Legit Or Trunkslammer Install? You Make The Call

Take a look at the picture below and the manner that flush-mount domes are hung from conduit:

The installer is hanging the camera pendant-style by using rigid EMT threaded into the knockout.

This undoubtedly is cheaper than furnishing the pendant mount adapter, ie:

It looks weird, but I am unsure if installing the cameras this way will lead to problems. It might be just fine.

What do you think?

Also, don't get me started on the lighted 'EXIT' sign hung above the 2nd story door that is unreachable.

That's funny. Hopefully there's someting to prevent someone from walking out this door from the opposite side.

Looks like this door may have been intended as an exit from the upper level of a multi-tiered metal racking system. These are commonly used in warehouses of this type.

Brian, Michael,

Who is to say this was not an AHJ requirement for occupancy?

It very well could be. It could also be there for visibility and not associated with the 2nd floor door at all.

It just looks silly, but there is no real risk in having it there.

This is known as a burglar entrance.


Imagine that second floor door isn't there at all. It appears as if the 2nd floor exit sign is directly above the 1st floor exit sign - which in turn, is above the egress door itself.

In a factory/warehouse setting like this, what if your line of site to the first floor exit sign was obscured while you are on the other side of the building (also on 1st floor). The 2nd floor exit sign should be visible over most obstructions (like palleted stuff, machinery, etc). No?

You could be right, and my reply to Daniel guesses the same.

Line of sight is important, but smoke also rises. So, I don't know.

For those interested, here's the IBC passage defining Exit Sign placement:

IBC 1011.1: Exit sign placement shall be such that no point in an exit access corridor or exit passageway is more than 100 feet (30 480 mm) or the listed viewing distance for the sign, whichever is less, from the nearest visible exit sign.

And that's it... how many signs/ mounting height/ text color are all subject to local AHJs.

Imagine that second floor door isn't there at all...

Or imagine the second floor itself is there. Equally bizzare...

I certainly wouldn't accept this on any of my jobs. Violates Rule #1: "Install as per the manufacturer's installation instructions". But, as much as I hate to admit it, this installation will probably work fine.

My bigger concern would be the use of the EMT and the screw fittings - these fittings were not intended to hold weight and could come loose. I would much prefer to see the use of rigid or IMC conduit with threaded fittings.

I agree with all of the above. The other issue with EMT is that it wobbles a lot. Take a 10' piece of 1/2" EMT and hold it in the middle and shake it and see how long it takes to stop moving. Now use a set screw coupler and add another 5' and see how much it flexes at that joint. Also, that bottom plate has more than just one hole in it. It's got four mounting holes, as well. Will dust enter through them and collect in the dome? (Probably yes, eventually)

I don't see the bottom plate really being an issue (I'll believe people who have used them, considering the specs of Avigilon's H3 domes say the whole body is plastic) so much as the conduit used, aside from it not being how the manufacturer recommended.

All that being said, I can understand why they did it this way, and I don't really blame them, because the pendant mount bracket uses 1.5" NPT thread I think, which is GIANT for this application. And I believe that bracket is for the outdoor dome only, which is a big price jump from the indoor model.

It's got four mounting holes, as well. Will dust enter through them and collect in the dome? Probaby, yes...

Probably not if they have four mounting screws covering them. (Hard to tell if they are there from the picture, but if not they are probably getting out the ladder now...)

Agree totally about the wobble.

Similarly, don't you think the unbalanced weight, even if not substantial, at that distance, will eventually lead to material 'creep'? Possibly enough to have to readjust the gimbal, no?

"The other issue with EMT is that it wobbles a lot."

Also, I’d be willing to bet that the AHUs are on the roof, they’re not properly isolated from the roof structure and the roof structure does not have enough mass to prevent structure-borne vibration. All of which would exacerbate the wobble problem.

Well... at least they're all straight and uniform. I'd rate this as "trunkslammer, but a clever and creative one."

FYI the bottem plates are metal so cameras should not have issues

It obviously works, but looks un-professional. I would never do this.

At the very least, get a metal junction box for $1.19 at the local Home Depot, paint it to "match" the camera (or not), have the conduit come in to the center of the junction box for even weight distribution and solid connectivity, then mount the camera to the junction box through the mounting holes.

I second this. It's not the most professional installation I've ever seen but I wouldn't consider it a "trunkslammer" install based on this photo alone.

At least the wiring is dressed accordingly. ..I've seen wiring ti - wrapped to the conduit.

Also the pendent mount adaptor Brian posted is not for the H3 line of cameras.

Hello Alex: Will you give the correct part number? I'll swap the images. Thanks.

Could have been a professional giving a cheap customer only what he/she was willing to pay for.

I would have to say not enough information. I have no idea what the budget is. Maybe budget was really low and their go to integrator did all they could and them some.

As far as wobble. They would have probably known by now if their was any, as you can see workers working below.

I agree with Michael Silva.

They mention rigid EMT which to me is a contradiction. Rigid conduit is rigid conduit & EMT is obviuosly the thinner metallic tubing.

The problem is, if this is in fact rigid conduit, they used rigid set screw connectors instead of rigid threaded connectors.

In my opinion regardless of hack install or "trunk slammer" install you would never want one of those cameras coming loose & landing on somone.

Point being when suspending video cameras there is no exception to this rule :: YOU ALWAYS THREAD ALL THE CONNECTIONS PERIOD!!!

If i were the local AHJ I would make them take them down & re-do the install. Forget just because it looks like hell, but if nothing else for saftey reasons alone!!

I saw this picture posted on twitter this morning and the first thing that came to mind was that it would become a thread on ipvm... thanks for not disappointing...

Keefe, do you have something to add specifically about this or?

john, no... only pointing out that the force is strong with me...

to stay on topic though my vote is no to the trunkslammer label... too clean to be a trunkslammer installation not to mention i believe a trunk slammer would install a more cost effective line of cameras as well... i think just about any big box store i have visited has their cameras mounted using emt... not that it is right it is highly accepted though...

"i believe a trunk slammer would install a more cost effective line of cameras as well... i think just about any big box store i have visited has their cameras mounted using emt... not that it is right it is highly accepted though"

You raise an interesting philosophical point. Does buying a premium brand inherently make one legit?

I've worked at Mom-&-Pop Security and also State/Nationwide Companies. Installs like this come from the trunk slammer and the big companies. If it is the bigger installers it is due to techs/installers being left to figure stuff out themselves by bad Project Managers and horrible designers. I've been at Mom-&-Pop's that have more pride in their work and try to follow BICSI and NEC Standards.

Will the cameras eventually fall on this install? Most likely unless they screwed into the EMT (if that's what it is). Most of the time myself and other installers use a double gang electrical box with a threaded coupler to EMT or Rigid - dependent on the client specs. If it is EMT we also drilled a hole in the end of the EMT for the coupler screw to engage into. Normally they then use the cameras mount directly over the double gang. I've personally mounted Exterior rated quad-sensor cameras in warehouses that hang from 1.5" rigid at lengths of 3-10'. They are still hanging to this day 3 years later. If vibration is an issue I've used rubber washers as isolators and that deadens any minor/major vibrations. In the same warehouse mentioned above we had a camera about 10 feet from a roof heat ventilator that constantly vibrated during the summer and with the rubber isolators on the mount we didn't see any wobble in the camera. An extra step of putting a safety chain to the camera mount and attaching at a different point in the I-Beam was used on that one in the off chance it decided to let go. 

Clinton Dome Bracket

this is one i see quite a bit of... same concept only the dome may be supported a bit more... this manufacturer spec doesn't say emt or rigid but clearly is showing emt in the image and the installation manual...

saw this one at the local big box store the past week... can't argue with the NEC but I find it hard to believe that a big box store would allow for an install to be contrary to NEC... however our region does not require low voltage certified installers nor does our state electrical board govern low voltage installations so that may be how these types of install get done...

This installer should be shot... out of a cannon.

Is that partially hanging off the ceiling, or is that just the picture?


It is hard to see in the picture but it is mounted to a beam (partially) using a beam clamp with threaded screw...

Actually that is known as a "dual differential pan-head mount with offsetting gimbal compensation". Its awaiting NEC submission. Also known as a mulligan. 100 points if there are multiple mounts in the store like that all with the same angles...

2 points:

  1. This is why Owners should hire a consultant, it would be designed right and the bidders would all be bidding to the same install requirements.

  2. I hope this warehouse doesn’t have a bird problem: I see 8 great nesting opportunities.

Let's hope also there is no Air conditioning engine generating vibrations , on such length with a single fixation point it could be funny even with AES....oups

As someone else mentioned, one shouldn't say "rigid EMT" as that is confusing two types of conduit (thinwall tubing versus thickwall threadable rigid conduit) that are clearly defined by UL standards and the NEC. The picture clearly shows set-screw couplings so it is almost certainly EMT conduit and not rigid.

Per the NEC article 358, EMT cannot be used for the support of "luminaires or other equipment" with the sole exception to this being conduit bodies. Furthermore EMT is required to be supported within 5 feet (at most) of the termination of the conduit.

Regardless of who installed it, the installation is in violation of the NEC and should be repaired.

Regardless of who installed it, the installation is in violation of the NEC and should be repaired.

Regardless of where in the world it is installed?

We Americans (myself included) sometimes have an arrogance about us that makes us forget that what are common practices/standards in the US don't necessarily apply to the rest of the world.

Since IPVM now has a substantial non-US membership, we need to keep this in mind.

I'm sorry, was there a code or standard somewhere in the world that allows hanging equipment from EMT? I think I will retain my arrogance and stay out of buildings in those jurisdictions.

I'm sorry, was there a code or standard somewhere in the world that allows hanging equipment from EMT?

I feel confident that the Avigilon install would pass India's NEC.

I don't know that there is any building codes at all there.

Low Voltage in Texas doesn't fall under NEC. So cameras hanging from it is fine here. Every box store in the state has cameras hanging from EMT. Some have Rigid if it was spec'd that way. But most installers around here pinch pennies and don't use Rigid, and 99% of the time nobody is climbing a ladder to check if the specs were followed.

As a point of information, that photo came from a Canadian company.

The NEC is adopted in some fashion within a large part of Canada.

As I am from Canada I can tell you this installation does not does not meet CEC (Canadian Electrical Code) installation standards. The CEC is also modelled after the NEC and most rules are very similar between the two countries.

One of my big pet peeves is that low voltage installers always tell me "there are no codes for low voltage installations" and I have inform them they are mistaken because the Canadian Electrical Code, Provincial Fire Code, and Provincial Building Code all apply to them.

The door is a made a legitimate (fire code) emergency door for office with a single stairway by having an emergency ladder (rope) attached and laying on the floor. It's common in office - warehouse buildings.

The door is a made a legitimate (fire code) emergency door for office with a single stairway by having an emergency ladder (rope)...

Is that a current NFPA code?

I didn't think ropes counted as an emergency egress method, but I certainly could be wrong.

It is much more likely that the architects drew with building with modular expansion in mind, and if the second floor is ever built out for office occupancies, the door cut into the firewall already has an exit sign hung above it.

Then again maybe the idea is to swing to the first camera, and then continue Tarzan-like as far as necessary to avoid danger. ;)

This is my fourth or fifth of these. Fire Escape Ladders. Fire escape ladders complying with 7.2.9 shall be permitted.

This is my fourth or fifth of these.

Of what?

Your citation applies to NFPA 101 Chapter 30, New Apartment buildings, which is a different occupancy than the industrial project in question.

Some AHJs might permit ropes, but most do not. Other overarching codes for occupational areas must abide by codes like OSHA. The most broad OSHA CFR, 29 CFR 1910 states that :

"1910.36(a)(1) An exit route must be permanent. Each exit route must be a permanent part of the workplace."

Thanks for the reference. So, yes there is the 7.29 section where number 5 looks applicable:

Which in turn references

Which doesn't sound like ropes or rope ladders on the floor, since they are not fixed, so I'm not sure that I'm looking in the right place.

Do you know where it specifically allows ropes as a means of egress?

Earthquake areas will require seismic bracing and safety support. An inner 1 piece stainless steel cable may also be required to be installed inside the vertical conduit(s) and terminated to the pendant housing and building structure. Or one can just trunk engineer as below.