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Thread: Pre-wired office furnature

  1. #1
    In the Trades maintenanceguy's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    Default Pre-wired office furnature

    I run the maintenance department for a pretty large organization. Several of our locations have been ordering new office furnature. Desks, cabinets, cubical walls, etc. This stuff is modular, snaps or bolts together in hundreds of configurations and we get the call to assemble this stuff.

    Most of these are pretty extensive and they come pre-wired with power strips at each desk, outlets in cubical walls, etc. Once assembled, the wires get spliced in boxes that are already installed as part of the assembly. We usually have to provide 2 or 3 new circuits to the area to feed the new furnature circuits. We usually install a power pole from the drop ceiling to a cubical splice box.

    My question is this: The wire size in this stuff is smaller than the NEC allows. usually one size smaller. I'm not really worried about there being a hazard. We all know the NEC has a pretty big factor of safety in wire ampacities. I'm just wondring where our responsibility ends. I'm not responsible to check the wire size inside a toaster, TV, or even a hardwired water heater that we install. Equipment manufacturers are not bound by the NEC. Is this the same. Is assembled-on-site office furniture not required to meet NEC standards? As far as I know all components used are UL listed but I'm pretty sure the assembly as a whole is not.

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Default

    The NEC covers the installed electrical system of the building. The office partitions are no different than say a computer or a toaster. Not per se covered by the NEC. They should be listed by UL or ETL. Short wiring such as inside a product like a microwave, a toaster, or a vacuum, are not sized by the same rules as building circuits.

  3. #3
    Electrician Johnny C's Avatar
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    Default Wiring in Office furnishing

    The first thing I would check is whether the equipment is Labeled and Listed by a recognized testing laboratory and that the installation instructions are followed. Internal wiring of Labeled and Listed equipment does not have to be the same size and rating as that identified in the NEC.

  4. #4
    Electrician Johnny C's Avatar
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    Default prewired office furnishings

    First of all, NFPA does not write the NEC, it is written by the public at large by them submitting proposals for change. The Code Committees evaluate the proposed changes and vote on it, very democratic process.

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