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Old 11-28-2008, 12:57 PM   #1
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Armored Cable Question


I am remodeling my bathroom and need to run a new 20 amp circuit for the outlets. The main electrical box is on the other side of the house and I have a finished basement, so it is difficult to run new wire. I do have a ventilation shaft the runs the length of the house and was thinking that I could run a length of armored cable next to it. I could then hire an electrician to hook up the new circuit for me, but I would be able to save the cost of paying him to run the cable. The shaft starts next to the electical box and ends 25 feet away at the furnace room (next to the remodel bath).

I saw many articles and posts on armored cable, but it is not clear what is the best choice for the job. Any advice on which one to to use, and how to run the cable (without poking holes in my basement ceiling and meeting code)?

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Old 11-28-2008, 01:18 PM   #2
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First off you make it sound like you are not going to do this run to code, No electrician will touch something that is not up to code that is newly installed.

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Old 11-28-2008, 01:33 PM   #3
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Ventilation shaft requires not combustible cable. Not sure if armoured cable meets that spec. You can't have a smoking cable pumping toxic fumes throughout your house.
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:51 PM   #4
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He said "next to" the plenum, not inside it.

That's fine, but the cable, no matter what sort it is, needs to be well supported.
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:26 PM   #5
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He said "next to" the plenum, not inside it.

That's fine, but the cable, no matter what sort it is, needs to be well supported.
I thought that cable 'fished' through inaccessable places did not require support!
I have seen BX cable run adjacent to ductwork in many instances!
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Old 11-28-2008, 03:27 PM   #6
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I thought that cable 'fished' through inaccessable places did not require support!
I have seen BX cable run adjacent to ductwork in many instances!
Your right on both counts. Check Art. 320.30 (A) - (D)
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Old 11-28-2008, 03:58 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. To clarify, I do want to run the cable to code, beside (not inside) vent shaft. I just want to run the cable myself to save a few bucks, but I'm scared/smart enough to leave the hook up to a professional.

What is the difference between 12/2 and 12/3 cable? If I am planning simply to connect a few outlets, shouldn't 12/2 be enough?

Also, I see the terms "BX" "AC" and "MC" all used. I think that they mean the same thing. Is that correct?
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:05 PM   #8
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12/3 has an extra wire, you'd use it mostly for 220v circuits, or for some types of switch wiring.

BX is an obsolete version of what is now called AC.

MC has a plastic sheath inside and has slightly different rules.
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:09 PM   #9
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Your just feeding the bathroom right? If so, go with 12/2 on a 20 amp breaker.
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
I just want to run the cable myself to save a few bucks, but I'm scared/smart enough to leave the hook up to a professional.
Just keep in mind, a professional electrician probably won't want to "finish your work." (Or at least I wouldn't..) They would be assuming a certain amount of liability taking on such a job, especially if the work already done does not have permits pulled for.
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:53 PM   #11
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Just keep in mind, a professional electrician probably won't want to "finish your work." (Or at least I wouldn't..) They would be assuming a certain amount of liability taking on such a job, especially if the work already done does not have permits pulled for.
Also, you may not save yourself any money by running the wire. Some electricians might take offense to this, because you are "getting in their pocket", so to speak. They may actually charge you more than they would have if you had just left the entire job up to them. Check with an electrician before you do this, and work a deal. Don't just call one up and say "hey, I run the wire, you hook it up". Ask if this would be something they would be down to do with you.
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Old 11-29-2008, 05:22 AM   #12
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I have to agree with junkcollector and inphase, I would want to personally run the calbe as if it is fished and AC90, how do I know you did not snag the wire and kink it or break the insualtion by pulling to hard, and I would not want to accept liability for that, if it is an easy fish, an experienced electrician can have it in in no time, so pinching a few pennies may not be worth it.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:07 PM   #13
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In my opinon hooking up wire for a few outlets is really not that difficult. Research on how to hook up wire to a breaker and its buss bar. Determine what kind of breaker box you have..ex. square D, Siemens, etc.... Cation! dont get square d and square d homeline breakers confused there made different get a 20 amp breaker..SHUT OFF THE POWER install the breaker hook the black wire (hot wire) to the screw on the breaker and the neutral and ground to the buss bar(s) run your wire (if your running it in armored cable make sure that you use anti-short bushings so that the wire will not get frayed going through the cable. then with the outlets hook up the black wire to the bronze colored screw on the outlet and the white wire to the silver screw and the bare ground wire to the green screw. There are double sets of screws so that you can hook multiple outlets together so take your next piece of wire and hook white to silver and black to bronze and the ground wire to the green screw and go to the next outlet and do the same. hope this helps
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:35 AM   #14
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get a 20 amp breaker..
Only if you are using 12 gauge wire, which you should be using for outlets anyway.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horn4522 View Post
In my opinon hooking up wire for a few outlets is really not that difficult. Research on how to hook up wire to a breaker and its buss bar. Determine what kind of breaker box you have..ex. square D, Siemens, etc.... Cation! dont get square d and square d homeline breakers confused there made different get a 20 amp breaker..SHUT OFF THE POWER install the breaker hook the black wire (hot wire) to the screw on the breaker and the neutral and ground to the buss bar(s) run your wire (if your running it in armored cable make sure that you use anti-short bushings so that the wire will not get frayed going through the cable. then with the outlets hook up the black wire to the bronze colored screw on the outlet and the white wire to the silver screw and the bare ground wire to the green screw. There are double sets of screws so that you can hook multiple outlets together so take your next piece of wire and hook white to silver and black to bronze and the ground wire to the green screw and go to the next outlet and do the same. hope this helps
Only one wire per screw, for they grounds you will have to use either a ground "clamp" I know that is not what its called but I can't think of what it is called. It is a peice of copper that you put the grounds into and use a pliers to clamp down on the side. Or use a green grounding wirenut. It has a hole on the top to put ONE of the ground wires through but both go in the nut and then you twist it. Connect that one wire to the ground.

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