National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Question:

Charlie,

I have been diligently following the discussion and comments on Flexible Cords above ceilings and the reference to NEC 400.12 (5), and I thank you for your enlightening responses.  I would, however, like you to respond to 400.10 (6) and (8) as well as the phrase in 400.12 which makes reference to "specifically permitted" in 400.10.  This seems to be a conflict and what would define "frequent interchange."

Thank you in advance, Jim Sherbundy

A

Answer:

Hey Jim thanks for your question. You have a point that the phrase "Unless specifically permitted in 400.10" does not seem to be very clear with all of the items in 400.12. Flexible cords are only permitted to be used if they meet one or more of the conditions stated in 400.10 and are not specifically prohibited in 400.12. Flexible cords are allowed to connect utilization equipment if it will be frequently interchanged [400.10(A)(6)] and for certain appliances [400.10(A)(8)] - but not if the flexible cord is above a ceiling. Frequent is not defined in Article 400 or Article 100 but standard definitions explain it to mean being repeated, or many times, or at regular intervals. Kind of like being a regular at the pub or tavern.

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ABOUT CHARLIE: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Charlie was also a member of NECA’s Academy of Electrical Contracting. Charlie’s experienced team of industry experts keep the CQD dialogue and discussions active and informative in the spirit of the man himself, as he wanted.

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