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Old 07-22-2013, 11:01 AM   #1
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Kitchen Remodel


Hey folks...

I am right in the middle of a full kitchen remodel of a house I purchased last August. New Cabinets, New floors, moving the fridge from a center alcove over to the wall, creating a more open floorplan etc.

The biggest hassle has been trying to eliminate the 12" soffits that my wife HATES with a passion. This house was build in the early 90's and all the wiring was run through 1/2" EMT conduit. I have learned that code for our are does not require this, but it is common for some reason. A couple contractors I have talked to say "they will only work with conduit"..... "Romex is junk" etc. My whole house in Florida (built in 2000) was wired in romex, and it is was I am used to. Since this is a total Kitchen re-do, I have most of the dry-wall down, and I intended to stick with EMT, just to keep things consistent.

My first question has to do with eliminating the soffets. Behind the soffets, there are several EMT 'loops' that are surface mounted to the studs, just below the ceiling joists. To get the flush dry-wall mounting, I need to get these EMT runs moved up in to the joists.

It will be very hard to fit EMT up through the joists, and I was considereing using flexible conduit FMC (either 3/8" or 1/2") to simplify the perpendicular runs.

Doing some research, I found some confusing information. I found that 3/8" FMC cannot serve as a ground for runs >6'.

Does that apply to 1/2 FMC as well? If thats the case, can I just run a grounding wire (green) between the junction boxes that bookend the FMC? Or do I now need to run the grounding wire throughout?

The main run that I need to move has 3 x20amp (12g) wires and 2x 15amp (14g) wires going through it. Best information I can find would be to add one 12g (green) grounding wire through the Flexible conduit, attached to both junction boxes. Sound right?

Mark

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Old 07-22-2013, 11:19 AM   #2
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Kitchen Remodel


When I started reading your email I thought "Sounds like Chicago" and then I look at your address and...sure nuf.

B

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Old 07-22-2013, 12:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Beepster View Post
When I started reading your email I thought "Sounds like Chicago" and then I look at your address and...sure nuf.

B
Yup...

I am in the unicorporated part of St Charles. ('bout 45m west of the city) I have a friend about 1/4 mile from be that has been doing a total remodel of a 1800's schoolhouse. He has done it all in romex and has not had any issues with inspectors. I am not goint to re-do the whole house and don't want a hodge-podge that I think might be a turn-off for potential buyers when time comes for me to sell. (2-4 yrs).

Thats why I have trying to keep the EMT conduit going with my remodel.

Any intput on the need to ground flexible conduit in my situation??
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caveeagle View Post
The biggest hassle has been trying to eliminate the 12" soffits.. there are several EMT 'loops' that are surface mounted
Crown molding.

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I was considereing using flexible conduit FMC
If code allows romex....
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Crown molding.
Unfortunately... the builder capitalized on the ~10" soffets and started the EMT bending out really low. I would have to use some really wide crown molding to hide this. With fairly low ceilings, a large crown molding would look bad. IMHO.

Not cutting corners on this one. Too much invested to risk it looking bad when complete.

Quote:
If code allows romex....
Yea... I know... Its very tempting. I just don't want it to be a hodge-podge of different gear. I could just cut the EMT sections very short so they can be fitted between the ceiling joists. I don't know of any code dictating the max # of EMT joints for a given sqft. (anyone??).

I will try to post a picture shortly. (not sure if I have enough posts yet to put up pics)
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:22 PM   #6
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Welcome,neighbor---You might want to open up the drywall and expose the boxes---You need to do some drywall patching anyway.

With the wall open,you can drill and replace the conduit---Your idea of using sections of Greenfield should be okay if you use the correct size---and run a separate green ground--

However,I do suggest replacing the conduit with more conduit--

Check with Kane county,if this is inspected---they can be difficult to please----Mike-----
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:49 PM   #7
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Welcome,neighbor---You might want to open up the drywall and expose the boxes---You need to do some drywall patching anyway.
That horse has left the barn!!

I have nearly all the drywall pulled down already.

Quote:
With the wall open,you can drill and replace the conduit---Your idea of using sections of Greenfield should be okay if you use the correct size---and run a separate green ground--
I am thinking 1/2" flex and running the ground wire between the junction boxes.

Quote:
However,I do suggest replacing the conduit with more conduit--
Thats the plan!!

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Check with Kane county,if this is inspected---they can be difficult to please----Mike-----
Thats what I figured. Trying vert hard to keep everything up to standards. I have already corrected a couple things that the PO had wrong.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:28 PM   #8
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I always work to meet or exceed code--inspected or not--

Kline makes a reamer/fitting pliers----very handy---not worth the cost for a one shot job---but they are just great---
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:44 PM   #9
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if romex is code. i think you are making things hard on yourself, for nothing.

my basement has all emt. its code, because its exposed. the rest of the house has/had K&T. i am replacing all of the K&T with romex, its code. if i did it your way....gosh....i don't even want to think about it.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Fix'n it View Post
if romex is code. i think you are making things hard on yourself, for nothing.

my basement has all emt. its code, because its exposed. the rest of the house has/had K&T. i am replacing all of the K&T with romex, its code. if i did it your way....gosh....i don't even want to think about it.
Well.... I see your point. However, I am not rewiring the whole house. And, I am just making minor changes to most of the circuits, so becomming 'happy' with EMT is just mandatory at this point.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:25 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by caveeagle View Post
Well.... I see your point.
...so becomming 'happy' with EMT is just mandatory at this point.
No... it really isn't.

Stick with the emt feeds you have but END THEM at some point.
That could be a box in a wall with a blank cover or up in the attic.
From that point... run the romex.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:48 AM   #12
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The OP is in conduitland, AKA Chicago area. From my understanding NM is not allowed and even the use of flex is severely restricted.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:57 AM   #13
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The OP is in conduitland
Post #3 indicates he isn't.

Near there but not IN there... with EC's who don't speak romex.
Some clarification by him on the point would be welcome.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:25 AM   #14
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I read that as his friend was just on the other side of the line between NM and conduit. clarification would certainly help. Could be as simple as the original contractor was used to conduit and continued with what they know.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
Post #3 indicates he isn't.

Near there but not IN there... with EC's who don't speak romex.
Some clarification by him on the point would be welcome.
I am in unicorporated St Charles, just a 1/4 mile south of the Elgin town line.

I have personally seen homes near me that appear to be built out with Romex, so I am pretty sure its ok.

My Neighbor is a GC, and has been over to my house to talk about my project. He got a little defensive when I asked him about Romex vs EMT. When I pressed him on it, he said you don't 'have to' wire in EMT, but 'its better, and thats how I do it' etc.....

At this point... I thinkg its just a personal choice to keep it all uniform. If possible, I will keep it all in EMT, ot possible FMC.

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