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-   -   Electrical Code in Chicago!?! (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/electrical-code-chicago-22048/)

moose186 06-09-2008 11:34 PM

Electrical Code in Chicago!?!
 
I just moved here from MA and am slowly learning that Chicago electrical code is wacko. For instance, I am installing remodel recessed lighting in my kitchen and the Home Depot guy who seemed to know what he is talking about said all romex needs to be in flexible metal conduit (BX) and can't be longer than 3' long; when I need to put it in runs longer than 3', I have to split and rejoin in a box? Is this true? I can sort of understand the conduit, but why only 3' at a time? I would think it would be more of a fire hazard to keep splitting cable and reconnecting.

And the HD guy also said 14/3 romex...but shouldn't I only need 14/2, which would be black/white/ground? Its a 15 amp circuit and nothing heavy on the circuit, only about (8) 60 watt cans.

Is there any place that summarizes Chicago Electrical Code in plain English?

Much appreciated! Thanks.

angus242 06-09-2008 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by moose186 (Post 129156)
Is there any place that summarizes Chicago Electrical Code in plain English?

Well it certainly WON'T be home crap-hole!

Your best bet on electrical is always your licensed electrician. I am NOT an electrician (which is why I hire one) but I believe all of Cook County code is for conduit....not romex.

CowboyAndy 06-10-2008 05:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angus242 (Post 129158)
Well it certainly WON'T be home crap-hole!

Your best bet on electrical is always your licensed electrician. I am NOT an electrician (which is why I hire one) but I believe all of Cook County code is for conduit....not romex.

That's my understanding too, is that romex is not allowed at all... EVERYTHING must be in pipe.

Termite 06-10-2008 08:17 AM

I understand that to be the case as well. My opinion of why you have to run conduit and can't pull NM wire....Union influence.

BigJimmy 06-10-2008 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thekctermite (Post 129197)
My opinion of why you have to run conduit and can't pull NM wire....Union influence.

True!

Don't, do NOT listen to the people at Home Depot for electrical advice. As most others suggested, NM cable is NOT allowed in the city. I do not know how far out of the city this continues to apply but I live just outside and my municipality follows the same "conduit" rules.

Getting to the BX issue, both MC cable and Greenfield (FMC) are allowed without length restriction (for residential, anyway) when being fished into walls/ceilings for remodel work. If you strip away the entire wall/c'lg surface then an inspector would tend to want conduit installed if practical.

Finally, the choice to use 2/c vs. 3/c NM cable is purely based on application. And I have to agree that if you could use it, 14/2 would be fine for your application.

Where exactly do you live? A lot of people who move to the suburbs of Chicago say "I live in Chicago." While this is fine, I'd just want to make sure that you are in fact bound to the city's amendments.

Feel free to PM me if you have further Chicago-code questions (or rants!).

Jimmy

JohnnyM 03-28-2009 02:31 PM

BigJimmy and all-

From experience, any idea on what it should cost on average for install of recessed lighting in a Chicago 2-flat kitchen, living room? Can you price it per can/light?

Thanks.

BigJimmy 03-31-2009 12:53 PM

To be honest, I do all of my own work so I don't know what a reasonable cost would be (outside of materials). Your best bet is to call in some pro's and have them quote the job. There are a lot of things that can influence the pricing and they'll need to see the job site first hand in order to price it accurately and as the old rule goes, get at least 3 quotes. BTW, I'd recommend someone that is licensed and can readily prove it.

If you get some prices, feel free to email me. I do have several electrician friends in the city that do side work. They could likely tell me if your quotes are good.

TTFN,
-J

toocheaptohire 03-31-2009 03:44 PM

Moose - to clarify (as I, non-electrician but former city of Chicagoan, understand), you're allowed only up to 3 feet of flexible conduit from a switch or outlet, but after 3 feet, flexible conduit has to connect to rigid metal conduit which means all kinds of fun learning how to bend pipe. I agree with rest of posters that best bet is pro electrician (and probably also drywallers since major jobs typically mean ripping out walls to get rigid pipe installed). Moved from Chicago to Minnesota 2 years ago and very happy to leave behind wacko construction codes (and pipe bender).

goose134 03-31-2009 08:59 PM

For the record much of the Chicago code reads exactly like the NEC. The big differences are in raceways, conduit fill and plenum ceilings. You are allowed 6 feet of whips (flexible metal conduit.) Jimmy is correct that the length restriction is removed for fishing existing walls. If you fish greenfield (empty BX) you MUST pull a grounding conductor if your length exceeds six feet. Other post concerning 3 feet of exposed flex to conduit was accurate as well.

Scuba_Dave 03-31-2009 09:13 PM

So fish the walls 1st & have inspected
Then rip the walls down to remodel :laughing:

goose134 03-31-2009 09:28 PM

Quote:

So fish the walls 1st & have inspected
Then rip the walls down to remodel :laughing:
That's one way to do it:wink:

One thing I forgot to mention: the only thing romex is allowed to do in the city is supply temporary power and lighting. It does not belong in conduit. Any other specifics, I will be happy to try and field. There is much better advice here ( most of the time) than in the home depot.

rgsgww 04-01-2009 07:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by goose134 (Post 253191)
you MUST pull a grounding conductor if your length exceeds six feet.


I think this applies to the nec as well for flex.

I like conduit and all, but I think Chicago's code is really strict. And from old installs, you can see that they have adopted pipe and flex for a very long time.

InPhase277 04-01-2009 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgsgww (Post 253296)
I think this applies to the nec as well for flex.

I like conduit and all, but I think Chicago's code is really strict. And from old installs, you can see that they have adopted pipe and flex for a very long time.

Yeah, something to do with Mrs. O'Leary's cow...

toocheaptohire 04-01-2009 09:51 AM

more like something to do with Al Capone.....

goose134 04-01-2009 11:23 PM

Stop it. You're killing me.


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