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Old 02-18-2015, 09:30 PM   #1
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A friend had a new gas fired air handler installed in the attic.
From the service switch the installers ran a piece of 14-2 nm into the unit.
I was asked to make it possible to tie into a generator extension cord if they loose power.
So I installed an 8' piece of so cable with a male 15 amp cord cap. From the ahu.
And put a receptacle on the original piece of nm above the unit.
It seems kind of strange, but in my mind its better than hacking something together during a power outage.
Your thoughts...
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:57 PM   #2
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one of these:

http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect....51W/p1094.html
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NacBooster29 View Post
A friend had a new gas fired air handler installed in the attic.
From the service switch the installers ran a piece of 14-2 nm into the unit.
I was asked to make it possible to tie into a generator extension cord if they loose power.
So I installed an 8' piece of so cable with a male 15 amp cord cap. From the ahu.
And put a receptacle on the original piece of nm above the unit.
It seems kind of strange, but in my mind its better than hacking something together during a power outage.
Your thoughts...
Now, thanks to you, they need to make a suicide cord?
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mcclary's electrical View Post

Now, thanks to you, they need to make a suicide cord?
No. The cord I installed is a typical male end. That simply plugs into a standard 15 amp receptacle.
Instead of being hard wired from the service switch to the unit.
No suicide cords
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:37 PM   #5
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Codewise, I'm not sure. But, it seems like a simple solution that ought to work just fine!
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:47 PM   #6
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so when they're running on normal power, the cord cap is live?
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcclary's electrical View Post
so when they're running on normal power, the cord cap is live?
No, the receptacle is live and the air handler is plugged into said receptacle via cord and plug.

On generator power, you unplug the air handler from the receptacle and plug it into an extension cord that is connected to a portable generator.

Sounds great to me. Only exception is if the air handler installation instructions explicitly says it should be hard wired or not connected by cord and plug.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:17 PM   #8
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I know the power attic vents that I have installed specifically said they could not be cord and plug connected. It may have given an article? It has been a while.

I will have to look it up in the code book, now that you peaked my curiosity.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:28 PM   #9
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I would not have used SO cord. I would have used a ready made appliance cord. SO cord will rot especially in the heat of an attic whereas an appliance cord will stay flexible for a long time. You should change that cord out.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I would not have used SO cord. I would have used a ready made appliance cord. SO cord will rot especially in the heat of an attic whereas an appliance cord will stay flexible for a long time. You should change that cord out.

What about it would make it rot? I've seen some cord with paper stranding but not lately, it's almost always that synthetic string stuff.


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Old 02-18-2015, 11:59 PM   #11
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What about it would make it rot? I've seen some cord with paper stranding but not lately, it's almost always that synthetic string stuff.


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SO cord is rubber cord, therefore it rots over time. I've seen it many times.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTW View Post
SO cord is rubber cord, therefore it rots over time. I've seen it many times.

Interesting. I use that stuff all the time but not in any place that would have the dramatic temperature swings of an attic


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Old 02-19-2015, 12:48 AM   #13
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So basically there's two receptacles provided for the AHU.... one fed by the utility power and the other by a cord, correct?

Why not run the second receptacle to a power inlet using NM. Place the power inlet someplace close to where the genny will set. During power outages, plug the AHU into the second recep, then use a normal cord between the genny and inlet.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:04 AM   #14
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For decades I have wired many furnaces with either emt or a short whip of greenfield depending on location, all without incident, except one where the ahj failed me on the flex - emt only he said, I complied. I think I spent all of 2 minutes researching if the manufacture allowed the use of a cord and then bailed in lieu of beers.

Right now my refrigerator and freezer has a dedicated outlet that is fed from a control panel that has 3 separate outlets in it, that outlet terminates in the panel on a terminal strip that has a standard cord and plug landed on it (UL too).

Depending on my mood and the state of my electrical affairs I can either move the plug from the grid to the generator or to my solar battery inverter. I never thought twice about doing this as I am a retired electrician and it is my god given right.

Just as a manufacturer can use "under sized" fixture wires or extended lengths of flex so can a cord be used, as long as it is an approved listing by them.

In my house in Florida I built a guest bedroom that had both a ceiling heater and an air conditioner that I failed to pull 2 circuits for, I used a double pole 3 way switch that passed inspection.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:42 AM   #15
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After looking in the code book I could not find anything that would not be open to interpretation. There is a lot of appliances that are cord connected without a problem. Marinas and mines are also wired with flexible cable.

The only problem I see is replacing a wiring method in chapter 3 with a cord. Normally that is only done for vibration or ready removable for maintenance.


Quote:
422.16 Flexible Cords
(A) General. Flexible cord shall be permitted (1) for the
connection of appliances to facilitate their frequent interchange
or to prevent the transmission of noise or vibration
or (2) to facilitate the removal or disconnection of appliances
that are fastened in place, where the fastening means
and mechanical connections are specifically designed to
permit ready removal for maintenance or repair and the appliance
is intended or identified for flexible cord connection.
Number 8 in 407(A) says the same thing.

Quote:
400.7 Uses Permitted
(A) Uses. Flexible cords and cables shall be used only for
the following:
(1) Pendants
(2) Wiring of luminaires
(3) Connection of portable luminaires, portable and mobile
signs, or appliances
(4) Elevator cables
(5) Wiring of cranes and hoists
(6) Connection of utilization equipment to facilitate frequent
interchange
(7) Prevention of the transmission of noise or vibration
(8) Appliances where the fastening means and mechanical
connections are specifically designed to permit ready
removal for maintenance and repair, and the appliance
is intended or identified for flexible cord connection
(9) Connection of moving parts
(10) Where specifically permitted elsewhere in this Code
(B) Attachment Plugs. Where used as permitted in
400.7(A)(3), (A)(6), and (A)(8), each flexible cord shall be
equipped with an attachment plug and shall be energized
from a receptacle outlet or cord connector body.
In uses not permitted, it says it is not a substitute for the fixed wiring for a structure.

IMO You would have to prove that the furnace vibrates to the point it needs a flexible connection or it needs to be removed for frequent repair and maintenance.

You could also put a 2 pole double throw switch on the furnace, along with the disconnect, and nipple to a 4"sq with a 15 amp inlet. They could plug a cord into the inlet.

For the record, I have never seen a residential "gas fired air handler unit". In NJ they call them furnaces and come 120V. They put "A" coils above/next to them for cooling. Air handlers are cooling only, and are always 220V.

Last edited by cabletie; 02-19-2015 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabletie View Post
A

For the record, I have never seen a residential "gas fired air handler unit". In NJ they call them furnaces and come 120V. They put "A" coils above/next to them for cooling. Air handlers are cooling only, and are always 220V.
From Lennox:

Optional EvenHeater Electric Heat
– Provides backup heat in stages, rather than all at once, to
maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and
prevent drafts


Gas in the attic just seems dangerous, but that's because it's something we don't see around here.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:27 AM   #17
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There's plenty of 3W switches with power inlets above furnaces on my end of the 'lectrical universe.....~CS~
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:13 AM   #18
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[QUOTE="480sparky;1682521"]So basically there's two receptacles provided for the AHU.... one fed by the utility power and the other by a cord, correct?

Incorrect.
There is now a receptacle powered by normal utility power.
As needed ,if needed they will bring an extension cord up to the unit should they loose power.

And for the record I'm planning on leaving ot this way, just like to pick other guys brains.
I spoke to the homeowners about installing an interlock kit and a power inlet. And it may happen maybe not.
This is the best solution I could offer, within the budget. Which in my opinion is the simplest should they loose power .
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTW View Post
I would not have used SO cord. I would have used a ready made appliance cord. SO cord will rot especially in the heat of an attic whereas an appliance cord will stay flexible for a long time. You should change that cord out.
I'm not overly concerned with ot rotting. It will take years of baking in an attic for this to happen.
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NacBooster29 View Post

I'm not overly concerned with ot rotting. It will take years of baking in an attic for this to happen.
The cord will last longer than the crap furnaces/air handlers they put in now anyways. You're fine.
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