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Thread: Xmas lights in a restaurant

  1. #1
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    Xmas lights in a restaurant

    I was eating at a restaurant that I had not been in in about 1 year. I noticed they had the same Xmas lights strung through the ceiling. Is this an NEC violation?
    Last edited by GG; 03-24-11 at 10:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by GG View Post
    I was eating at a restaurant that I had not been in in about 1 year. I noticed they had the same Xmas lights strung through the ceiling. Is this an NEC violation?
    Generally yes, it would be a 110.3 violation because of the temporary usage in the UL listing for Christmas lights.
    Wayne A. From: N.W.Indiana
    Be Fair, Be Safe
    Just don't be fairly safe

  3. #3
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    Wayne - Although I agree with you entirely, I had a reception hall that wanted to leave these style lights hanging for weekend use. The Deputy State Fire Marshall cited them while reviewing for an entertainment permit. The owner filed for a variance through Dept. of Fire and Building and stated that the periodic use of the lights would equal 1 years time as compared to 90 days continuos use under the listing. The Dept. of Fire and Building came back and said there was no requirement for a variance, but never said what requirements would be applicable. Locally, because of the limited use, we allowed them to be changed every year and must have a label attached at the plug end on the last date changed. Still room for "fudging", but comfortable with the arrangement.

  4. #4
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    I disagree with the previous responses. The lights themselves do not constitute an electrical installation. The installation to which the 90 day limit applies is the manner of providing power to them. If there is a permanently and properly installed receptacle outlet into which the lights are plugged, then they can stay there forever. It is no different than setting a lamp upon a coffee table, plugging it into the nearest receptacle, and leaving it there for years. The lamp is not the "electrical installation," the receptacle is.
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurk27 View Post
    Generally yes, it would be a 110.3 violation because of the temporary usage in the UL listing for Christmas lights.
    I have never seen the listing information, and cannot confirm that it declares the usage to be temporary. Anyone have a link?

    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    I have never seen the listing information, and cannot confirm that it declares the usage to be temporary. Anyone have a link?
    http://ulstandardsinfonet.ul.com/sco...p?fn=0588.html
    Last edited by jumper; 03-25-11 at 11:34 AM.
    "Electricity is really just organized lightning." George Carlin


    Derék

  7. #7
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    Thanks jumper,
    Remember guys this doesn't apply to rope light system used in many places for the same purpose.

    The photo in the OP almost looks like rope lights, because of the all green color?
    Wayne A. From: N.W.Indiana
    Be Fair, Be Safe
    Just don't be fairly safe

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by inspector 102 View Post
    Wayne - Although I agree with you entirely, I had a reception hall that wanted to leave these style lights hanging for weekend use. The Deputy State Fire Marshall cited them while reviewing for an entertainment permit. The owner filed for a variance through Dept. of Fire and Building and stated that the periodic use of the lights would equal 1 years time as compared to 90 days continuous use under the listing. The Dept. of Fire and Building came back and said there was no requirement for a variance, but never said what requirements would be applicable. Locally, because of the limited use, we allowed them to be changed every year and must have a label attached at the plug end on the last date changed. Still room for "fudging", but comfortable with the arrangement.
    I surprised at that response from our state as at the 2006 state IAEI meeting in Lafayette,In. this was brought up and the UL listing was sited as the reason this wasn't allowed, we all know it's done all the time and over looked by most since many don't want to pay the price for permanently installed rope lights, but Raleigh Kouns (our state AHJ retired now) did state because of the UL listing they shouldn't be used in this fashion.
    Wayne A. From: N.W.Indiana
    Be Fair, Be Safe
    Just don't be fairly safe

  9. #9
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    I ran into a similar issue with a business that wanted to place such lights outside on a permanent basis. They desired to do things 'right,' and wondered if there was a 'heavy duty commercial type' of decorative lighting available.

    Let's face it: there's simply no other way to weave lights into your landscaping. It does produce a much desired decorative effect.

    The problem is thet UL has no listing or category that would apply to a permanent installation. Absent an appropriate product category, no manufacturer has any reason to submit a product for listing. The NEC does not directly address the topic. So, these common displays are 'illegal' by default.

    Maybe we need to propose that the NEC correct this oversight. Arguments pro/con aside, this seems to be the exact reason for the proposal process.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by renosteinke View Post
    I ran into a similar issue with a business that wanted to place such lights outside on a permanent basis. They desired to do things 'right,' and wondered if there was a 'heavy duty commercial type' of decorative lighting available.

    Let's face it: there's simply no other way to weave lights into your landscaping. It does produce a much desired decorative effect.

    The problem is thet UL has no listing or category that would apply to a permanent installation. Absent an appropriate product category, no manufacturer has any reason to submit a product for listing. The NEC does not directly address the topic. So, these common displays are 'illegal' by default.

    Maybe we need to propose that the NEC correct this oversight. Arguments pro/con aside, this seems to be the exact reason for the proposal process.
    A'hh but they do make such a product that is UL recognized, it's commonly called rope lights as I stated before:

    Flexible lighting

    And they do make them for wet and damp locations, and can be hard wired.
    Last edited by hurk27; 03-25-11 at 01:28 PM.
    Wayne A. From: N.W.Indiana
    Be Fair, Be Safe
    Just don't be fairly safe

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