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Thread: Cord Drop...

  1. #1
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    Cord Drop...

    I've been asked to install some 120v receptacles in an older warehouse type building being used as an art studio. The ceilings are about 12' high with bar joist and steel support posts about 20-30' apart. The space is being "soft" divided, no physical divider, into smaller spaces for each artist. The spaces are being defined by the steel supports.

    The owner would like to have general purpose receptacles for each space but with no walls would cord drops with a 2 gang box be an option? I have looked over Article 400.(2014) and see no issues, unless I've missed something.

    As always,

    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    With cord drops, you need proper strain-reliefs at the top and bottom and you can't use a handy-box for the receptacle (none of this is in Art 400). You'll find more discussion of this sort of thing by searching the forums.) You might also run into the prohibition of using flex cord in place of fixed wiring.

    Because the columns are only 20-30' apart, you could put a quad on each one and call it done.

    If cost permits, make each location it's own circuit; it'll help prevent one artist's heater from tripping off another artist's work lights.
    Last edited by zbang; 04-14-18 at 12:04 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by zbang View Post
    With cord drops, you need proper strain-reliefs at the top and bottom and you can't use a handy-box for the receptacle (none of this is in Art 400). You'll find more discussion of this sort of thing by searching the forums.) You might also run into the prohibition of using flex cord in place of fixed wiring.

    Because the columns are only 20-30' apart, you could put a quad on each one and call it done.

    If cost permits, make each location it's own circuit; it'll help prevent one artist's heater from tripping off another artist's work lights.
    First item mentioned in 400.7 uses permitted is pendants.

    You are correct on not using a handy box - it must be a box rated for pendant use.

    If only a single receptacle is desired a basic cord connector is fine at the end.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    First item mentioned in 400.7 uses permitted is pendants.
    Hence the word might, they certainly are permitted but IME are usually used when the equipment is mobile (does this use count?). If these are going to be the only outlets in the area, one could easily say that they're being used in place of fixed wiring. I've seen AHJs reject pendents at the planning stage when there are nice wall receptacles less than 20' away.

    Either way, ask the AHJ it it'll fly. I suspect you'll have better luck if there are fixed wall outlets and you use the pendants to fill in between them. Oh, and it's usually cheaper to install fixed than pendant.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zbang View Post
    Hence the word might, they certainly are permitted but IME are usually used when the equipment is mobile (does this use count?). If these are going to be the only outlets in the area, one could easily say that they're being used in place of fixed wiring. I've seen AHJs reject pendents at the planning stage when there are nice wall receptacles less than 20' away.

    Either way, ask the AHJ it it'll fly. I suspect you'll have better luck if there are fixed wall outlets and you use the pendants to fill in between them. Oh, and it's usually cheaper to install fixed than pendant.
    so you would rather see temp cords laying on the floor introducing trip hazards or even have undersized cords for the load get used in some cases, just because there is a place on a wall or column 20 feet away that you can use more conventional means to attach a permanent receptacle?

    A pendant is one place where flexible cord is specifically permitted to be used as permanent wiring of a structure.

    One could also put floor outlets in that application - chances are the pendant is less costly way to go though, especially in some existing floors.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  6. #6
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    Sorry I've been MIA for the weekend. This building is going to be renovated within the next year. The artists who are there now have been using the existing wall receptacles to power lights and some desktop type electronics using extension cords. Even with the post spacing they would still be using extension cords.

    My thought is with the cord drops they would not have have to use extension cords with the multiple receptacle locations, wall, cord drop & posts.

    So I would like to use an SO type cord with cord grips and a box with hub or thread type KO just a foot or so off the floor midway between the wall and post.

    No way to cut into the concrete floor for receptacles.

    Thanks
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    so you would rather see temp cords laying on the floor introducing trip hazards or even have undersized cords for the load get used in some cases, just because there is a place on a wall or column 20 feet away that you can use more conventional means to attach a permanent receptacle?
    No, I said no such thing and have no idea where you got those ideas. Please read what I wrote again- it's solely aimed at what an AHJ might say or do in my experience (yours may be different). If they allow it, there is no problem.

    Pendants have their place (I rather like them) and this sounds like a good use, but they're not always allowed by the AHJ even when they should be and whatever you do eventually there are going be extension cords and daisy-chained power strips unless the place has a hyper-vigilant facilities staff.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by zbang View Post
    No, I said no such thing and have no idea where you got those ideas. Please read what I wrote again- it's solely aimed at what an AHJ might say or do in my experience (yours may be different). If they allow it, there is no problem.

    Pendants have their place (I rather like them) and this sounds like a good use, but they're not always allowed by the AHJ even when they should be and whatever you do eventually there are going be extension cords and daisy-chained power strips unless the place has a hyper-vigilant facilities staff.
    The information we are given so far and no amendments to NEC that AHJ would be wrong.

    Having said pendants may not completely eliminate them but likely still reduces the number of extension cords and daisy chained power strips you would find in such a place.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    First item mentioned in 400.7 uses permitted is pendants.

    You are correct on not using a handy box - it must be a box rated for pendant use.

    If only a single receptacle is desired a basic cord connector is fine at the end.
    Is a Bell box acceptable for a pendant? I know they are approved for loose PDU cable whips under raised floors.

  10. #10
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    cord reel


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