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What part of NEC is applicable to portable cables in surface mounted cable protectors

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    What part of NEC is applicable to portable cables in surface mounted cable protectors

    I frequently read/hear that laying a rug over an extension cord is 'bad juju', however, I can't find the specific part of the NEC, or any other code, that prohibits this practice. 2007 NEC 590.4(H)(Temporary Installations) requires that "Flexible cords and cables shall be protected from accidental damage."

    There are products that are designed to protect cables (Checkers www.checkersindustrial.com, Yellow Jacket www.yjams.com, FireFly www.fireflycableprotector.com, HandiRamp www.handiramp.com/cableprotectors.htm, Hubbell TrukTrak, Electriduct Nite Hawk www.electriduct.com/Nite-Hawk-Cable-Protector.html), however, I can't find any mention of the NEC in any of the product literature, either. Are these products considered a 'raceway' or 'conduit' or 'cable tray'?

    I understand that you can't run an SJO power cord through an EMT conduit because it's not rated for this application, so why can we run the same cable through a plastic cable protector? And if we can, how far can we go before it becomes an issue? Either way, the cable is in a confined space that may affect the heat dissipation. 2007 NEC 400.8(6) says ". . . Flexible cords and cables shall not be used . . . where installed in raceways . . . "

    For these products (Safcord www.angelguardproducts.com/cord/safcord, Tunnel Tape / Cable Path Tape (Empire Tape Co. www.empiretape.com)) what is the difference between tape / cordura rather than 'just throwing a rug over it'?

    Note of clarification: This question is NOT about running FCC cable under carpet.

    #2
    Flexible cords and cables can only be used as permitted in Section 400.7(A)(1-10) and are not permitted to be used per 400.8(1-7). If the method being used to protect a cord or cable violates one of the 7 specifically prohibited usages, then it can't be used...
    Bryan P. Holland, MCP
    NEMA - Codes & Standards

    Comment


      #3
      IMO an extension cord used to power a portable device is not covered by the NEC.

      You still have to use it in a safe way.

      You can't use it as a substitute for a more permanent means of powering whatever is plugged into it either.

      So if you are using it to plug your vacuum cleaner in while you are vacuuming your rug, IMO, not an issue.

      You can't put an SO cord in EMT and use it as part of your premises wiring because it is not a chapter 3 wiring method and such an install would not fall under the allowed uses of cords.

      None of the devices you mentioned are raceways or chapter 3 wiring methods either, so as a permanent wiring means they are not appropriate.
      Last edited by petersonra; 06-23-11, 03:57 PM.
      Bob

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by petersonra View Post
        IMO an extension cord used to power a portable device is not covered by the NEC.
        I disagree with that opinion.

        Article 590 addresses extension cords directly.

        Here is part of 590.6(B)(2)(a)


        (a) The following tests shall be performed on all cord
        sets,
        receptacles that are not part of the permanent wiring of
        the building or structure, and cord-and-plug-connected
        equipment required to be connected to an equipment
        grounding conductor:
        If the NEC did not apply to extension cords there would be no requirement to test those cordsets. (The UL term for extension cord)

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by iwire View Post
          I disagree with that opinion.

          Article 590 addresses extension cords directly.

          Here is part of 590.6(B)(2)(a)




          If the NEC did not apply to extension cords there would be no requirement to test those cordsets. (The UL term for extension cord)
          590.1 Scope. The provisions of this article apply to temporary
          electrical power and lighting installations.
          How is an extension cord used to power a vacuum cleaner while vacuuming a rug considered an installation?

          This section shall apply only to temporary wiring
          installations used to supply temporary power to equipment
          used by personnel during construction, remodeling, maintenance,
          repair, or demolition of buildings, structures,
          equipment, or similar activities.
          How is vacuuming a rug even remotely like the activities described in this paragraph?
          Bob

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by bphgravity View Post
            Flexible cords and cables can only be used as permitted in Section 400.7(A)(1-10) and are not permitted to be used per 400.8(1-7). If the method being used to protect a cord or cable violates one of the 7 specifically prohibited usages, then it can't be used...
            explicit rule is about cable under rugs.

            Would the implied rule that says "if a cable isn't listed for a certain use, then it can't be used that way" cover it? i.e. Since an SJO cable isn't specifically listed to be concealed under a rug, therefore it is being misused?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by teqniqal View Post
              Are you saying a throw rug over an extension cord is legal from an NEC perspective?
              I can't speak for anyone else, but my response to this question would be that this is not covered by the NEC. There is no prohibition against throwing a rug over an extension cord. But let's remove one aspect that is a source of some debate, and let me state that there is no NEC prohibition against running part of a lamp cord (i.e., the one provided by the manufacturer) under a rug. For that matter, if a homeowner has stuff plugged in to all the countertop outlets on one side of the gas stove, and places another item on that side, and runs the power cord above the stove to an outlet on the other side of the stove, and uses a string suspended from the ceiling to hold the power cord some distance above the flames, then I would call this a very bad idea. But you willl not find an explicit NEC prohibition against it.


              You are just not going to find what you are looking for.
              Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
              Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by charlie b View Post
                I can't speak for anyone else, but my response to this question would be that this is not covered by the NEC. There is no prohibition against throwing a rug over an extension cord. But let's remove one aspect that is a source of some debate, and let me state that there is no NEC prohibition against running part of a lamp cord (i.e., the one provided by the manufacturer) under a rug. For that matter, if a homeowner has stuff plugged in to all the countertop outlets on one side of the gas stove, and places another item on that side, and runs the power cord above the stove to an outlet on the other side of the stove, and uses a string suspended from the ceiling to hold the power cord some distance above the flames, then I would call this a very bad idea. But you willl not find an explicit NEC prohibition against it.

                You are just not going to find what you are looking for.
                I am inclined to agree. However, in a workplace setting, such an arrangment would present a clear danger to workers and the employer would have an obligation not to allow such a condition, even if it is not prohibited by the NEC.

                Not every hazardous condition that is associated with electricity is prohibited by the NEC. It only deals with a subset of electrical issues, although sometimes it seems to go beyond that subset for no good reason.
                Bob

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