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N.E.C. National Electric Code Compliance Information

N.E.C. Compliance General Overview

NEC (National Electric Code) - What it means to you.

NEC LogoThe N.E.C. Code applies to all permanent instillations(1) of Vintage Hammond Organs connected by a 5 to 6 pin, 6 to 6 pin or any cable connecting the Organ to the Leslie speaker that has both 110/120 volts AC electric and audio/data signal being carried in the same cable.

  • Permanent Installation would be in Places of Worship, Schools or any place where the organ and speaker(s) are not moved.
  • Non Permanent - Rental organs and speakers Short Term. For a short term rental, from a backline company, for use in a concert or for a recording they are exempt as these are temporary short term usage. This is generally accepted however it may depend on the local code mandate as well. Check your with your local Licenses and Inspection Electrical code to be sure.

Does Your Vintage Hammond Organ and Leslie Speaker meet the N.E.C. Code for electrical safety?

In almost all cases the answer will be no. There are two important safety issues that you should know concerning vintage
Hammond Organs and Leslie Speakers.

  • The majority of all installations in churches will not or doesn't meet the N.E.C. Electrical Code.
  • Virtually all vintage Hammond organs are electrically unsafe as they are not polarized.

What is the National Electric Code (N.E.C.)?


NEC Logo

The N.E.C. is the body that oversees the standardization of the Electrical Codes for building and construction. These are the codes that fire marshals, electrical and insurance inspectors use when making sure the wiring in a building is safe and meets code.


Before 1996, the N.E.C. changed the code in regards to AC electrical power and telecommunications. Audio and data signals cannot be sent through the same cable or conduit. In 2005 the N.E.C. code, Article 800.133, changed again stating that both power and signal must have a separation of 50mm (about 2 inches). Simply, the majority of vintage Hammond organs connected to a Leslie Speaker with a tube amplifier using a 6 or 5 pin cable are in violation of the N.E.C. code. There is 110/120v AC and the audio signal in the same cable.

Around 1996, the Leslie Speaker Company started implementing the 11pin signal cable which only carries audio and switching. The vast majority of the vintage Hammond and Leslie installations have not been changed to meet N.E.C. code. There has never been nor is there any Leslie Speaker factory support for a retrofit.


Don't Panic.

This issue has been overlooked for many years. However, recently it has been gaining more and more attention during electrical inspections. In some cases insurance and fire inspections are tougher, depending on where you are. In the case of Churches that are having new construction, renovations or remodeling, an electrical inspector is required to come in to make sure that building and work passes the electrical code. If the inspector sees the organ and speaker, it may fail electrical inspection for not meeting the N.E.C. code(s).

What can I do?

If you fail electrical inspection, and depending on where you are located, the inspector may only tell you that the organ and speaker cannot be used until the problem is corrected and re-inspected.

That is fairly easy to do.

  1. Go to the organ and look at the back on the left at the bottom.

  2. Locate the Outlet Box, it should look similar to the one pictured on the right.

  3. Look for a large thick cable similar to the one pictured to the right.

  4. Gently pull the end of the cable out of the outlet box.

  5. Now look at the end of the cable.

  • If the cable has either a 5 Pin or 6 Pin Connector, as in the top picture on the right, then you are not complaint with the National Electric Code.

  • If the cable end has 11 Pins, as in the bottom picture on the right, then you are OK.

    Power Outlet Box


    5 Pin or 6 Pin



    Think Leslie Speaker Cable




    New Thinner - 11 Pin Leslie Cable. OK!

FREE Brochure

freenecbrochureIf you would like our FREE brochure explaining more about the N.E.C. Compliance on the link below and answer just a few questions an we will either email you a PDF or the printed brochure.


NEC Information Request
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