Questionable Office Wiring

DavidRMarch 12, 2011

I took my dog to the vet's the other day. Most of the time when he goes in the vet gets down on the floor to look him over. But now they have an examining room with a spiffy motorized examining table that the vet can lower and raise with a wired remote control.

Actually, this isn't the first time my old friend got to ride that table. It was new a year or two ago, and I remember commenting to the doc then that they really shouldn't have it plugged into an extension cord that emerges from the drop ceiling. The cord comes out right next to the steel track that the ceiling panels drop into. (I suspect that's also how they've hooked up the clippers that emerge from a cord reel above the ceiling.)

He told me then that one of the vet assistants, the son of the clinic's founder, had rigged up the connection. I suggested that they should have an electrician install a proper receptacle on the wall next to the elevating table.

They certainly could use another receptacle. There's only one duplex in the entire examining room, and it's already taken up with an x-ray viewer and an instrument sanitizer.

Well, here it is over a year later, and nothing has changed. The office is still improperly wired.

The doc I usually go to is a nice guy but I'm sure he knows nothing about wiring. The vet who actually owns the place probably is ignorant of proper wiring too. Since I'm not a pro, they probably don't view me as anybody they should listen to.

I don't want to get any of the clinic folks into trouble, but I'm a bit concerned.

Probably nothing bad is going to happen next year or the year after; but someday, that cord's insulation may wear through and it could short out against the metal track. That could start a fire. If it happens during the day, vets or clients could be injured or killed. If at night, animals housed in their hospital might die.

What do y'all think I should do? Should I drop a line to the state fire marshall? Would it be better to contact some county agency, such as the health department? Should I just forget it and let the docs worry about it?

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State your concerns again to the office staff, and the reasoning behind same. After that, if the place burns, or the cord frays and electrocutes someone etc., you are sure it won't be because you knew of the risks and failed to tell them. Then assuming you really "...don't want to get any of the clinic folks into trouble...", forget about it. Government agencies rarely follow up without causing at least some level of "trouble".

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 4:26AM
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This is one thing if it really is an extension cord. In a bakery we had numerous cords drop from the ceiling because there was no wall to support an outlet. These cords were listed as drop cords and installed by electricians.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 7:30PM
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If they are renting that office, then you can avoid .gov "troubles"--and get better action--by going directly to the LANDLORD/OWNER. They (and their INSURANCE underwriter) will NOT be pleased by any UNsafe wiring, and will "lean" on the tenant to make it code-compliant.

Should not be too hard to find landlord/mgt./leasing agent, via some combination of on-site signage and/or asking other tenants.

You'd be surprised how seldom some "managers" inspect the props they are "responsible" for, as long as the rent checks roll in on time. :rolleyes:

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 1:00AM
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