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#100743 - 12/25/06 01:43 PM Holiday Lighting  
George Little  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
Is it safe to take the blinders off now that the Holidays are almost overwith? I do not think it's possible to enforce the electrical code on the multiple code violations people have when they put up their decorations. The only safety net we have is that a big share of them are plugged into GFCI protected openings (I can dream can't I?).

Hope all had a safe holiday and lets look forward to a more productive year in '07.


George Little

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides

#100744 - 12/25/06 02:55 PM Re: Holiday Lighting  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
George, you bring up a few good points. I'd like to toss out a few of them, and maybe stir up some discussion.

I expect that, strictly speaking, the NEC really doesn't apply "after the plug." Those would be appliance issues, not code issues. Even the famous example of dozens of plugs all cobbled together presents no real hazard, as long as the loads are minor.

The wrong equipment used? Cords subject to damage? Sure- but I can't really see what can be done to protect fools from themselves.

Lights with counterfeit UL lables? Sure, but I don't see what Joe Homeowner can do about that.

Some design issues certainly come up. Even today, I see very few homes built with a deliberate allowance for holiday lighting. A lot of 'jury rigging' would be avoided if only a few receptacles were added where lights are likely to be.

We've seen some awesome displays, some with computer controlled lights synchronised to music. This certainly shows a willingness to put lost of effort into doing displays "right."

Maybe a "standard" home ought to have some receptacles in the eaves, a timer built in, and perhaps a couple "Christie" boxes scattered around the yard.

Yet, I get lots of opposition to the required two outdoor receptacles; even more opposition when I want to put them on dedicated circuits. Receptacles under the eaves are unacceptable when presented as "holiday lights," but embraced when presented as "for ice melting." (The last issue, remember, brings up GFI issues).

I'm not sure what to do about receptacles in the shrubbery. At best, they get grown over and covered with mulch; at worst, they get run into with great gusto by the gardener. It never seems you can mount a "Bell" box well enough, and such boxes corrode away when placed in the ground.


#100745 - 12/25/06 10:10 PM Re: Holiday Lighting  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,069
Estero,Fl,usa
I got tired of bell box problems hanging on raceways or rotten 4x4s so I have mine mounted on 3x3 square aluminum tube, set in concrete. I ran water up into the 3x3 and have a hose bib on one side, the plastic FS box on the other with RNC coming up the outside of the post. I have a few of these scattered around the yard. You can sometimes find short pieces of the 3x3 at the scrap yard (along with your stolen wire). I got mine from the screen cage guy in bronze to match my screen cage but you will find white and brushed/anodized too.


Greg Fretwell

#100746 - 12/26/06 06:25 AM Re: Holiday Lighting  
iwire  Offline
Moderator
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
Quote
Maybe a "standard" home ought to have some receptacles in the eaves, a timer built in, and perhaps a couple "Christie" boxes scattered around the yard


Sure, thats a good idea....as long as your footing the bill. [Linked Image]

Seems like overkill to me as many homeowners never install Holiday lighting.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

#100747 - 12/26/06 06:29 AM Re: Holiday Lighting  
iwire  Offline
Moderator
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
Greg I like your style. [Linked Image]

The ability to look at someones 'junk' and find a use for it is IMO a great thing.

My basement is lined with Supermarket shelving that was being tossed out.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

#100748 - 12/26/06 11:21 AM Re: Holiday Lighting  
Elec N Spec  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 33
Rochester Hills, MI USA
I would think that it might be the Fire Marshal who would have more clout when it comes to the "after the plug" way of looking at holiday lighting. I have seen Fire Marshals wreak havoc in commercial buildings when it comes to plug strips and extension cords. I have also seen them require non UL listed rope lights be removed from around windows in retail stores. I think if I saw something that really bothered me I might ask my friendly neighborhood Fire Marshal to join me in doing a little field inspection and see what he had to say about it. Better he be the Scrooge than me. What do you think George?


#100749 - 12/26/06 12:24 PM Re: Holiday Lighting  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,069
Estero,Fl,usa
The fire marshal does not have as much clout in a dwelling as he does in a place open to the public. A homeowner can simply deny him entry. I know inspectors think they have rights to access private property but that is only true if they have an open permit or a warrant. I got this from a muni court judge who addressed a BOAF meeting.
"Law" is one of our required CEUs in Florida these days along with ADA/accessibility.


Greg Fretwell

#100750 - 12/26/06 02:29 PM Re: Holiday Lighting  
HotLine1  Offline


Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,809
Brick, NJ USA
'After the receptacle' for holiday lighting, OK sounds plausable to me. As to the permanent receptacles, that's all NEC.

Holiday lighting wiring is 'temporary', and looked at as 'plug-in'.

I have enough trying to keep the holiday tree vendors lots & trailers 'safe'

My house? adding a few receptacles for next year in 'key' locations.

The Mini properties?? permanent installs are NEC compliant, or the red stickers come out.

Safe and Happy to all

John


John

#100751 - 12/26/06 03:41 PM Re: Holiday Lighting  
George Little  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
Tony- A wise man once told me "George- you can protect the fool but you can't protect the Dam Fool"


George Little

#100752 - 12/26/06 08:04 PM Re: Holiday Lighting  
kale  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 174
Another quote:
It's hard to make something foolproof when fools are so ingenious.


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