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Old 07-09-2013, 03:27 PM   #1
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


I'd like to run THWN inside aluminum posts on my screen porch and put an outlet on the outside of the post. Is there anything that would prevent me from doing this as far as code? It seems like it isn't much different than doing conduit or wire molding (other than the fact that is load-bearing)

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Old 07-09-2013, 03:35 PM   #2
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


Nope, not an approved wiring method.

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Old 07-09-2013, 03:54 PM   #3
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


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Nope, not an approved wiring method.
Ok how about if I do UF inside the column?
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:29 PM   #4
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


Yes that would be fine...UF
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:07 PM   #5
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


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Nope, not an approved wiring method.
That's how we wire roadway lights.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:52 PM   #6
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


Apples and oranges
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:49 PM   #7
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


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That's how we wire roadway lights.
The light pole is part of the UL listed fixture assembly, so it's intended to be used that way. The posts on this patio are not. UF cable is the easiest code-compliant solution I think.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:23 PM   #8
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


Some aluminum porch manufacturers offer UL listed wireway channels as part of their support posts.

IF yours is one such listed post, then you can install THHN/THWN wiring without any further cabling or raceways.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:54 PM   #9
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


So I need some advice. I was going to use metal receptacle boxes that have 1/2" threaded hole in the back. I can't find anything to secure the wire in the box. I need to have two 12-2 UF in there. The UF connector I found would only support one cable. I found a pvc male adapter that would fit but the outside is too big to go into the hole I drilled and it wouldn't really secure the cable anyway (only keep it from getting snagged on the drilled hole). I tried a plastic nm ring but it wouldn't fit. I think maybe I could use a threaded clamp of some sort if I could find one. Another issue with the boxes I have is they have metal ribs on the back (I assume to dig into wood)..but I may need to grind that off to sit flush with the pole.

What kind of boxes and clamps would you use if you did this?
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:16 PM   #10
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


I'm thinking maybe I could use rubber grommets in the hole I cut? I would still need to clamp the wire in the box per code right?
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:24 AM   #11
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


Use a NM connector, listed for 2 cables. You'll probably need to ream the hole already cut to accept the connector, but the box will definitely cover the larger hole.

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Old 07-11-2013, 11:14 AM   #12
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


Personally, I would use a chase nipple instead of a connector. Not exactly compliant, but what i would do none the less.
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:57 PM   #13
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


So what I did was get the plastic bushing designed for metal studs. I put those in the holes in the posts to protect the wire. Then I screwed the boxes to the posts and put the nm connector on there backwards (with it coming into the box) and used needlenose pliars to screw down the connector screws. I could not do it the other way as the connector would not go through the post hole without making the holes twice as big. Inspector comes Monday...I guess I'll soon know if it was ok or not
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:07 AM   #14
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


That's definitely not a code compliant way of using the connectors, but an inspector might pass it. A snap-in plastic connector would probably fit the right way.
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:37 AM   #15
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Can I run THWN inside an aluminum post?


I can't find a plastic snap in connector that would fIt a 1/2 threaded hole

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