National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Question:

Section 300.13(A) prohibits splices and taps within raceways. My question centers around a ceiling fan. In certain cases the height of a ceiling requires the fan to use a longer downrod than was originally supplied with the fan. Some downrods are 8' in length. Occasionally, the length of lead wire supplied with the fan is not long enough to span the entire length of the downrod. In these cases, if a connection/splice is made in the downrod, does it violate Section 300.13(A). I guess my basic question is, is the downrod considered a raceway?

Bill Walker

A

Answer:

Hey Bill thanks for your question. The definition of Raceway in Article 100 is sufficiently broad enough that a paddle fan "downrod" could be included. But it would likely not be included in any of the specific raceway types that are defined in the XXX.2 sections of Chapter 3. Splices are generally only allowed in raceways that have removable covers.

The "downrod" you are describing would also likely be part of the paddle fan "kit" or available as an accessory. Ideally the instructions with the fan, that are reviewed by the testing laboratory certifying the fan, would include the instructions for which fans are intended to be used with specific downrods or how they are to be installed.

Is the fan motor available with longer leads? Is there space in the fan assembly for splices to be made? If the fan instructions do not give specific instructions allowing splices in downrods it seems they would not be.

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