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Author Topic: Code question on portable cord.  (Read 2685 times)

Mark Cadwallader

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Code question on portable cord.
« on: July 20, 2015, 08:44:00 pm »

I'm starting to use more powerCon equipped devices. I have not been able to find a local source for 12/3 SO portable cord that really fits into the powerCon chuck. While much of my powerCon use is for lighting, sometime I have lights on the deck, rather than up in the truss. It is my general understanding that the NEC calls for SO, not SJ, portable cord for stage/entertainment ground (deck) use. A powerCon connector is rated at 20A (at 120 VAC), for which I would normally spec 12/3 cable.

My question is whether it is a better idea (from the NEC perspective) to build my powerCon cords with 14/3 SO cord or with 12/3 SJ cord. I recognize that my local AHJ has the final word, but what do you suggest? Buck up and hunt down Carol 12/3 SO with a 1/2" OD, or go with locally available 12/3 SJ or the 14/3 SO cord?

TYIA.
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: Code question on portable cord.
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2015, 09:52:59 pm »

Our AHJ seems to have absolutely no clue about SJ vs SO and entertainment code.  This is both good and bad.  That said, I would always rather 12/3 than 14/3.


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Rob Spence

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Re: Code question on portable cord.
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2015, 11:43:23 pm »

I find that if I use the larger strain relief and enlarge it a bit with my Dremel tool it works fine with 12-3 SOOW.


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rob at lynxaudioservices dot com

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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Code question on portable cord.
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2015, 12:41:56 pm »

Most of what I have is Carol 12/3 SO I got from Home Depot.  It fits into the PowerCons just fine.
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George Dougherty

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Re: Code question on portable cord.
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2015, 01:12:12 pm »

I'm starting to use more powerCon equipped devices. I have not been able to find a local source for 12/3 SO portable cord that really fits into the powerCon chuck. While much of my powerCon use is for lighting, sometime I have lights on the deck, rather than up in the truss. It is my general understanding that the NEC calls for SO, not SJ, portable cord for stage/entertainment ground (deck) use. A powerCon connector is rated at 20A (at 120 VAC), for which I would normally spec 12/3 cable.

My question is whether it is a better idea (from the NEC perspective) to build my powerCon cords with 14/3 SO cord or with 12/3 SJ cord. I recognize that my local AHJ has the final word, but what do you suggest? Buck up and hunt down Carol 12/3 SO with a 1/2" OD, or go with locally available 12/3 SJ or the 14/3 SO cord?

TYIA.
The stuff Cameltraders carries fits.  Can't recall the brand, but may well be Carol.
To clarify, at least the stuff they used to carry does. Their website gives no specs. You could call and ask to be certain. I bought a 250' spool about 2years ago.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 01:16:12 pm by George Dougherty »
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Code question on portable cord.
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2015, 02:43:03 pm »

Southwire brand is what I can find locally (including at Lowe's). I'll try a couple more places, and then see what CamelTraders has to offer.

I agree that 12/3 SO is the right answer and my first choice. But back to my question: from the standpoint of the NEC, which would be less bad: 12/3 SJ or 14/3 SO?  Or is it that neither is acceptable or appropriate?
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Rob Spence

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Re: Code question on portable cord.
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2015, 03:48:38 pm »

Southwire brand is what I can find locally (including at Lowe's). I'll try a couple more places, and then see what CamelTraders has to offer.

I agree that 12/3 SO is the right answer and my first choice. But back to my question: from the standpoint of the NEC, which would be less bad: 12/3 SJ or 14/3 SO?  Or is it that neither is acceptable or appropriate?

SO (or more commonly SOOW these days) is required for portable power distribution in public assembly buildings and outdoor festivals.

SJ is not allowed.


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rob at lynxaudioservices dot com

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Rob Spence

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Re: Code question on portable cord.
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2015, 03:50:28 pm »

I use SOOW at any place it might be inspected and always at outdoor events.
In bars or private events at country clubs, for instance, I may use SJ to save weight and pack space.


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rob at lynxaudioservices dot com

Dealer for: AKG, Allen & Heath, Ashley, Astatic, Audix, Blue Microphones, CAD, Chauvet, Community, Countryman, Crown, DBX, Electro-Voice, FBT, Furman, Heil, Horizon, Intellistage, JBL, Lab Gruppen, Mid Atlantic, On Stage Stands, Pelican, Peterson Tuners, Presonus, ProCo, QSC, Radial, RCF, Sennheiser, Shure, SKB, Soundcraft, TC Electronics, Telex, Whirlwind and others

Keith Broughton

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Re: Code question on portable cord.
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2015, 07:49:51 am »


My question is whether it is a better idea (from the NEC perspective) to build my powerCon cords with 14/3 SO cord or with 12/3 SJ cord. I recognize that my local AHJ has the final word, but what do you suggest? Buck up and hunt down Carol 12/3 SO with a 1/2" OD, or go with locally available 12/3 SJ or the 14/3 SO cord?

TYIA.
I would think that if you use 14/3, the cct breaker for that branch should be 15 amps to match the capacity of the cable.
As others have said, 12 is available that will fit the Powercon and is a better choice.
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Code question on portable cord.
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2015, 09:13:20 am »

Thank you all for your replies. I'll go ahead and order a spool of the Carol 12/3 SOOW.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Code question on portable cord.
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2015, 09:13:20 am »


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