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Old 11-07-2008, 12:45 AM   #1
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A few things


Well, you all might remember my first question here was related to whether a fitting was required at the top of EMT protecting romex to outlets in a basement.

I decided to go ahead and change the EMT to ENT, there's no way I'm going to feed two 12/2 romex's through 1/2 inch EMT again. That is not something I would ever wish on anyone!

So the project is going well, I'm using 3/4 inch ENT and it's very roomy and the wires just fall through it.

When I pulled the first outlet I saw something I had forgotten about. The ground wire in the dual-gang metal outlet boxes had a pigtail between the outlets' green screw, and then the romex ground was just "wound" around the middle of that pigtail wire with no nut. Is this a code violation?

I'm using extra pigtails with a nut as I'm replacing them because the old way "feels wrong", but I am curious.

I also have a question about the different types of metal boxes (square, rounded edge square, octagon)... are there any times that one is required over the other?

As near as I can tell, the ones with the corner screws are intended for exposed work, and the ones with the tabs for the outlets/switch to mount on the box rather than the cover are for in-wall use... but other than that, what's the deal?

On a personal note, if it seems weird that I know a lot about electrical stuff, but not much about this type of thing-- It's because I've been doing electronics and ham radio for a long time, but I'm kind of a newb when it comes to actual electrician type work (though improving quickly, thanks to reading here and other sites!).

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Old 11-07-2008, 01:36 AM   #2
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A few things


I'm not sure how to tell you this but using a sleeve of emt for the code required physical protection was fine but using ent is a violation. As for the equipment ground being wrapped as you said that is also wrong

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Old 11-07-2008, 01:52 AM   #3
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A few things


Very generally the boxes you mention are surface mounted boxes not flush mounted in walls. There are mounting brackets on new construction metal boxes intended for installing on wood members such as studs.
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Old 11-07-2008, 04:22 AM   #4
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A few things


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Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
I'm not sure how to tell you this but using a sleeve of emt for the code required physical protection was fine but using ent is a violation
If that's the case I've got much larger problems. Every circuit that goes down the walls in my basement uses ENT.

Washer/dryer, outlets, heat pump, outlets, well pump, light switches... probably a dozen things at least. It was all this way when the house was built and inspected (in 1999), and then 2 years later when I bought the house it was inspected again with a general home inspection.

Are you saying I should tear out every circuit in my basement?

Last edited by Gigs; 11-07-2008 at 04:38 AM.
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Old 11-07-2008, 04:47 AM   #5
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A few things


Quote:
b) Protection from Physical Damage. The cable shall be
protected from physical damage where necessary by conduit,
electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC rigid non-
metallic conduit, pipe, guard strips, listed surface metal or
nonmetallic raceway, or other means.
Doesn't nonmetallic raceway mean ENT?

Quote:
Electrical Nonmetallic Tubing (ENT). A nonmetallic, pliable, corrugated raceway of circular cross section
There's also this, does this apply?

Quote:
NM cable used on a
wall of an unfinished basement shall be permitted to be
installed in a listed conduit or tubing.

Last edited by Gigs; 11-07-2008 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:25 AM   #6
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A few things


Your inspector is the only one that can accept ENT as physical protection for nm-b installed down an unfinished basement wall to receptacles. In my experience I have never met an inspector that would accept ENT for that application. In general ENT is not allowed in exposed applications except for those outlined in 362.10 (1)(5) and (7).

EDIT

I'm a little unclear if your talking about unfinished walls or not....you seem to imply unfinished. If so I would be very surprised if the inspector accepts ent. If the wall is finished then you are fine.

Last edited by Stubbie; 11-07-2008 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 11-07-2008, 11:20 AM   #7
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A few things


ENT (smurfpipe) doesn't provide the requried protection from physical damage that exposed wiring needs. It has no value in an exposed application, and would certainly not pass inspection if the wires/conduit were exposed on the basement walls. That's a job for EMT.

As Stubbie said, inside a sheetrocked wall it is fine if you want it for some reason.
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Old 11-07-2008, 11:30 AM   #8
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A few things


I just nail 2x's flat to the wall and run NM surface down that.
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Old 11-07-2008, 11:52 AM   #9
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A few things


Protection from physical damage can be a very subjective term, and what one jurisdiction permits the next may not.
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Old 11-07-2008, 12:10 PM   #10
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A few things


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
Protection from physical damage can be a very subjective term, and what one jurisdiction permits the next may not.

Yep, thats why I just nail 2x's up. Its a joke anyways, what the hell is going to happen to the NM? Unless of couse you have your annual axe throwing contest in your basement, then by all means protect the wiring.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
Yep, thats why I just nail 2x's up. Its a joke anyways, what the hell is going to happen to the NM? Unless of couse you have your annual axe throwing contest in your basement, then by all means protect the wiring.
You haven't seen what my wife can do in a basement.....

My lab would probably find the exposed nm very tasty....... Heck.... termites lab eats pvc pipe...!!!

It is my opinion that unfinished basements should be treated like agricultural buildings in art.547.....

Last edited by Stubbie; 11-07-2008 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:16 PM   #12
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A few things


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post

It is my opinion that unfinished basements should be treated like agricultural buildings in art.547.....
Yeah okay... You guys need to get over the protection thing.

Welcome to the Northeast!
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:04 PM   #13
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A few things


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
ENT (smurfpipe) doesn't provide the requried protection from physical damage that exposed wiring needs. It has no value in an exposed application

Why does 362.10 says ENT "shall be permitted for exposed work" in structures under 3 storeys? That's pretty explicit.

Are there local codes in some areas that repeal this section?

You all have to understand, my *entire house* was built using only ENT for protection. In the kitchen island, all over everything. If this is wrong then I am concerned.
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
Yeah okay... You guys need to get over the protection thing.

Welcome to the Northeast!
I thought we were joking....

I gotta agree with ya Chris but the inspector ain't gonna allow ent.
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:46 PM   #15
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A few things


I have to confess I've never seen a house wired completely with ent. Generally speaking you run individual wires in ent not romex. So if they ran romex in ent for your whole house I'm at a loss to why they did that.
Exposed ent is allowed but not where it is subject to physical damage. A somewhat common application is exposed above a suspended ceiling. A quick call to your codes department will clear this up...after all as Chris mentioned that is the opinion that counts.

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