacles are energized.

No mention of the pilot having to be outside in that earlier edition, but it requires all receptacles to be switched, not just ones by the mirror/counter.

Can anybody explain the reasoning behind 520-73 and the progression from the 1971 version to today's version?

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 12-25-2004).]

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Joined: Jan 2001
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Tom Offline
i can't explain the progression, but judging by the commentary in the handbook, creative types aren't too good about unplugging their coffee pots& other heat producing devices in their rush to get out of the theater after a performance. The switch is there so it can be easily accomplished.


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Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 849
During preformances there are Quick and hurried costume changes. They'd found they leave cloths all over during theses hurried changes hanging even on dressing room lights. Curling iron left on ect. Thus many changing room fires. With piolt light and switch they know all lights out. Not the best BUT safer.

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 332
Now here's something stupid, but I was just wondering why there were so many switches with pilot lights on my dressing room. Having never used the rooms except for dressing it never occurred to me what they were even for since they did not control the lights.

Learned something new again today.

Thanks, Shane (P.E. and in Ballet? Something must be wrong.)

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline OP
Thanks for the explanation guys. I guessed that the exposed lamps around the mirrors along cord-connected devices being left on was probably the reason, but it was just the change from the 1971 to the 2002 version I could not figure out.

Maybe the original version of this rule required switches for all receptacles, and it was later proposed that this was overkill, that only receptacles on or near the counter-top need be switched, so it was amended. Sound reasonable?

But what about the pilot lights? If the idea was to allow somebody out in the corridor to see if recepts had been left energized, why does the earlier version of the code not specify pilots outside? The way it's worded would allow the pilot to be on the switch inside, which surely defeats the purpose?

Or was the original intent that an inside pilot would remind people to switch off before running out, and when it was found this didn't always work the code was changed to require an external warning?

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