Outlet Above Drop Ceiling?

I realize that local codes can vary, but I'm wondering if this is ever allowed. I have an application where I need to power 2 alarm transformers. They are 'bricks' that convert to 12 volts and have a screw that permanently attaches them to an outlet (a long screw that replace the short one used to hold the outlet cover on). 12 volts comes out of them. There would be no 120v cords above the drop ceiling, only low voltage. So in this scenario would I be so in violation of the NEC if I put an outlet above the drop ceiling? I won't bother chasing down the local code if this is an outrageous idea.
Tom
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T. McQuinn wrote:

If you install the outlet in a box w/ cover, etc., and all it takes is removing a tile from the ceiling to gain access, I'm perfectly comfortable w/ that.
I've seen it in many commercial places, for example I was standing at a service counter in one of the big chains just the other morning waiting to meet someone and observed they had their checkouts powered by plugins to the ceiling outlet boxes via a power cord to outlets (110V) on the ceiling at about 30-ft which powered another power mast for four-six registers/mast. Thought that somewhat interesting rather than being permanently wired. There were portions of that ceiling that were open, others that did have dropped ceilings in certain other departments but the local registers were hooked up via the same mast arrangement I noticed.
Just an observation and imo, I don't know chapter/verse of NEC for the situation but I don't think that the loose ceiling tiles count for finished wall/ceiling.
--
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T. McQuinn wrote:

Why not? What's the difference between an outlet above a drop ceiling and an outlet in the attic?
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HeyBub wrote:

To be honest, sometimes I am surprised by the things that aren't allowed. I don't always see the big picture when I'm focused on a particular application like this. I have seen outlets above drop ceilings in businesses, powering their network routers & switches, but I never stopped to think whether or not it was in compliance with the code.
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wrote:

Depends on the inspectors interpretation of "accessible"
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wrote:

I'd be very careful to conceal what you're doing. If it does violate the codes, you're in big trouble. You do know that the Bush administration passed a bill allowing building inspectors to cut the testicles off homeowners who violate federal and/or local codes.
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snipped-for-privacy@nyspace.com wrote:

Yeah, I know, it sounded a bit paranoid. But I don't keep up with every code change and I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. I don't fear the government half as much as the insurance company! I just want my stuff in compliance with the code!
Long ago I was at a party and met an electrical inspector. I didn't think he would want to talk about business but he surprised me. I had a bunch of questions about keeping in compliance and he answered every one of them. What surprised me the most was the old work/new work stuff he taught me (don't have to worry about stapling to the studs when fishing a new wire in an existing wall, etc.). I was wanting to get rid of a bunch of old knob and tube and was hung up on a lot of little nits because most of what I had learned had been in new construction. Anyway, the thing I never forgot was him telling me that he never, ever wanted to get in the way of someone trying to improve their service to modern standards. He was not there to discourage improvements, only to ensure that the work was safe and of reasonable quality.
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On Sun, 29 Mar 2009 04:36:27 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@nyspace.com wrote:

Put the house in the wife's name.
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wrote:

HVAC system and therefore need plenum cable and possibly have other special requirements. That is more common in commercial environments than in a home, but it makes sense that he asked. I just don't know the answer.
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snipped-for-privacy@neo.rr.com wrote:

first! But in this case I can state that the space is absolutely not part of an air return.
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I don't know for sure, but I think the deal is that you can't have outlets and junction boxes that are not accessible -- such as in a wall or ceiling behind sheetrock, etc. But, if it is accessible -- meaning there is an access panel that can be easily opened to get to the outlet or junction box, or in this case, a dropped ceiling panel that can be opened or moved -- it is okay.
So, I think that yes, you can do what you want to do.
T. McQuinn wrote:

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Nothing in the NEC prohibits the installation of a receptacle above a drop ceiling. Section 400.8(5) of the NEC prohibits the use of flexible cords ". . . located above suspended or dropped ceilings". However, my understanding is that low voltage flexible cords are exempted from this (although I have not read the appropriate Chapter 7 sections). So I believe it is OK to permanently install a wall wart in a receptacle above a drop ceiling.
Cheers, Wayne
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wrote:

The code problem is not the receptacle, it is the cord you plug in . In the grand scheme of things it is not that dangerous tho.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote: ...

But iirc (and Wayne's cite seems to confirm) it's cords _above_ the ceiling that are prohibited. I don't believe that prohibits coming from above to below -- if it did, it would mean Walmart and many other commercial facilities are non-compliant for the above examples.
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