Floor Outlets

They are acceptable but not when installed in this manner!


What of floor receptacles that may have been okayed by the AHJ? As you know, the applicability of facets of the NEC can vary from town to town. Where such receptacle is seen, I do point out the inherent dangers associated with it, and question whether it was approved. I do not flag it as a code violation, or something that is absolutely not permitted. We dont have that knowledge, I’m afraid

Please 'splain the correct method. Thanks.

Joe: I agree, since in older homes and buildings we find them in the floor and they are full of wax and dirt and are sometimes damaged.

The pictures here are from my Best Western Hotel Room, first time I found them in the floor. I know of AHJ’s who allowed a “Bell Box” or “FS” (Waterproof) box and a waterproof cover.

Rugs that are washed could lead to problems. See below for more to esplain :cool:

**Floor Boxes.
**Boxes listed specifically for this application shall be used for receptacles located in the floor.

**Exception: Where the authority having jurisdiction judges **them free from likely exposure to physical damage, moisture, **and dirt, boxes located in elevated floors of show **windows and similar locations shall be permitted to be **other than those listed for floor applications. Receptacles **and covers shall be listed as an assembly for this type of location.

Here’s what I meant when I was thinking about floor wax and dirt, I found this in a furniture store.

Looks like the dirt and floor wax in this “Gem Box” have added more insulation?

These old types of splices used here were usually twisted, soldered, and taped with friction tape, but the box being on the floor may not meet the present requirements.
A floor box of the brass type, often used in the floors around malls and airports, are probably the best, but I see now that some people are stealing the brass for scrap!

OK, I accept that. But how do I know whether or not it’s listed without removing it?

Searched Google Images for Floor Boxes and found this:


That one certainly seems sturdy. But how do I know if it’s “listed” per the code you cited?

UL Listed floor boxes include the complete assembly consisting of the cover,
gasket and box. Receptacles may be included in the packaging or added
to the assembly in the field. Products Listed for installation are covered
under the product categories metallic outlet boxes (QCIT), and nonmetallic outlet boxes (QCMZ)

Listed kits, consisting of the cover and gasket for use with specific
Listed floor boxes, are identified in the installation instructions. The interchangeability of components is authorized only as specified on the
product, or in the installation instructions included with the product.

UL Listed floor boxes bear the complete Listing Mark, including the UL in a circle, the word “Listed,” the product name, and the control number. The Listing Mark consisting of the UL in a circle can be found on the product itself; the *complete *Listing Mark is usually located on the smallest unit container in which the product is packaged, indicating
that the entire assembly has been evaluated for compliance with applicable
UL Standards and *NEC *Section 370-27(b). Also, the product identity “floor box” is placed adjacent to the Listing Mark.

Receptacle and cover assemblies complying with *NEC *Section 370-27(b), are covered under the product category Receptacles for Attachment Plugs and Plugs (RTRT)

These products are Listed as display receptacles, including the receptacle, flush device cover place or outlet box cover, and closure plugs. They are intended for use in show window floors and similar locations where the device is not subjected to scrub water. UL Listed receptacles and cover assemblies are not intended to be used as substitutes or in place of floor boxes.

The special UL meetings for government inspectors provide us an excellent opportunity to ask questions of UL engineers and to clarify UL requirements.

Searching for the letters in parenthesis over on www.ul.com will give more information.

Thanks Joe.

I would just list it as ‘significantly deficient’. It is also really stupid.

I am not speaking from code or local AHJ, just plain common sense.

Course, I have not had any buyer’s of hotels yet.

Joe, maybe you ought to skip the Best Westerns from now on. :shock:

I “Red Flag” all residential floor receptacles.

I’ve never seen a floor receptacle (in a home) with a cover as shown.
I’ve seen many (with covers) in commercial buildings, which are fine.

I will just have to call another inspector, geeez you are too tough! :roll:

Here’s some information and lots of images for training purposes


What is ‘allowed’ by some governmental and non-governmental construction authorities is not always what is ‘best’ or safest.

Codes are a minimum standard, not consistant throughout the country and highly influenced by political and economic considerations.

In Chicago, the electrical union is, de facto, the steering authority for the codes. Here is what happens:

  1. Unions see a way to increase their membership (and their political power) by coming up with a new standard, like insisting that all electricl wiring be enclosed in EMT or pipe. (this includes 5 vold, very low amp computer wiring)

  2. The publish and make known, to their members, this new ‘standard’. They also have ‘experts’ write white papers and publich them in various electrical engineering journals and trade publications. I read one, one time, about the sever lung damage that occurs when the outer plastic coating or ROMEX gets burned. True, it ain’t good to breath this stuff, but in a fire, especially one that has already consumed the drywall and gotten to the wiring between the walls, a small amount of ROMEX vapor is chicken feed when compared to the wood smoke, wouldn’t you think. A drop of cyanide in a glass of arsenic means little.

  3. The new ‘standard’ gets known and becomes pervasive.

  4. The unions start to demand that builders meet the new ‘standard’. It this is not agreed to, they start work slowdowns and the like

  5. The unions start to put political pressure on the politicians, especially around election time. Campaign contributions and election day ‘canvassars’ help.

  6. The City council hold hearings on the new ‘standard’. What finally comes out is that so many builders are already following it (due to previous union pressure) that making the de facto, de jure faces little opposition.

  7. The new ‘standard’ gets adopted into the ‘code’ and enforced.

  8. The union now has doubled the work load of its members, ensureing them that wiring a house will not take at least twice as long. They work by the hour.

Don’t get me wrong, I happen to believe that wire enclosed in EMT is safer than ROMEX. It also helps to ensure a completely ground bonded system (grounding being continuious through the EMT).

But let’s nit delude ourselves that the new ‘standard’ was adopted by reason of altruism or concern for the public safety. The actual technical reasons are probably the smalled factor in the process.

People should realize that ‘codes’ are, at least as much, political and economic in nature as they are safety measures.