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    Dry type transformer used as shelf

    Hello,
    I have unsuccessful in finding any code that would prohibit the use of 600V or less, dry type transformer as a shelf/storage. This be placing items such as chemicals, paper, catalog, etc on top. An example is shown in attached picture.
    I cannot find a specific code but feel at the very least not a good practice. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

    Thank you in advance
    Attached Files

    #2
    When I'm cold, I sit on top of them. They warm you right up.

    Comment


      #3
      If the change made in the first draft report for the 2020 NEC makes it through the process, the following will be added to the end of 450.9
      Transformer top surfaces that are horizontal and readily accessible shall be marked to prohibit storage.
      Don, Illinois
      (All code citations are 2017 unless otherwise noted)

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Coppersmith View Post
        When I'm cold, I sit on top of them. They warm you right up.
        You are too far south to have such need.
        I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by kwired View Post
          You are too far south to have such need.
          they are great for warming up the box of donuts. about a half hour is good.
          ~New signature under construction.~
          ~~~~Please excuse the mess.~~~~

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Fulthrotl View Post
            they are great for warming up the box of donuts. about a half hour is good.
            Click image for larger version

Name:	homerdonuts_f_improf_300x293.jpg
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            Master Electrician
            Electrical Contractor
            Richmond, VA

            Comment


              #7
              Well, this facility is trying to improve their electrical safety and risk so questions are being asked about long standing practices/issues/concerns.

              I had thought this would be the correct place to ask this question with all of the experience and diversity here but out of 5 answers only one was serious, valid and helpful. I would have thought that responsible, serious, helpful responses would have been more than 20%.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by wbdvt View Post
                Well, this facility is trying to improve their electrical safety and risk so questions are being asked about long standing practices/issues/concerns.

                I had thought this would be the correct place to ask this question with all of the experience and diversity here but out of 5 answers only one was serious, valid and helpful. I would have thought that responsible, serious, helpful responses would have been more than 20%.
                No permanent storage should be permitted. To lay a tool on it temporarily like in your photo, probably not too much of a safety issue.

                More important to maintain needed clearances for ventilation openings IMO, which includes sides and bottom of the unit.
                I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Are we just LOOKING for things to do, now? Is the top of the case part of the designed cooling surface area in some way? Put me in the camp of not caring about anything being set on top as long as it's not so heavy to cause dents, or scratch a nice paint job. Permanent stuff would be an issue if this is considered working space or dedicated space, but for the xformer in and of itself?

                  Would we have an issue if a shelf were built over the top of this wasted space? That might be considered permanent, and an issue, though common sense should dictate whether it's an issue or not, if there were discos or switches or panels or something else that you actually needed to get to.

                  What about a xformer mounted up on the wall? Can you put a desk under it?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It may exists but I have found no Code prohibiting the practice although, as you say, it's a bad idea.
                    Since you mentioned safety issues, the picture does not provide depth but I'd be more concerned about required working space for the disconnect located behind (above) the transformer.
                    At my age, I'm accustomed to restaurants asking me to pay in advance, but now my bank has started sending me their calendar one month at a time.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by wbdvt View Post
                      Well, this facility is trying to improve their electrical safety and risk so questions are being asked about long standing practices/issues/concerns.

                      I had thought this would be the correct place to ask this question with all of the experience and diversity here but out of 5 answers only one was serious, valid and helpful. I would have thought that responsible, serious, helpful responses would have been more than 20%.
                      Good Heavens - put the knives away and lighten up. It's okay to take the job seriously, just take yourself lightly. The 80% just told you they didn't know where to suggest to look.

                      What you are asking about is dead freaking normal through the industry. You might find a housekeeping OSHA regulation. It is not an NEC issue, and likely never will be.

                      Originally posted by don_resqcapt19 View Post
                      If the change made in the first draft report for the 2020 NEC makes it through the process, the following will be added to the end of 450.9
                      Transformer top surfaces that are horizontal and readily accessible shall be marked to prohibit storage.
                      Interestingly, even this won't make housekeeping an NEC issue. Once the sign gets painted on the transformer, and the inspector is satisfied, that is the end of it. No electrical inspector is going to check back and make sure the house is clean. OSHA might have a fit, the NEC won't.

                      I personally don't think stacking stuff on top of a transformer is inherently dangerous. However, I have heard of a bunch of research showing the sloppy workplace have increased accidents. And that makes it worth while to generally cleanup - not just the tops of the transformers.

                      Best I could suggest is to read up on a 1000 pages of OSHA regs - unless it is 2000 pages. And it likely won't be in the electrical section.

                      However, I suspect the answer is to find a manager with ovaries to step up and say, "We are cleaning this place up. Every day, pickup your work area. Friday afternoon pick up, put away, mop. Everybody is on deck. Areas are assigned." Roll it out slow as a safety issue.

                      A couple of my clients do this. Works well. Only two issues I've seen:
                      At the start, older journeymen aren't interested - they want the kids to do it. "You're going to pay me to mop." Uhhh, yeah, that's what I said - unless you are telling me you can't do it.

                      Management has to schedule time every day for cleaning. Outrageous Example: You got 8 guys and girls. And you want an hour of cleanup every day. You have to hire another person to makeup the 8 hours. What manager is going to suggest that? No, it isn't that bad, but the point is true. If management wants the place cleaned up - they have to pay the bill.

                      As for the poor responses, Internet advise is worth what you paid for it. Except for mine. It's worth somewhat less.

                      the worm
                      Without data you’re just another person with an opinion – Edwards Deming

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                        #12
                        I think the worst part about the example is probably the dust from being a couple feet away from a bench grinder.

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                          #13
                          And if you want the crews to stop using the top of the transformer, you are going have to build them a shelf.
                          Without data you’re just another person with an opinion – Edwards Deming

                          Comment


                            #14
                            jamieb

                            In Canada, fire regulations state that you must have at least 6" from any surrounding walls and at least 36" of clearance after that, also nothing to be left on top of the TX.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jamieb View Post
                              In Canada, fire regulations state that you must have at least 6" from any surrounding walls and at least 36" of clearance after that, also nothing to be left on top of the TX.
                              Because, you know... "fire."

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