Lighting fixtures designed for use in health care facilities, must provide effective illumination and satisfy several demanding lighting and power requirements. Engineered Products Company’s (EPCO) Fixture Whips are the common thread among all health care and medical care facilities.

Throughout our years servicing the electrical marketplace, EPCO has manufactured well over 200+ fixture whip configurations. Among those configurations, we have designated eight (8) fixture whips specific to health care facilities in compliance with NEC Article 517.2, 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC). These eight fixture whips comply with the installation requirements of electrical equipment in health care facilities.

EPCO Fixture Whips vs. the Competition

The only difference between EPCO’s fixture whips we have identified for health care facilities and our competitors; we do not add a “green” stripe or “green” product label to the flexible metal conduit (FMC) to designate these products as health care whips. This keeps our manufacturing and production cost low, and ultimately makes the sell price more attractive and competitive. EPCO’s high quality and historic value is still built into the fixture whip and is reinforced by the attached UL Listing Certification label.

Types Of Health Care Facilities

When many of us think of health care facilities, we think of hospitals or emergency care units. However, the informational note in the NEC 517.2 definition of Health Care Facilities includes, but is not limited to:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes
  • Limited Care Facilities
  • Clinics
  • Medical and Dental Offices
  • Ambulatory Care Centers

Although EPCO Fixture whips are used in the construction or retrofit of the above-mentioned facilities, the focus here is also fixture whips used in the patient care environment. Specifically, when patients may be placed on life support systems or subjected to invasive procedures and connected to (power) line-operated electromedical devices.

EPCO designated fixture whips are the integral component for the health care facility’s overall lighting and power system. The contractor is 100% responsible for the final installation per the NEC code requirement. (See figure 1 below.)

How Do We Define EPCO Fixture Whips for Health Care Facilities?

  • 12 AWG Conductors: The National Electrical Code standard used for wiring health care facilities.
  • 20 Amperes: The required circuit size in 100% of the health care facilities in the United States.

The “screw-in” type lock-nut connector is the preferred and primary connector in all health care facilities. UL Certified for use with all LED lighting system applications, EPCO’s fixture whips are available in multiple configurations and are divided into two (2) categories: Standard and Illumination Control.

Standard Health Care Fixture Whip

EPCO’s Health Care Fixture Whip is intended to connect the line voltage conductors of an LED Luminaire’s Driver to the incoming power conductors within an electrical 

junction box for new or retrofit construction. This product may also be used to power receptacles in all rooms within the health care facility.

Illumination Control Fixture Whip

The Illumination Control Fixture Whip is an energy management solution. It integrates with the facility’s lighting control system and is intended to reduce energy consumption while optimizing facility lighting. They operate at 120 or 277 VAC and integrate easily with digital lighting controls for dimming and switching in new or retrofit construction. They also meet all UL and NEC standards for powering lighting systems and class 2 or class 3 lighting control circuits within the same whip.

Application Example for Grounding

In Article 517, EPCO Health Care Fixture Whips can serve as the equipment grounding conductor for branch circuits for electromedical devices serving patient care locations. Two equipment grounding (protective bonding) paths are the goal and rule. Section 517.13(A) modifies the general requirements in Article 250 by requiring an insulated, copper equipment grounding conductor. Installing this conductor in fixture whips metal raceway (FMC) qualifies as an equipment grounding return path in accordance with Section 250.118. The amendments/ modifications are as follows:

Insulated, Copper Equipment Grounding Conductors

Installed in the Health Care Fixture Whips (FMC) metal raceways are identified as electromedical device/equipment grounding conductor return paths.

These are two more restrictive requirements than what is normally acceptable in Section 250.118.

Summary

EPCO’s Health Care Fixture Whips can and should be used in health care facilities and comply with NEC Article 517.2, 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC).

Credits: Some portions of this article are attributed to the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) Magazine - September/October 2020