National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Question:

Charlie,

I enjoy reading your questions and answers every weekday. I am currently in a debate with a co-worker over 410.36(B) regarding lay in fixtures in suspended ceilings. My position is that as long as the fixture is secured to the grid via listed clips, screws, bolts, rivets, etc, there is nothing I can fail the installation on as an electrical inspector. He contends that the light must be secured to the building structure by at least 2 support wires stating that we do not know whether or not the ceiling is rated to support the fixture. I argue that that would be a building code issue and therefore fall on the building inspector to enforce an not the electrical inspector. Who is correct or are we both partially correct in some aspects?

Regards, Jeff

A

Answer:

Hey Jeff thanks for you question and the kind words. The NEC does not specifically require that luminaires in suspended ceilings be supported independently of the suspended ceiling. Even if independent support is provided the luminaires must be securely fastened to the suspended ceiling by the methods stated in 410.36(B). In areas subject to seismic events and local requirements can be more restrictive that what is in the NEC. You are correct and check with the local building official for any additional rules in your area.

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CHARLIE TROUT: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally recognized NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006, Charlie was awarded NECA’s prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development and technical training. NECA continues to provide this public forum in memory and recognition of all his fine contributions that has made the NEC what it is today. 

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