We ran new bedside circuits with backup power for the machines using hospital wiring methods. The AHJ now wants the lighting to be wired with hospital wiring methods as well. Some of the lighting is existing and some is being added (remodel. We wired the new lighting with regular MC, he wants it changed to hospital grade MC. The original lighting is piped using the emt as the only equipment grounding conductor.
If the fixtures are located more than 7-1/2-feet above the floor and switched from an area outside the patient care are, they donít need to have the redundant ground so, if that's the case, regular MC should be okay there. As I understand it, if the wall switch is located more than 6-feet away from the edge of the bed, it would generally be considered as outside the patient care area. IMO, 517.13,B exception #2 in the 2011 NEC is improperly worded and misleading. The way it references 517.13,A makes it sound like you have to have the redundant ground, which would make no sense, since it negates the purpose of the exception even being in article.
Do they have permanent fixed water and drain connections for the dialysis unit, like in a clinic? I guess technically the area would become a patient care area, but in the hospitals, those portable hemodialysis units just roll into the room and they run long flexible lines to hook up to the sink faucet for water supply and drain them into the toilet of the patient bathroom. They have all the filtration tanks mounted on the back of the cart. The peritoneal units just look like bags hanging from a pole with a cycler unit and a drain line or bag.
There are no water or drain connections, the units are portable and will be wheeled in as needed. Prior to the installation of the bedside circuits for the machines the rooms were only patient sleeping rooms. It looks like the installation of the circuits changed them to patient care areas.
I would like to think that in a controlled setting like a health care facility the abuses would be limited but the more I think about it I do wonder why we go to all the trouble to bring a redundant ground to a receptacle and do not continue it to the equipment that actually connects to the patient. The main problem would be getting it implemented. There are probably a million health care facilities and a 100 million pieces of equipment out there.
If I was king and able to design the new HCF receptacle it would be a 5-15 with a second ground hole in the middle so it would be backward compatible with old equipment and the new plug getting installed on new equipment. Think of the "stimulus", all of those new receptacles we would have to install.
Greg: A small side note to this subject. Our local hospital only 'stocks' HCF devices. Period, that's all they order and have in stock. Office areas, hallways, restrooms, waiting areas, etc. They 'failed' one inspection a few years back for non HCF receptacles in a few new patient rooms, due to what I refer to as 'hurry up fatigue', and were not happy campers. They used to have 'spec' grade in non HCF areas.