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Here's my scenario: I'm currently re-doing a floor, and have been asked if it's possible to cut a channel for running extension cables for computer equipment, as well as some low-voltage devices. The floor is a little over 3/4 in. thick, which sits upon a 3/4 in. plywood subfloor, which itself is on concrete. The channel itself would be covered by a grill that can be removed by hand without tools.

Is this code compliant? I'd like to avoid cutting into the concrete to leave room for a receptible, if possible.

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Tricky question!

I think that, as long as the grill is not fastened down, and as long as the cabling is standard end-user cabling, it would be compliant.

This means you can't run some Romex between electrical boxes in there, because it can't share a channel with low-voltage wire. But you could run a standard extension cord in there, because extension cords and audio cables or Ethernet are commonly bound together in bundles, outside of walls.

But if you screw that grill down, and a electrical inspector comes and sees it, he may decide that it is "in-floor" wiring, rather than simply a chase for running end-user mixed cabling.

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  • Do not think an "extension" (120volt)cord would in code. They are only for temporary use. While the channel will provide protection, quite sure an inspector would see it as a permanent installation. If only for low voltage wires, less than 50 v, it would be okay, code does not care/mention for low voltage.
    – crip659
    Jun 2, 2022 at 10:38
  • @crip659, That's why you cannot screw the cover down. Surely, I've worked in "cube farms" and engineering labs that had outlet strips and extension cords running every which way, and no electrical inspector tried to shut them down. I think in terms of the code, "temporary" means you could unplug it and remove it at any time. Jun 2, 2022 at 19:24

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