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Old 09-08-2010, 05:30 PM   #1
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Electrical Questions from a Foreigner


Hi Guys

I moved to US a few years ago (from England). My wife and I recently (6 weeks ago) bought a house in Wilmette and are doing a bunch of renovations (new roof, 200A service, refinishing floors, etc.) - The last owner of 14 years seems to have done nothing.

I've done the floors (phew!). I have a licensed electrician doing the panel replacement and 200A upgrade next week, or week after. We have the inspector coming beforehand to tell us what else will have to be done (there's a lot of BX in the basement and the access around the panel isn't up to code - but there is plenty of room). I don't want to wait until he's finished (and I have no power) and the inspector then says I have to do X,Y and Z too.

I want to do the smaller interior jobs myself: I have to go and sit a test at the village hall to be able to get the permits.

There's a number of electrical related things I'd like clarification on.

The first on is about which code applies. I live in Wilmette, IL (North Shore of Chicago). Their village codes say this:

Quote:
For the purpose of establishing rules and regulations for the installation, repair and alteration of electrical wiring and electrical devices, the village incorporates by reference as if fully set forth herein the National Electrical Code (NFPA No. 70-1993) recommended by the National Fire Prevention Association, 1993 Edition, except such portions as are hereinafter deleted, modified or amended, three copies of which shall be kept on file in the office of the Village Clerk. The provisions of said electrical code shall be controlling in the construction, repair and alteration of all buildings and other structures therein contained within the corporate limits of the Village of Wilmette. Whenever the terms "authority having jurisdiction for enforcing the code," "governmental bodies exercising legal jurisdiction over electrical installations," "administrative authority," or similar terms are used in said electrical code, they shall be held to mean the Village of Wilmette
Am I reading this right? I just follow NEC except for the exceptions? (my main concern is that there aren't codes related to Chicago or Cook County that apply). Are there such a thing as county-level codes?

This brings me onto my next question. I'm locating all my AV gear in the basement (directly below the living room) and will be running network (Cat 6), HDMI and Speaker cables throught the walls (lathe an plaster). I planning to buy all CL2 rated cable. I went to Home Depot to buy low voltage old-work boxes and they don't sell them. They have metal low volatage mounting plates. I asked the guy why they don't have the blue plastic ones. He told me you can't use plastic in Cook County. Is this correct? The low voltage plates seem far inferior: I don't see them offering any kind of strain relief. This is probably fine for new construction, because the cables will be stapled to framing, but where they are just fished through existing walls, the entire weight of the cable will be on the connector.

Wilmette Code says:

Quote:
(c) The wiring method employed in all electrical installation, within the buildings in the Village of Wilmette, shall be in rigid conduit or electric metallic tubing except as hereinafter provided.
(1) Where necessary to pass wire through existing partitions, BX or flexible conduit may be used, not to extend more than three feet beyond said partitions.
(2) All low voltage wire must be in pipe through any partition, so that such wire may be replaced. All low voltage transformers must be grounded.
.

I have a couple of questions about this:

(1) I'm fishing wires so I assume that means it's an existing partition. So if I want to add new receptacles in say the living room, I'd run EMT to within 3 feet of where it will ego through the bottom plate and then use BX to the plate and inside the wall. Is this correct?
what constitues "low-voltage", as this requires a permit. Surely, I don't need a permit to run speaker cables between floors?

(2) Given I don't have to use pipe for fished 120v, I assume the same applies to low voltage, so is it OK just to run CL2 rated cable in the wall? never seen armored speaker cable (except for outdoor use).

I want to run new circuits in the kitchen and we're planning to remodel next year (very similar layout). So to fish the cable now I think I can use BX, but will I have to replace that with EMT when I put up drywall, or is the BX "grandfathered in" because it was already there?

Finally a curiosity. I've seen a few DIY shows where an drawer in a bathroom, bedroom or kitchen has a receptacle in the back, so you could for example plug-in a shaver to charge and have it concealed in the drawer. I'd liek to do this. How could this be done within code? Would you just put a box on the wall behind the furniture and run BX to the back of the drawer?

I'm sure I'll have many other questions

Thanks in advance

Mark

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Old 09-08-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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Electrical Questions from a Foreigner


Wow...they are still going by the NEC 1993 code?
Lots of changes since then
I'd verify that 1st if that is on a web-site

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Old 09-08-2010, 10:46 PM   #3
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Electrical Questions from a Foreigner


IIRC you are north of Chicago so I am pretty sure you will be in the Chicago rules which almost everything run in conduit but check with your local officals for latest info to see what you can do and what not.

The Chicago have it own set of electrical codes some are deveriated from NEC and IIRC they did update sometime back and it should be in 2005 or 2008 NEC code cycle with Chicago modificatons.

Just hang on one of our member he is from Chicago area he will give you a straight answer on this question due he is a electrician in that area so he will be well versed with the Chicago codes.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:11 PM   #4
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Electrical Questions from a Foreigner


Am I reading this right? I just follow NEC except for the exceptions? (my main concern is that there aren't codes related to Chicago or Cook County that apply). Are there such a thing as county-level codes?

Yes, you are reading correctly. Chicago code only applies in the city of Chicago and those towns that adopt it. Local amendments to NEC would include use of EMT for line voltage circuits.

This brings me onto my next question. I'm locating all my AV gear in the basement (directly below the living room) and will be running network (Cat 6), HDMI and Speaker cables throught the walls (lathe an plaster). I planning to buy all CL2 rated cable. I went to Home Depot to buy low voltage old-work boxes and they don't sell them. They have metal low volatage mounting plates. I asked the guy why they don't have the blue plastic ones. He told me you can't use plastic in Cook County. Is this correct?

Actually I'm not sure on that. I know for low voltage, many times the leviton LV rework rings are used.



.

I have a couple of questions about this:

(1) I'm fishing wires so I assume that means it's an existing partition. So if I want to add new receptacles in say the living room, I'd run EMT to within 3 feet of where it will ego through the bottom plate and then use BX to the plate and inside the wall. Is this correct?

Yes. It usually necesitates the use of a box so that splices are not buried. Alternatively, you could use greenfield (basically empty BX) and connect it directly to the EMT with a listed connector.
what constitues "low-voltage", as this requires a permit. Surely, I don't need a permit to run speaker cables between floors?
NO

(2) Given I don't have to use pipe for fished 120v, I assume the same applies to low voltage, so is it OK just to run CL2 rated cable in the wall? never seen armored speaker cable (except for outdoor use).

I want to run new circuits in the kitchen and we're planning to remodel next year (very similar layout). So to fish the cable now I think I can use BX, but will I have to replace that with EMT when I put up drywall, or is the BX "grandfathered in" because it was already there?
It should be grandfathered in, but if it is exposed again, some AHJ's will want to see it put in pipe.

Finally a curiosity. I've seen a few DIY shows where an drawer in a bathroom, bedroom or kitchen has a receptacle in the back, so you could for example plug-in a shaver to charge and have it concealed in the drawer. I'd liek to do this. How could this be done within code? Would you just put a box on the wall behind the furniture and run BX to the back of the drawer?
I've only seen it done once. Similar to what you suggest. Gem box on the back of the drawer with receptacle, whip out of box to wall plate in an accessible area of the cabinet and you're good.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:46 AM   #5
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Electrical Questions from a Foreigner


Thanks for the replies guys. My new problem is that I have to tear down a bathroom wall that the previous owners built to provide the clearance for the panel
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