What? Is this true?

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Strahan

Senior Member
Location
Watsontown, PA
Had a recent meeting with our plant manager pertaining to electrical safety in the workplace. One topic he brought up that struck me as being totally bogus was that we could no longer make our own extension cords. Now the reason he gave was that the cord we make is not UL listed. Ok the cord ends are UL listed and the cord is also UL listed, now I agree the combination of both does not have UL's stamp, but how would this be any different then one of us installing a receptacle? The recep is UL listed the cable is UL listed but when I finish this install UL does not put its stamp on it. He also stated this was per the NEC and for the life of me I can't find it.
Now I know all the limitations and such for extension cord use, but where does it state I can't make my own and how does this differ from any electrical installation? So our company just spent booco dollars on buying extension cords. Any insights?
 

Strahan

Senior Member
Location
Watsontown, PA
Times are always changing.

I am not aware of a change, my understanding is that the use of listed products in making up field extension cords is permitted.

Thanks! I could see this possibly being an in house policy, but I don't see where in the NEC it prohibits this and I don't see the difference in this as compared to any other electrical installation.
 

AV ELECTRIC

Senior Member
When doing projects for the corp of engineers this was a requirement too.Even if an inspector saw a damaged cord he would cut it up so it could not be used again.
 

nakulak

Senior Member
when I was on jobs 30 yrs ago that got inspected by osha (before reagan cut their budget so they only enforced after accidents), we were never allowed to modify an extension cord. I was told it was not allowed, and that the cords were not listed to have cord caps put on them. I was told the same thing doing local gov work. I don't know if any of it was true, or is true, we just did what we were told and damaged cords went home or to resi jobs. Still don't know to this day what the real story is, but we were told to never argue with the osha guy (since he was handing out warnings and not fines) (whatever rules do apply have nothing to do with NEC as far as I know)
 
For plants, I do not believe the restriction comes from the NEC. If you go to the OSHA website, you will find a page that discusses the permission OSHA has to construct extension cords for your facility.

Go to OSHA's site and type in extension cord in the search box and you will find the page.


Here is a link for a page full of extension cord info on OSHA's site.
 

Strahan

Senior Member
Location
Watsontown, PA
See the 2008 NEC Section 240.5 (B) (3) and (4)

Ok. This limits me to a 20ampere circuit and the extension cord conductors must be constructed with 16awg or larger. Now in the facility it is impossible sometimes to even find the circuit, but as long as were 16awg or larger we should be fine except for the possibility of the circuit being larger than 20amps. Now does this strictly limit the circuit to a 20amp rating or could we go lower with a 15amp. The way I read it is it is restricted to 20ampere only.
 

iMuse97

Senior Member
Location
Chicagoland
the NEC Handbook notes say "Field-assembled extension cords are permitted, provided the conductors are 16 AWG or larger and the overcurrent protection for the branch circuit to which the cord is connected does not exceed 20 amperes. The cord and the cord caps and connectors used for this type of assembly are required to be listed." So 15A circuit should be OK.
 

SG-1

Senior Member
I hope they purchased the ones rated for hard usage as stated on the OSHA site linked above or else I think they are just thinking about dodging a law suite over a faulty made-in-house cord.
 

hurk27

Senior Member
See the 2008 NEC Section 240.5 (B) (3) and (4)


So is this saying that all those generator extension cord sets rated at 30-50 amps are illegal?, welder extension cord sets rated at 50 amps? many of these are factory made and UL listed.

to me this section is saying that a extension cord set supplied by a 20 amp circuit has to has a minimum of a 16 AWG wire in it.

At least that is the only thing that makes sense?:confused:
 

Strahan

Senior Member
Location
Watsontown, PA
Booco dollars? Really? You think buying UL listed cords is cheaper than buying all the materials and paying the labor hours for a plant electrician to make them?

Price wise actually a little cheaper buying all the parts this not including labor. So with labor yea I agree more expensive, but what happened is boxes upon boxes of 25' extension cords were bought to replace all the in house extension cords. Thats the point trying to be made. All maintence men were issued a few plus this of course included the ones needed at home. In the past if one was needed the electrician would make one not hundreds so in the long run this was cheaper.
 

skeshesh

Senior Member
Location
Los Angeles, Ca
So is this saying that all those generator extension cord sets rated at 30-50 amps are illegal?, welder extension cord sets rated at 50 amps? many of these are factory made and UL listed.

to me this section is saying that a extension cord set supplied by a 20 amp circuit has to has a minimum of a 16 AWG wire in it.

At least that is the only thing that makes sense?:confused:

No this is talking about field assembled cords. It's simply saying minimum 16awg and no great than 20A OCPD(yes you can have 15amp OCPD, yes you still need 16awg)... Pretty simple. Rest of it makes sense to me since it sounds like client mandated &/or spec mandated regs. I know it does inconvenience you and it's annoying, but the same thought process goes for the person who will be held responsible (and seriously, seriously "inconvenienced" when you get hurt.
 
No this is talking about field assembled cords. It's simply saying minimum 16awg and no great than 20A OCPD(yes you can have 15amp OCPD, yes you still need 16awg)... Pretty simple. Rest of it makes sense to me since it sounds like client mandated &/or spec mandated regs. I know it does inconvenience you and it's annoying, but the same thought process goes for the person who will be held responsible (and seriously, seriously "inconvenienced" when you get hurt.

I read this a little different. Even though it mentions the '20 amp circuits - 16 awg and larger ' I just dont see it limiting the cord to ONLY 20 amps, so long as the wire can handle it. Other wise it would say so right??
 

ohmhead

Senior Member
Location
ORLANDO FLA
Well ive been on two osha inspections in the last 5 years and you will not use romex for and extension cord for any connection .


Well most of the jobs iam on have at least one osha walk thur some are just a passing by look and some where a 4 day walk thur on site .

I can tell you romex can not be used for a cord ever .

And any cord can not have a box homemade on its end they will fine you .

Romex can be used for lighting but must be tied or supported by insulated wire .

And if you run mc cable for temp power and splice a romex to it even in a box its a fine .


You can make a tap or splice romex to romex but it better be up over 8 foot off the floor .

And all extention cords need a ground plug and a receptical end thats factory or a replaced one of the like .


If you install a box with plugs and make it weather proof its no good .



Most jobs we due cords must be number 10# wire or its off the job.
And we must use colored tape on all cords or tools each months color for proof that we tested it that month .

We have a crew that just do temp power all day repair & fix & install sign off cards on panels gfi testing ect ect .


When someone gets hurt OSHA makes there own rules !!!!!!!!!! ITS CHEAPER TO JUST BUY A CORD
 
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charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
As long as the meaning is clear, I try to ignore spelling or word usage errors. But this one was just too funny for me to pass up:
. . . booco dollars . . . .
The word is "beaucoup," and from what little I still remember from my five years of French (that having been almost 40 years ago), it means "a lot." Thanks for the inadvertent chuckle. :grin:

 

pfalcon

Senior Member
Location
Indiana
240.5(B)(4) applies by restriction not permission. Amperage is not limited to 20A but rather if 20A is used it must have 16AWG or larger.

Both cord and plug must be listed for use as an extension cord.

A cord that was manufactured with ends cannot be fixed using a listed plug kit because the cord is only listed for use with its original plug. Trimming to install a plug kit is modifying the material away from its listed purpose.
 
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