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Old 08-12-2010, 04:56 PM   #1
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


I'm currently finishing up the electrical for my basement finish. I'm running off of a subpanel in the basement that I have installed and plan to install a 60-amp breaker in the main breaker box in the garage with 6/3 wire running to the basement.

When the house was built, the builder installed a smurf tube from the top of the main breaker box up through the attic and down into the basement. I was told by a handyman that I could use the smurf tube for a 6/3 wire. Well, last night I attempted to do just that. It was fine until the wire had to bend around the bends to go up into the attic and back down into the basement. This was an incredibly difficult run and I couldn't get it to go.

Long story short, I had to climb up in the attic, cut the smurf tube, thread the wire up into the attic and then back down into the basement. The wire then got stuck in the smurf tube just as it was entering the basement. Like the stuck and won't move another inch stuck. I thought, no biggie, I'll just pull the smurf tube and thread the wire down without a smurf tube. Apparently this was a big mistake as the wire now has the jacket torn in a couple places.

I pretty much gave up after that. My questions are:

#1 Was the smurf tube (I believe it was 3/4 inch) too small for a 6/3 wire and thus was why it was so difficult to get it through?

#2 With the jacket busted open (no wires appear knicked, just the outer cover) is this wire totally unusable now?

#3 Should I pull the smurf tube and install nm pvc conduit through the walls?

#4 Should I rip my hair out in frustration and shell out the money for an electrician even though I feel confident I can make all the connections, it's just running this stupid wire?

Thanks in advance!

Allan

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Old 08-12-2010, 05:25 PM   #2
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


1-Yes
2-Depends on how sure you are that the internal wires where not damaged, should be ok
3-Yes and no-pull the smurf, but do not install pvc, just the cable to the basement.
4-Greatly depends on you and you're state of mind!

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Old 08-12-2010, 05:28 PM   #3
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
1-Yes
2-Depends on how sure you are that the internal wires where not damaged, should be ok
3-Yes and no-pull the smurf, but do not install pvc, just the cable to the basement.
4-Greatly depends on you and you're state of mind!
Thanks for the response. So, is there a way to pull the wire and really make sure nothing was damaged besides just looking at any area where the jacket was torn?

Also, if I just run the wire down inside the wall is that any code issue as it won't be secured on the vertical run?

And should I do anything to the sections where the jacket is torn on the wire?

Feeling a little better about the whole thing now.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:33 PM   #4
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


No code issue with the wire not secured inside the wall.

How many and how bad are the tears in the jacket?

If not too bad, I would just tape over them.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:44 PM   #5
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


I noticed one that was about an inch long, the others were just surface scuffs.

Allan
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:02 PM   #6
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


Since this is considered "old work" you don't have to support the cable where it's not accessible inside the wall. If the wall was opened up then you would have to support it.

The outside sheathing is protection, you can tape over it and it will be fine. If any gashes are in the insulation of the individual conductors, this might be a little worse, depending how deep.

Use a strong string/rope to pull the cable in, have someone feeding it in from the other end, this will avoid scraping it. Make sure that the head (where the string is tied to the cable) is taped up nice and smooth. A little soap on the head sometimes helps.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:43 AM   #7
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


Thanks for your help guys. Got the wire to feed last night without the smurf tube and all is well. I inspected it and the only major tear in the jacket was where I had originally seen it. So, that's good.

One more quick question.

Currently the wire is still sitting in the smurf tube from the main breaker box up into the attic where I had cut the smurf tube. Do I need to pull this section, remove the smurf, and then rerun the wire down to the main breaker box or is it okay to leave as is?

Thanks!

Allan
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:47 AM   #8
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


You're call.
It is there already, so way change?
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:49 AM   #9
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


That's what I thought, I just didn't know if the electrical inspector would say anything. Sounds good! I'll leave it as is and call it good. Thanks for all the help!
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:51 AM   #10
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


What type of cable did you use?

I see you said that you want a 60A circuit. Where are you located? Do you know what electrical code cycle your area is on?
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:59 AM   #11
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


I used 6/3 romex for a 50 foot run. Our area is on the 2008 NEC.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:13 AM   #12
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


You can also get some heatshrink to protect the wires where the jacket ripped. Lasts longer than tape.
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:46 PM   #13
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


Edited, misinformation.
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Last edited by Proby; 08-14-2010 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:23 AM   #14
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6/3 wire through smurf tube?


#6 nmb is good for 55 amps, and allowed to go to next largest breaker.
60 amp is fine!

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