National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Question:

Mr. Trout:

Seems many inspectors disagree on this code section: Permitted use of cords 400.10, 400.12. What is your opinion? Can a flexible rubber power cord provided as part of a condensate pump be allowed above a drop ceiling? Also, what about it use in a drop ceiling used for environmental air (aka: plenum)?

Thanks, Alan Chech

A

Answer:

Hey Alan thanks for your question. The words "power supply cords" have been added to 400.12 of the 2017 NEC which makes it clear that they must comply with that section. So no, they are not allowed above suspended or dropped ceilings (whether it is used for environmental air or not) as stated in 400.12(5).  Exception No 5 to 400.12(5) was added to allow them in other spaces used for environmental air if the flexible cord is in a metal enclosure or a nonmetallic enclosure specifically listed for use in an air handling space per 300.22(C)(3). It is not likely that the condensate pump cord will be in that type of enclosure.

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