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Discussion Starter #1
Can someone help me out here. Had a buddy say AN Inspector says you cannot have switched receptacles in patient rooms. i cannot find it in the NEC or the NFPA 99.

I will admit i can understand the design preference for not doing it but to say its a code violation is going overboard. BEFORE this guy is challenged on this issue i just wanted to hear from others.
 

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That's a good one. I would think switched receptacles wouldn't be allowed to prevent accidental switching off of medical equipment, but I don't see any article prohibiting it
 

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Many patient rooms have a switched recpt for the bed power and a switch built into the bottom of the overbed light. That keeps them from raising the bed and ripping the light off the wall with the IV pole.
 

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I am guessing that the problem might be the voltage drop created from each section of the outlet. Maximum potential difference between grounded metal is 20 Millivolts so 1 side of the duplex is 120 volts but the stitched side is more than 20 Millivolts potential difference the outlet itself fails the test What is the volt drop on the 30 feet of switch leg?
Much of the safety in patient care is related to preventing microcurrents from being created across a human body especially in a weakened or electrically lower body resistance we might get from a needle or cardio monitor or pacemaker etc. Even very small currents can disrupt heart beats for sick patients. I think I am on the side of your inspector but I cannot say it is a direct code violation and definitely can't say what the NEC says. It is not a Canadian Code violation but it may not pass testing as I have outlined.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Many patient rooms have a switched recpt for the bed power and a switch built into the bottom of the overbed light. That keeps them from raising the bed and ripping the light off the wall with the IV pole.
I have seen this setup before, and it was for that very reason I believe this was done this way. However, I'm told that they mount the lights up higher now, and some are even not on the wall anymore, including the reading light.

Now, I have been told that they do not do that anymore and its more of a code violation. I was told that when they needed power the most, the switched receptacle did not work because of a bad switch.

I was also told that nurses and staff did not consistently plug the bed back into the correct switched receptacle on too many occasions. Basically defeating the purpose of having it in the first place.

I do understand the reasoning, but to say its a code violation to have a switched receptacle in patient rooms, I just do not see that in the NEC or NFPA 99. If someone finds it let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am guessing that the problem might be the voltage drop created from each section of the outlet. Maximum potential difference between grounded metal is 20 Millivolts so 1 side of the duplex is 120 volts but the stitched side is more than 20 Millivolts potential difference the outlet itself fails the test What is the volt drop on the 30 feet of switch leg?
Much of the safety in patient care is related to preventing microcurrents from being created across a human body especially in a weakened or electrically lower body resistance we might get from a needle or cardio monitor or pacemaker etc. Even very small currents can disrupt heart beats for sick patients. I think I am on the side of your inspector but I cannot say it is a direct code violation and definitely can't say what the NEC says. It is not a Canadian Code violation but it may not pass testing as I have outlined.
its not even 30ft, that's a lot. I have heard about the 20mv test, but according to them that is not the reason the inspector is giving. I'm not sure if that test of 20mv has been done. That 20mv test only for metal surfaces and another grounded reference point. By the way this a 'single' receptacle, not a duplex.
 
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