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fw2007 10-19-2007 08:34 PM

Work lights in basement with drop ceiling
I just installed a "Diamond Plate" double bulb 4ft fluorescent fixture in my basement. The ceiling is dropped, with plastic diffusers where the lights are.
The Diamond Plate fixture came with a 3-wire cord and plug, intended to be used at a workbench.

I thought of replacing the cord-plug combo with Romex cable and wiring directly into the box, but decided to take the easy route, leaving the cord & plug and installing a receptacle in the box, which is mounted to the joist above the ceiling.
A wall switch controls power to the receptacle.

I hung the lamp between joists using hooks and supplied chains so that it is at the correct level for the diffuser to fit into the drop ceiling.
Everything works fine, but I was wondering if this installation is code.
I know that if the ceiling were permanent, I would not be permitted to use the original cord and plug with the receptacle, but since it is a drop ceiling with easily removable tiles, I thought perhaps code would permit it.

For now, it's a great way to have the fixture up and working, because I need to do some more work in the same area, and will need to remove the fixture temporarily. So all I have to do is unplug it, and the fixture can easily be removed.
But if this installation is not code, I will replace the cord & plug with Romex cable directly into the box. It would require opening up the cord entry to 3/4" to fit the Romex clamp, which is the main reason I chose to leave the cord & plug.

Thanks for your advice


jbfan 10-20-2007 08:13 AM

It is not to code to have a plug above the ceiling tile. If you did not have the drop ceiling, it would be fine.
You need to hard wire this light.
Why do you need a 3/4 for the romex connector?
A 1/2 inch is all that is needed, unless you are talking about the hole for the connector, then it will be 7/8.

fw2007 10-20-2007 09:39 AM

Thanks for the reply.
I would most likely be using a standard Romex clamp. I just measured the OD of the clamp, that's how I came up with 3/4.
I haven't been doing much wiring in a while, as I lived in an apartment for 20 years, so I have forgotten some of the particulars. I may have a 7/8" Greenlee punch.

I was suspecting that the plug above ceiling tile was not code, but it was the easiest way to get the light up and working quickly.
It's not a big deal to change the wiring.


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