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Old 06-11-2012, 11:44 AM   #1
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


That's basically my question. I framed out my basement with metal studs...and now I need to add receptacles. What are my choices for electrical boxes?



Also, what is code for this? Thanks. Tom

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Old 06-11-2012, 12:05 PM   #2
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


Be sure to use grommets in studs where you pass wires through if you are using Romex cable.

As for boxes they make metal 4x4 boxes for this with a flange to screw into face of metal stud. An alternative is to screw a 18" long 2x4 to std where you want box and then use any box you like screwing it into the wood.

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Old 06-11-2012, 12:17 PM   #3
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


Is there any safe way to use plastic boxes? Tom
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:36 PM   #4
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


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Originally Posted by tbeem1 View Post
Is there any safe way to use plastic boxes? Tom
Not unless you find a way to bond the building steel. There was a drywall hanger recently killed because he put a drywall screw into metal studs that had become energized and weren't grounded.

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Old 06-11-2012, 01:19 PM   #5
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


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Originally Posted by tbeem1 View Post
I framed out my basement with metal studs...
Gotta ask... why?
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and now I need to add receptacles.
What are my choices for electrical boxes?
4" square steel boxes + Caddy steel H23 support + steel mud ring

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Old 06-11-2012, 02:01 PM   #6
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


Steel studs don't warp and are always straight, won't warp and are light weight.

The OP could use steel device boxes with either front or side brackets.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:16 PM   #7
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


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Not unless you find a way to bond the building steel.
Metal studs in a residential basement remodel are not "building steel".
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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:18 PM   #8
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


I thought the metal studs did not need to be bonded. If metal boxes were used they were bonded to the EGC.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


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I thought the metal studs did not need to be bonded. If metal boxes were used they were bonded to the EGC.
I know florida has an amendment that they are required to be bonded, and I'm sure other states my require this also, but I agree, not a direct NEC requirement.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:47 AM   #10
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


Well, it seems like the option I'm most comfortable with is to screw a 2x4 piece of lumber to the steel stud, then attach receptacles with normal plastic boxes, and doing everything as I would if it were all framed out in lumber.

Does it make any difference how long the pieces of lumber are that I attach to the metal studs…? Is 12 inches ok?



Is there anything else I should be away of?
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:25 AM   #11
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


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Well, it seems like the option I'm most comfortable with is to screw a 2x4 piece of lumber to the steel stud, then attach receptacles with normal plastic boxes, and doing everything as I would if it were all framed out in lumber.
Does it make any difference how long the pieces of lumber are that I attach to the metal studs…? Is 12 inches ok?
Is there anything else I should be away of?
Do not use plastic boxes. Use metal boxes with mud rings. You can also use the NM connectors that snap in. Take a look.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:29 AM   #12
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


So if I use metal boxes, how is the wiring different?
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:09 AM   #13
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


I concur, I don't like plastic boxes in general. Maybe I'm just old fashioned but the thought of an arcing splice in a box heating up just sounds safer in a metal box (where heat will be dissipated across the surface area versus plastic where it can melt and will dissipate the heat less efficiently).

If you go metal then some versions have built in tabs to connect directly to metal studs.

Now you may want to put 2x4 blocking along the floor plate and around door frames so you can shoot nails into them when you trim out door casing and baseboards.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:10 AM   #14
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


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So if I use metal boxes, how is the wiring different?
Normally metal boxes are used with conduit. But you do not know how to bend conduit. So, you will use metal boxes, plastic snap in connectors and NM (Romex) cable or MC cable. (MC Cable connectors required).
Have you considered MC cable? It is a cable with a metal outer covering and is available in the sizes you need and in your local box store.
It is more money, but you will not need to protect it like you will with NM.
Here is the picture of MC cable.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:31 AM   #15
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Building Basement with Steel Studs...which Electrical Boxes can I use?


No, I don't want to use MC cable.

So to recap, I can use steel boxes, so that its steel-on-steel, and as long as I ground each steel box, and claps each cable in, and use the grommets, I should be good? Right?

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