ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Top Posters(30 Days)
Potseal 11
Recent Posts
600 KW 120/208 3 Phase Y protection
by Yooperup. 07/24/17 12:20 PM
1913 American Electrician's Handbook
by gfretwell. 07/20/17 01:08 PM
Green House wiring
by ghost307. 07/20/17 09:10 AM
Permit Snafus...AHJs and Contractors Jump in
by HotLine1. 07/18/17 08:06 PM
New in the Gallery:
SE cable question
Popular Topics(Views)
239,282 Are you busy
174,742 Re: Forum
167,119 Need opinion
Who's Online Now
2 registered members (gfretwell, Yooperup), 77 guests, and 8 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#92872 - 04/14/05 09:02 PM Cords above suspended ceilings  
George Little  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
There seems to be a lot of controversy about installing a receptacle (120v 20a) above a suspended ceiling and plugging in equipment such as a condensate pump or other equipment. I would like to hear some different opinions and code references.


George Little

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides

#92873 - 04/14/05 09:31 PM Re: Cords above suspended ceilings  
shortcircuit  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 608
massachusetts
Well, 400.8(5)seems to restrict the use of flexible cord from above a dropped or suspended ceiling...

But, the restrictions of 400.8 only apply to installations not allowed by 400.7

So, wouldn't 400.7(6) allow equipment such as a condensate pump with a manufacturer installed flexible cord and attachment plug be allowed to be pluged into a receptacle outlet as described in 400.7(B)

Nothing would restrict the installation of a receptacle outlet above a dropped ceiling and if the flexible cord were not installed as a permanent wiring method than IMO, it would be a code compliant installation.

shortcircuit


#92874 - 04/14/05 09:36 PM Re: Cords above suspended ceilings  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Personally, I think the code has gone farther than necessary, and that it should be revised to allow for some use of flexible cord above dropped ceilings.


#92875 - 04/14/05 09:45 PM Re: Cords above suspended ceilings  
Joe Tedesco  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Flexible cord is required to be visible for its entire length outside the luminaire (fixture)

See 410.30(C)(1)(1)(2)(a)


Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

#92876 - 04/15/05 03:04 AM Re: Cords above suspended ceilings  
macmikeman  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 717
Honolulu, Hawaii
However for some strange reason you can conciel that very same cord behind your dishwasher.


#92877 - 04/15/05 09:40 AM Re: Cords above suspended ceilings  
George  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 375
I agree with shortcircuit.


#92878 - 04/15/05 01:02 PM Re: Cords above suspended ceilings  
Alan Nadon  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 399
Elkhart, IN. USA
Check the NEC handbook. Section 400.7 & 400.8 In their comment {not enforcable as Code} it states: "may not be used as a substitute for fixed wiring ...or where concealed behind... ceilings (including structural, suspended or dropped-type ceilings)."
The Handbook is intended to explain and establish consistency in understanding the Code.
In other words a ceiling is a ceiling even if it has accessable panels. If you wouldn't allow it above a fixed ceiling then don't allow it above a suspended ceiling.
Alan- an Inspector


Alan--
If it was easy, anyone could do it.

#92879 - 04/15/05 04:57 PM Re: Cords above suspended ceilings  
Dnkldorf  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
nowhere usa
Alan, could you define "fixed wiring"?

I have seen alot of sjo and so cords that originate in 1900 boxes above drop cielings and "drop" out of the cielings to work stations below.

Fixed wiring to me sounds like it has to have a removable plug and not wire nutted in the box. And the cord I see is for movable work stations?

This sounds non-allowable then.
What's your take?


#92880 - 04/15/05 07:48 PM Re: Cords above suspended ceilings  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Dnkldorf, that is exactly the situation I had in mind when I commented that the code needs to be changed. I fail to see how a foot or so of cord can make a significant addition to the fire load above the ceiling, or how those crumbly tiles can damage the cords.

I think that, on this issue, the code has passed "safe minimum" and attempted to mandate "perfect ideal."

And, lest anyone misunderstand my context, I say that the code precludes flex cord above the ceiling- and I think the code ought to be changed to allow some!


#92881 - 04/16/05 07:39 AM Re: Cords above suspended ceilings  
iwire  Offline
Moderator
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
I will contain my first comments to what IMO the code requires.

IMO it is clear the NEC does not allow one inch of cord above a suspended ceiling.

I have been convinced of this by other members here like Joe T and Don.

Also starting with the 2002 code the inspectors in my area will not allow cord connected condensate pumps above the ceiling.

Two choices, pump on the wall below the ceiling or tell the HVAC contractor to supply pumps that can be hardwired.

Another item we run into is motorized video projector mounts.

These retract the video projectors above the suspended ceilings. Previously we where putting plugs above the ceiling for these, now the inspectors require the plug to be installed on the underside of the ceiling and the cords must stay below the ceiling as well. Very ugly and the customers hate it.

Now some personal opinion, I think it is time for the manufactures to catch up with the NEC on this issue. The equipment should be provide with an option for 'hard' wiring if the equipment is designed or intended for ceiling use.

I do not believe it is wise to have cords above ceilings, I have found old cords above ceilings and when flexed the insulation drops off.

There is also the issue of the ceiling often being used for 'other environmental air' and rubber cord is not suitable for use in that space.

I think we should ask ourselves is there a hardship created by the 'no cord' rule that exceeds the problems of complying with it?

What possible reason is there to really need a cord above the ceiling?

Hard wire the equipment! [Linked Image]

JMO, Bob


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Member Spotlight
Grover
Grover
Sebago, ME, USA
Posts: 109
Joined: January 2005
Show All Member Profiles 
Featured:

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Shout Box
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.023s Queries: 15 (0.004s) Memory: 0.8198 MB (Peak: 0.9939 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-07-24 16:35:14 UTC