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#91011 - 12/22/04 09:07 AM Switch Plates  
George Little  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
I have an Engineer/Architect who insist on using part of a removable trim piece as a cover plate for switch or receptacle openings. He does a super job of routering out the wood "plate" and lining the side facing the switch with metal duct tape. I'm trying to understand why this should or should not be acceptable. I don't find where this needs to be a "listed" product nor are boxes required to be listed. Have any of you guys/girls run into this in your travels?


George Little

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#91012 - 12/22/04 11:26 AM Re: Switch Plates  
winnie  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 649
boston, ma
I've seen wood switchplates for sale, both in the big orange store and online, eg. http://www.eclectic-ware.com/Eclectic-ware_navigator/switchplates/switchplates.html

-Jon


#91013 - 12/22/04 01:53 PM Re: Switch Plates  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,069
Estero,Fl,usa
Why don't you just have him router out a bit more wood so a "handy box" cover will fit under the trim? As long as the trim piece can be removed without disturbing the building finish I have no problem with that part but I do think the cover needs to be non combustible.
Would you let someone bush out a box set an inch back in a combustible wall with this tape?
If so, hold your nose and OK it. I wouldn't.


Greg Fretwell

#91014 - 12/22/04 05:06 PM Re: Switch Plates  
DougW  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
North Chicago, IL
I'll spot winnie on this one... wood switch & receptacle plates have been available for years.

Not sure if they're Listed, but I've seen 'em ...


#91015 - 12/23/04 02:13 AM Re: Switch Plates  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,069
Estero,Fl,usa
Cube taps are available too but you don't want to see one as part of the installation when you inspect it.
Explain to me what the difference is between having a wooden trim piece serving as a cover and having 1/2" of combustible wall covering exposed from the box lips to the cover.

BTW who says covers don't have to be listed. There are listing marks on the ones I am looking at as we speak (Leviton plastics)
Just because the "fabulous folks" have some boutique covers they can trick Walmart into selling doesn't mean I have to approve them.


[This message has been edited by gfretwell (edited 12-23-2004).]


Greg Fretwell

#91016 - 12/23/04 09:19 AM Re: Switch Plates  
George Little  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
Greg- I'll take it one step more, I don't have to accept them even if they are Listed. As it turns out they aren't required to be listed. per NEC. The "plates" I had questioned have no combustible material exposed to the electrical components of the switch or receptacle. Actually they were rather well crafted. Must of cost a fair amount of money to have the finish carpenter spend all that time with the router etc.
I make the statement in my classes that nothing in our trade is required to be UL Listed just to get their attention and it usually works. But it's true.


George Little

#91017 - 12/23/04 01:58 PM Re: Switch Plates  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,069
Estero,Fl,usa
"I make the statement in my classes that nothing in our trade is required to be UL Listed just to get their attention and it usually works. But it's true."

Ah so you are the guy who OK's plumbing fittings in RNMC runs and receptacles mounted in soap bottles. I wondered. ;-)

110.2 Approval.
The conductors and equipment required or permitted by this Code shall be acceptable only if approved.
Article 100
Approved. Acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.

I see your point but approved usually means listed.


Greg Fretwell

#91018 - 12/23/04 05:05 PM Re: Switch Plates  
HotLine1  Offline


Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,809
Brick, NJ USA
I looked at a few store bought plates, both switch and receptacle, single & 2-gang:

UL insignia on back of plate, (3 out of 4); plates were/are various species of "wood", pine, oak, TEAK, etc.

Back of the plate has a recessed metal plate the size of a 1 or 2 gang cutout box. I guess the metal plate satisfies UL's requirements. Metal plate appears to be < 1/16" thick. I'll have to buy one, and rip it apart.

I have seen these plates at the big orange, big blue, and a few specialty shops.

Will I accept them?? Installed properly; yes.

John


John

#91019 - 12/23/04 05:23 PM Re: Switch Plates  
George Little  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
Quote
Ah so you are the guy who OK's plumbing fittings in RNMC runs and receptacles mounted in soap bottles. I wondered. ;-)

Oops your wise to me. The secret is out. Now I must assume a new identity. The jig is up. Now all the low lifes will come to Michigan and work in my area. Greg if I thought you were serious I'd be insulted but I know your not. We have some towns around my area that the adminstration insist that all equipment be UL listed and I find this not practical. There are a lot of items that are not listed yet are very well accepted in the electrical industry. This forum is an excellent place to compare notes for inspectors and contractors. Always a pleasure to banter with you.


George Little

#91020 - 12/23/04 11:32 PM Re: Switch Plates  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,069
Estero,Fl,usa
Yup you are right, I'm just poking fun at you.
Have a good holiday


Greg Fretwell


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