National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Can the flexible cord for a projector connect to a receptacle above a drop ceiling? The ceiling space is not a plenum area. 400.7 (A)(8) & (B) seem to allow it but it's not specific about the appliance being above ceiling. 400.8 (2) & (5) seem to specifically say no. Thanks!

Hugh King



Hey Hugh thanks for your question, it seems to get asked periodically. Your references are to the 2014 NEC but No, flexible cord is not allowed above suspended or dropped ceilings as stated in 400.12(5). A change in the 2017 NEC was made to be clear that flexible cord sets and power supply cords are also not allowed in those locations as stated in 400.12. Flexible cord can be used as allowed by 400.10 but not above a suspended or dropped ceiling. I agree the wording could be clearer.

ABOUT CQD: NECA’s Code Question of the Day (CQD) is a leading National Electrical Code® forum for NECA and the industry. The CQD generates a lively dialogue and relative practical and Code-based responses to an ever-increasing and interactive audience.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: All answers are based on the latest edition of the National Electrical Code®, unless the question requests a response based on a specific edition. This correspondence is not a formal interpretation of the NEC®. Any responses expressed to the questions are opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of NECA, NFPA, or any technical committee. In addition, this correspondence is neither intended, nor should it be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services.

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.

NECA STANDARDS: NECA publishes the National Electrical Installation Standards™ (NEIS™), a series of ANSI-approved performance and quality standards for electrical construction. Visit for more information. NEISÔ can be purchased in three formats: as paper books, on CD, or as electronic downloads.

NECA SAFETY PRODUCTS: NECA publishes valuable electrical safety books and CDs for the industry. Visit to view or purchase NECA safety products.

 CONTACT US: To submit a Code question, subscribe, or unsubscribe from this list, please e-mail: