National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Thursday, August 22, 2019


Re: CQD answer published Thursday, August 15, 2019 -Portable Tool Carts

1)"Portable tool carts" are not listed in article 90.2 Scope. therefore not subject to nec Darren Benevento

2) Hello Charlie. In response to the August 14, 2019 Code Question of the Day, Metal Electrical Boxes Mounted on Portable Carts, I question whether NFPA 70 applies in this case. The application of NFPA 70 is stated in the last paragraph of page 4, and in article 90.2(A) and 90.2(B). A portable tool cart is neither part of a building or facility structure, nor an appliance (400.10(8) since it does not consume electricity as fuel. I can find no specific reference to portable tool carts anywhere in the NFPA 70 or NFPA 79. The Kobalt cart may fall under the advisory requirements of the NEC if the product was submitted to a lab such as UL for product testing and certification, however, that is not likely the case with retrofitted electrical boxes on portable tool carts. In today's work environment, the use of receptacles mounted on any portable tool cart may create problems given OSHA requirements including Ground Fault Circuit Interruption protection for personnel. Richard Sullivan


Hey Darren and Richard thanks for your comments, we can argue this both ways. Portable tool carts are also not in 90.2(B) for Not Covered either. There are many rules for boxes, flexible cords and cord sets in the NEC that are not specifically part of buildings or structures. The NEC purpose is the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity as stated in 90.1(A). If the NEC doesn't apply to electrical wiring on tool cards and other items then what rules would apply? Some tool cards have receptacles, USB ports and surge protection that are part of Relocatable Power Taps that are listed to UL 1363. If that is the case, as opposed to field fabricating flexible cord supplied outlet boxes, the AHJ can approve them based on the wording in 90.4 and 90.7. Note that relocatable power taps are not "intended for use at construction sites and similar locations". See the guide information at UL productspec for more information:

If GFCI protection is necessary as stated in 590.6 then it can be provided upstream of any temporary wiring.

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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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