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    Flex Cord violation?

    Flex Cord violation?

    New postby JohnSTI on Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:56 pm

    background...
    Just took on the Safety Managers Job for my company. It's been neglected greatly and the building has been expanded re-arranged and modified throughout 40 years...I'm working my way from one side of the facility to the other when I came across the situation in the picture below.
    There are two cords in question...the first is the cord that runs across the top of the disconnect located close to the floor with the locks on it. This is a 440 volt cable running from a step up trans former to the door opening seen on the right of the picture up the side of the opening and across the top. Its attached in two locations with plastic tie-straps to existing conduits. Then ran another 20 ft where the ends are terminated with Plugin sockets. Now the second flex cord coming out of the disconnect located close to the floor (with locks attached) and runs in parallel with the first cord mentioned.

    Now First Question - I now the doorway is a violation but if the door was taken off would it still be considered a "door way"? And I know that the attachments with the tie-straps are a violations also, I've been argued with that they are only being used to keep the flex cord out the way not as a permanent condition. I responded "how many years have to past to be considered permanent"????

    2nd question the gray box seen in the lower left of the picture is the step up trans former from 220 to 440 volts. What would be the labeling requirements (arc flash, current short...etc) for this type of device...how ever It doesn't have and access panel...and power is controlled by the disconnect that is located close to the floor in the center of the picture with the locks on it.

    Third and last question - Is there a clearance regulation for the transformer similar to lets say a disconnect panel?

    Oh yes almost forgot the fire extinguisher is a clearance violation with the top breaker panel (the one with the orange warning signage) ....but is the stuff mounted to the right a violation or is it an exception to the rule situation?....


    I guess we could use the picture as a "name that violation" contender....lol

    thanks and look forward to the responses I get...
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    JohnSTI
     
    Posts: 11
    Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:52 am

    Re: Flex Cord violation?

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:53 pm

    JohnSTI wrote:Now First Question - I now the doorway is a violation but if the door was taken off would it still be considered a "door way"? And I know that the attachments with the tie-straps are a violations also, I've been argued with that they are only being used to keep the flex cord out the way not as a permanent condition. I responded "how many years have to past to be considered permanent"????

    2nd question the gray box seen in the lower left of the picture is the step up trans former from 220 to 440 volts. What would be the labeling requirements (arc flash, current short...etc) for this type of device...how ever It doesn't have and access panel...and power is controlled by the disconnect that is located close to the floor in the center of the picture with the locks on it.


    Answer to questions 1 and 2:

    Flexible cords are not permitted to be used in place of an approved permanent wiring method (such as in conductors conduit, etc.).

    From the 2014 NEC:
    - 400 Flexible Cords and Cables
    - - 400.7 Uses Permitted
    - - - (A) Uses. Flexible cords and cables shall be used only for the following:
    - - - - ( a list of items - (1) through (11) - follow the above)
    - - - - - (The use shown in the photo is not one of the uses in the Uses Permitted list.)
    - - 400.8 Uses Not Permitted. Unless specifically permitted in 400.7, flexible cords and cables shall not be used for the following:
    - - - ( a list of items - (1) through (7) - follows the above)
    - - - - (The photo shows an installation of a flexible cord which is in violation of items (1), (3), (4), and (7) - with just a little bit more effort ... they could have violated (2), (5), and (6) too.)

    The doorway will still be a doorway without a door, while this is difficult to say ... running through the doorway is the least of the problems ... okay, maybe not 'the least' of the problems, but with an installation with so many problems to choose from ... let's just stick to the list and address each and everyone one of the problems and replace those flexible cords with a proper wiring method for the location.

    Answer to 2nd part of second question - yes, the same arc-flash, etc., labeling is required required as you asked about earlier. Keep in mind that such labeling is required for "other than dwelling units" and this installation is not in a dwelling unit.

    Third and last question - Is there a clearance regulation for the transformer similar to lets say a disconnect panel?


    Answer has a question first: That first flexible cord (not that it matters with regard to the flexible cord) - does it connect to the transformer? I am presuming that the disconnect on the floor 'feeds' the transformer, in which case the next presumption is that the flexible cord comes out of the transformer.

    If so, then the transformer clearly has the potential to - from 110.26(A) - "require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized" ... and even if that flexible cord does not connect to the transformer, the conductors from the disconnect do ... which means the same thing applies, and thus, yes, the working space requirements of 110.26 apply to the transformer. While "It doesn't have and access panel", there is a removable cover somewhere which allowed the transformer to be connected as it is - that is the same way someone could access it for that "examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized".

    Oh yes almost forgot the fire extinguisher is a clearance violation with the top breaker panel (the one with the orange warning signage) ....but is the stuff mounted to the right a violation or is it an exception to the rule situation?


    if the cover of the panel can be opened 90 degrees and there is the required working space to the right of the fire extinguisher, then the extinguisher is not an issue in that regard - but access to the extinguisher looks to be an issue as one needs to step over the conductors feeding from the lower disconnect to that transformer ... relocate the fire extinguisher so it has ready access where no one needs to step over electrical equipment to get to the fire extinguisher.

    Which brings up another clearance issue - the transformer is not fully out of the working space of the upper panel (unless there is at least 3 feet between the front of the panel and the nearest part of the transformer) - the 3 feet is presuming there is only 150 volts to ground in that panel, if there is greater than 150 volts to ground in that panel - with that transformer being where it is - then the front clearance requirement would be 3 feet 6 inches instead of 3 feet.

    And, least we forget this clearance issue - the lower panel working space is blocked by the conduit which feeds the transformer.

    That should do for starters.
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan
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    Re: Flex Cord violation?

    New postby JohnSTI on Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:52 pm

    Thanks very much...You've confirmed some things and open my eyes to others.
    JohnSTI
     
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