29 CFR § 1926.405 - Wiring methods, components, and equipment for general use.

§ 1926.405 Wiring methods, components, and equipment for general use.

(a) Wiring methods. The provisions of this paragraph do not apply to conductors which form an integral part of equipment such as motors, controllers, motor control centers and like equipment.

(1) General requirements—(i) Electrical continuity of metal raceways and enclosures. Metal raceways, cable armor, and other metal enclosures for conductors shall be metallically joined together into a continuous electric conductor and shall be so connected to all boxes, fittings, and cabinets as to provide effective electrical continuity.

(ii) Wiring in ducts. No wiring systems of any type shall be installed in ducts used to transport dust, loose stock or flammable vapors. No wiring system of any type shall be installed in any duct used for vapor removal or in any shaft containing only such ducts.

(2) Temporary wiring—(i) Scope. The provisions of paragraph (a)(2) of this section apply to temporary electrical power and lighting wiring methods which may be of a class less than would be required for a permanent installation. Except as specifically modified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, all other requirements of this subpart for permanent wiring shall apply to temporary wiring installations. Temporary wiring shall be removed immediately upon completion of construction or the purpose for which the wiring was installed.

(ii) General requirements for temporary wiring.

(A) Feeders shall originate in a distribution center. The conductors shall be run as multiconductor cord or cable assemblies or within raceways; or, where not subject to physical damage, they may be run as open conductors on insulators not more than 10 feet (3.05 m) apart.

(B) Branch circuits shall originate in a power outlet or panelboard. Conductors shall be run as multiconductor cord or cable assemblies or open conductors, or shall be run in raceways. All conductors shall be protected by overcurrent devices at their ampacity. Runs of open conductors shall be located where the conductors will not be subject to physical damage, and the conductors shall be fastened at intervals not exceeding 10 feet (3.05 m). No branch-circuit conductors shall be laid on the floor. Each branch circuit that supplies receptacles or fixed equipment shall contain a separate equipment grounding conductor if the branch circuit is run as open conductors.

(C) Receptacles shall be of the grounding type. Unless installed in a complete metallic raceway, each branch circuit shall contain a separate equipment grounding conductor, and all receptacles shall be electrically connected to the grounding conductor. Receptacles for uses other than temporary lighting shall not be installed on branch circuits which supply temporary lighting. Receptacles shall not be connected to the same ungrounded conductor of multiwire circuits which supply temporary lighting.

(D) Disconnecting switches or plug connectors shall be installed to permit the disconnection of all ungrounded conductors of each temporary circuit.

(E) All lamps for general illumination shall be protected from accidental contact or breakage. Metal-case sockets shall be grounded.

(F) Temporary lights shall not be suspended by their electric cords unless cords and lights are designed for this means of suspension.

(G) Portable electric lighting used in wet and/or other conductive locations, as for example, drums, tanks, and vessels, shall be operated at 12 volts or less. However, 120-volt lights may be used if protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter.

(H) A box shall be used wherever a change is made to a raceway system or a cable system which is metal clad or metal sheathed.

(I) Flexible cords and cables shall be protected from damage. Sharp corners and projections shall be avoided. Flexible cords and cables may pass through doorways or other pinch points, if protection is provided to avoid damage.

(J) Extension cord sets used with portable electric tools and appliances shall be of three-wire type and shall be designed for hard or extra-hard usage. Flexible cords used with temporary and portable lights shall be designed for hard or extra-hard usage.


The National Electrical Code, ANSI/NFPA 70, in Article 400, Table 400-4, lists various types of flexible cords, some of which are noted as being designed for hard or extra-hard usage. Examples of these types of flexible cords include hard service cord (types S, ST, SO, STO) and junior hard service cord (types SJ, SJO, SJT, SJTO).

(iii) Guarding. For temporary wiring over 600 volts, nominal, fencing, barriers, or other effective means shall be provided to prevent access of other than authorized and qualified personnel.

(b) Cabinets, boxes, and fittings—(1) Conductors entering boxes, cabinets, or fittings. Conductors entering boxes, cabinets, or fittings shall be protected from abrasion, and openings through which conductors enter shall be effectively closed. Unused openings in cabinets, boxes, and fittings shall also be effectively closed.

(2) Covers and canopies. All pull boxes, junction boxes, and fittings shall be provided with covers. If metal covers are used, they shall be grounded. In energized installations each outlet box shall have a cover, faceplate, or fixture canopy. Covers of outlet boxes having holes through which flexible cord pendants pass shall be provided with bushings designed for the purpose or shall have smooth, well-rounded surfaces on which the cords may bear.

(3) Pull and junction boxes for systems over 600 volts, nominal. In addition to other requirements in this section for pull and junction boxes, the following shall apply to these boxes for systems over 600 volts, nominal:

(i) Complete enclosure. Boxes shall provide a complete enclosure for the contained conductors or cables.

(ii) Covers. Boxes shall be closed by covers securely fastened in place. Underground box covers that weigh over 100 pounds (43.6 kg) meet this requirement. Covers for boxes shall be permanently marked “HIGH VOLTAGE.” The marking shall be on the outside of the box cover and shall be readily visible and legible.

(c) Knife switches. Single-throw knife switches shall be so connected that the blades are dead when the switch is in the open position. Single-throw knife switches shall be so placed that gravity will not tend to close them. Single-throw knife switches approved for use in the inverted position shall be provided with a locking device that will ensure that the blades remain in the open position when so set. Double-throw knife switches may be mounted so that the throw will be either vertical or horizontal. However, if the throw is vertical, a locking device shall be provided to ensure that the blades remain in the open position when so set.

(d) Switchboards and panelboards. Switchboards that have any exposed live parts shall be located in permanently dry locations and accessible only to qualified persons. Panelboards shall be mounted in cabinets, cutout boxes, or enclosures designed for the purpose and shall be dead front. However, panelboards other than the dead front externally-operable type are permitted where accessible only to qualified persons. Exposed blades of knife switches shall be dead when open.

(e) Enclosures for damp or wet locations—(1) Cabinets, fittings, and boxes. Cabinets, cutout boxes, fittings, boxes, and panelboard enclosures in damp or wet locations shall be installed so as to prevent moisture or water from entering and accumulating within the enclosures. In wet locations the enclosures shall be weatherproof.

(2) Switches and circuit breakers. Switches, circuit breakers, and switchboards installed in wet locations shall be enclosed in weatherproof enclosures.

(f) Conductors for general wiring. All conductors used for general wiring shall be insulated unless otherwise permitted in this subpart. The conductor insulation shall be of a type that is suitable for the voltage, operating temperature, and location of use. Insulated conductors shall be distinguishable by appropriate color or other means as being grounded conductors, ungrounded conductors, or equipment grounding conductors.

(g) Flexible cords and cables—(1) Use of flexible cords and cables—(i) Permitted uses. Flexible cords and cables shall be suitable for conditions of use and location. Flexible cords and cables shall be used only for:

(A) Pendants;

(B) Wiring of fixtures;

(C) Connection of portable lamps or appliances;

(D) Elevator cables;

(E) Wiring of cranes and hoists;

(F) Connection of stationary equipment to facilitate their frequent interchange;

(G) Prevention of the transmission of noise or vibration; or

(H) Appliances where the fastening means and mechanical connections are designed to permit removal for maintenance and repair.

(ii) Attachment plugs for cords. If used as permitted in paragraphs (g)(1)(i)(C), (g)(1)(i)(F), or (g)(1)(i)(H) of this section, the flexible cord shall be equipped with an attachment plug and shall be energized from a receptacle outlet.

(iii) Prohibited uses. Unless necessary for a use permitted in paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this section, flexible cords and cables shall not be used:

(A) As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure;

(B) Where run through holes in walls, ceilings, or floors;

(C) Where run through doorways, windows, or similar openings, except as permitted in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(I) of this section;

(D) Where attached to building surfaces; or

(E) Where concealed behind building walls, ceilings, or floors.

(2) Identification, splices, and terminations—(i) Identification. A conductor of a flexible cord or cable that is used as a grounded conductor or an equipment grounding conductor shall be distinguishable from other conductors.

(ii) Marking. Type SJ, SJO, SJT, SJTO, S, SO, ST, and STO cords shall not be used unless durably marked on the surface with the type designation, size, and number of conductors.

(iii) Splices. Flexible cords shall be used only in continuous lengths without splice or tap. Hard service flexible cords No. 12 or larger may be repaired if spliced so that the splice retains the insulation, outer sheath properties, and usage characteristics of the cord being spliced.

(iv) Strain relief. Flexible cords shall be connected to devices and fittings so that strain relief is provided which will prevent pull from being directly transmitted to joints or terminal screws.

(v) Cords passing through holes. Flexible cords and cables shall be protected by bushings or fittings where passing through holes in covers, outlet boxes, or similar enclosures.

(h) Portable cables over 600 volts, nominal. Multiconductor portable cable for use in supplying power to portable or mobile equipment at over 600 volts, nominal, shall consist of No. 8 or larger conductors employing flexible stranding. Cables operated at over 2000 volts shall be shielded for the purpose of confining the voltage stresses to the insulation. Grounding conductors shall be provided. Connectors for these cables shall be of a locking type with provisions to prevent their opening or closing while energized. Strain relief shall be provided at connections and terminations. Portable cables shall not be operated with splices unless the splices are of the permanent molded, vulcanized, or other equivalent type. Termination enclosures shall be marked with a high voltage hazard warning, and terminations shall be accessible only to authorized and qualified personnel.

(i) Fixture wires—(1) General. Fixture wires shall be suitable for the voltage, temperature, and location of use. A fixture wire which is used as a grounded conductor shall be identified.

(2) Uses permitted. Fixture wires may be used:

(i) For installation in lighting, fixtures and in similar equipment where enclosed or protected and not subject to bending or twisting in use; or

(ii) For connecting lighting fixtures to the branch-circuit conductors supplying the fixtures.

(3) Uses not permitted. Fixture wires shall not be used as branch-circuit conductors except as permitted for Class 1 power-limited circuits.

(j) Equipment for general use—(1) Lighting fixtures, lampholders, lamps, and receptacles—(i) Live parts. Fixtures, lampholders, lamps, rosettes, and receptacles shall have no live parts normally exposed to employee contact. However, rosettes and cleat-type lampholders and receptacles located at least 8 feet (2.44 m) above the floor may have exposed parts.

(ii) Support. Fixtures, lampholders, rosettes, and receptacles shall be securely supported. A fixture that weighs more than 6 pounds (2.72 kg) or exceeds 16 inches (406 mm) in any dimension shall not be supported by the screw shell of a lampholder.

(iii) Portable lamps. Portable lamps shall be wired with flexible cord and an attachment plug of the polarized or grounding type. If the portable lamp uses an Edison-based lampholder, the grounded conductor shall be identified and attached to the screw shell and the identified blade of the attachment plug. In addition, portable handlamps shall comply with the following:

(A) Metal shell, paperlined lampholders shall not be used;

(B) Handlamps shall be equipped with a handle of molded composition or other insulating material;

(C) Handlamps shall be equipped with a substantial guard attached to the lampholder or handle;

(D) Metallic guards shall be grounded by the means of an equipment grounding conductor run within the power supply cord.

(iv) Lampholders. Lampholders of the screw-shell type shall be installed for use as lampholders only. Lampholders installed in wet or damp locations shall be of the weatherproof type.

(v) Fixtures. Fixtures installed in wet or damp locations shall be identified for the purpose and shall be installed so that water cannot enter or accumulate in wireways, lampholders, or other electrical parts.

(2) Receptacles, cord connectors, and attachment plugs (caps)—(i) Configuration. Receptacles, cord connectors, and attachment plugs shall be constructed so that no receptacle or cord connector will accept an attachment plug with a different voltage or current rating than that for which the device is intended. However, a 20-ampere T-slot receptacle or cord connector may accept a 15-ampere attachment plug of the same voltage rating. Receptacles connected to circuits having different voltages, frequencies, or types of current (ac or dc) on the same premises shall be of such design that the attachment plugs used on these circuits are not interchangeable.

(ii) Damp and wet locations. A receptacle installed in a wet or damp location shall be designed for the location.

(3) Appliances—(i) Live parts. Appliances, other than those in which the current-carrying parts at high temperatures are necessarily exposed, shall have no live parts normally exposed to employee contact.

(ii) Disconnecting means. A means shall be provided to disconnect each appliance.

(iii) Rating. Each appliance shall be marked with its rating in volts and amperes or volts and watts.

(4) Motors. This paragraph applies to motors, motor circuits, and controllers.

(i) In sight from. If specified that one piece of equipment shall be “in sight from” another piece of equipment, one shall be visible and not more than 50 feet (15.2 m) from the other.

(ii) Disconnecting means (A) A disconnecting means shall be located in sight from the controller location. The controller disconnecting means for motor branch circuits over 600 volts, nominal, may be out of sight of the controller, if the controller is marked with a warning label giving the location and identification of the disconnecting means which is to be locked in the open position.

(B) The disconnecting means shall disconnect the motor and the controller from all ungrounded supply conductors and shall be so designed that no pole can be operated independently.

(C) If a motor and the driven machinery are not in sight from the controller location, the installation shall comply with one of the following conditions:

(1) The controller disconnecting means shall be capable of being locked in the open position.

(2) A manually operable switch that will disconnect the motor from its source of supply shall be placed in sight from the motor location.

(D) The disconnecting means shall plainly indicate whether it is in the open (off) or closed (on) position.

(E) The disconnecting means shall be readily accessible. If more than one disconnect is provided for the same equipment, only one need be readily accessible.

(F) An individual disconnecting means shall be provided for each motor, but a single disconnecting means may be used for a group of motors under any one of the following conditions:

(1) If a number of motors drive special parts of a single machine or piece of apparatus, such as a metal or woodworking machine, crane, or hoist;

(2) If a group of motors is under the protection of one set of branch-circuit protective devices; or

(3) If a group of motors is in a single room in sight from the location of the disconnecting means.

(iii) Motor overload, short-circuit, and ground-fault protection. Motors, motor-control apparatus, and motor branch-circuit conductors shall be protected against overheating due to motor overloads or failure to start, and against short-circuits or ground faults. These provisions do not require overload protection that will stop a motor where a shutdown is likely to introduce additional or increased hazards, as in the case of fire pumps, or where continued operation of a motor is necessary for a safe shutdown of equipment or process and motor overload sensing devices are connected to a supervised alarm.

(iv) Protection of live parts—all voltages.

(A) Stationary motors having commutators, collectors, and brush rigging located inside of motor end brackets and not conductively connected to supply circuits operating at more than 150 volts to ground need not have such parts guarded. Exposed live parts of motors and controllers operating at 50 volts or more between terminals shall be guarded against accidental contact by any of the following:

(1) By installation in a room or enclosure that is accessible only to qualified persons;

(2) By installation on a balcony, gallery, or platform, so elevated and arranged as to exclude unqualified persons; or

(3) By elevation 8 feet (2.44 m) or more above the floor.

(B) Where live parts of motors or controllers operating at over 150 volts to ground are guarded against accidental contact only by location, and where adjustment or other attendance may be necessary during the operation of the apparatus, insulating mats or platforms shall be provided so that the attendant cannot readily touch live parts unless standing on the mats or platforms.

(5) Transformers—(i) Application. The following paragraphs cover the installation of all transformers, except:

(A) Current transformers;

(B) Dry-type transformers installed as a component part of other apparatus;

(C) Transformers which are an integral part of an X-ray, high frequency, or electrostatic-coating apparatus;

(D) Transformers used with Class 2 and Class 3 circuits, sign and outline lighting, electric discharge lighting, and power-limited fire-protective signaling circuits.

(ii) Operating voltage. The operating voltage of exposed live parts of transformer installations shall be indicated by warning signs or visible markings on the equipment or structure.

(iii) Transformers over 35 kV. Dry-type, high fire point liquid-insulated, and askarel-insulated transformers installed indoors and rated over 35 kV shall be in a vault.

(iv) Oil-insulated transformers. If they present a fire hazard to employees, oil-insulated transformers installed indoors shall be in a vault.

(v) Fire protection. Combustible material, combustible buildings and parts of buildings, fire escapes, and door and window openings shall be safeguarded from fires which may originate in oil-insulated transformers attached to or adjacent to a building or combustible material.

(vi) Transformer vaults. Transformer vaults shall be constructed so as to contain fire and combustible liquids within the vault and to prevent unauthorized access. Locks and latches shall be so arranged that a vault door can be readily opened from the inside.

(vii) Pipes and ducts. Any pipe or duct system foreign to the vault installation shall not enter or pass through a transformer vault.

(viii) Material storage. Materials shall not be stored in transformer vaults.

(6) Capacitors—(i) Drainage of stored charge. All capacitors, except surge capacitors or capacitors included as a component part of other apparatus, shall be provided with an automatic means of draining the stored charge and maintaining the discharged state after the capacitor is disconnected from its source of supply.

(ii) Over 600 volts. Capacitors rated over 600 volts, nominal, shall comply with the following additional requirements:

(A) Isolating or disconnecting switches (with no interrupting rating) shall be interlocked with the load interrupting device or shall be provided with prominently displayed caution signs to prevent switching load current.

(B) For series capacitors the proper switching shall be assured by use of at least one of the following:

(1) Mechanically sequenced isolating and bypass switches,

(2) Interlocks, or

(3) Switching procedure prominently displayed at the switching location.

[51 FR 25318, July 11, 1986, as amended at 61 FR 5510, Feb. 13, 1996; 85 FR 8736, Feb. 18, 2020]