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Old 07-11-2013, 10:06 PM   #1
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


Hi I have recently found a 12/2 cable running in my return air duct that is just connected with wire caps and not in a box. Someone who remodeled the house moved the receptacle a foot to the left and just wire nutted the wires that used to go into the old recptacle and pushed them back into the return duct. The air return duct is a stud bay being used as a return air duct that goes down into the lower floor joists. I have a small stud bay directly to the side with a two gang switchbox. This is were the cable originates from and then travels through a hole in the stud and into the air retun stud bay where the put the new recptcle, then a foot down the line it is junctioned with the wire nuts then continues up a stud and out the top of the bay into the attic. I would like to bypass the air return by pulling the cable back into the neighboring bay that has a 2 gang switchbox and put the receptacle there. Then cut the cable that comes out of the top of the air retun duct and remove that unused cable out of the return if possible. I would then fish a cable down the switchbox studbay to the receptacle and junction the the circuit in the attic. I have found where the cables exit the switchbox studbay and one of the holes has room for one more cable to slide in. Is it ok to put (2) 12/2 cables that are on seperate circuits through the same hole in the top plate if it will go up into/through cellulose insulation? They will go seperate ways immediatley after exiting the hole in the toplate.

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Old 07-11-2013, 10:27 PM   #2
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


Well, looks like you are going to have to fix it, by pulling that wire into a junction box on the wall, so that it is properly terminated. It is fine being in the return duct, as long as it is not penetrating sheet metal.

Or do what you are thinking, and pull it down to place into a ceiling mounted junction box, then run a length to the outlet.

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Old 07-11-2013, 10:47 PM   #3
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


Running NM thru cold air returns is not legal unless going straight thru.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:04 PM   #4
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


What are the reasons this isn't allowed? Just for my own knowledge.
Is it considered a fire hazard ?
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:10 PM   #5
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Ease of fire spreading.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:16 PM   #6
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


Is Burning Wire Illegal? | Scrap Metal Junkie
http://www.scrapmetaljunkie.com/873/...g-wire-illegal Cached
Burning wire releases carcinogens/toxins into the air and into the ground around the ... the money you make by burning copper wire is not worth the risk of burning it!

Just did a quick search on it, imagine a poor connection that catches the paper in NM on fire.
The toxins could spread easily through trunk lines (return or supply)
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:41 PM   #7
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz
Ease of fire spreading.
That was guess #2
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:54 PM   #8
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle_in_rure View Post
What are the reasons this isn't allowed? Just for my own knowledge.
Is it considered a fire hazard ?
Oui and the least amout of NM cable is exposed the chance of get on fire is reduced.

The most common cuprit I have get from time to time in USA side is when someone poke a hole and not too carefull with sheetmetal edge and it can cut which I found couple over the years.

The commercal side is very strict on this one that one reason why you genrally don't see NM much at all above the supened ceiling area due some case they used them as return penum area.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:10 AM   #9
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


Thanks for the replies. So is it ok to put (2) 12/2 cables that are on seperate circuits through the same hole in the top plate if it will go up into/through cellulose insulation? They will go seperate ways immediatley after exiting the hole in the toplate. No derating required?
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:46 AM   #10
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


That will be fine.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:57 PM   #11
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:01 PM   #12
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


One more question. Do the two cables have to still have some wiggle room or is it ok that they are snug together. I have no trouble sliding the new cable in and back out by the other cable in the hole already, but they pretty much fill the hole completely when next to each other.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:48 PM   #13
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


What is the size of the box, and we can tell you what the fill ratio is for that box. Need Height, width, depth.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:20 PM   #14
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


This isn't into the box. I'm just asking about putting (2) 12/2 cables through the hole in the wood top plate of the studbay into the attic and if the two cables have to still have some wiggle room or is it ok that they are snug together. I have no trouble sliding the new cable in and back out by the other cable in the hole already, but they pretty much fill the hole completely when next to each other.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:41 PM   #15
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Power cable wire nutted in return duct not in box


Depends on what size of auger or spade bit you used to drill those holes. Most times I use a 1/2" bit for drilling holes through joists or plates. I have a 3/8" auger on my flex bit, that I use for pulling single wires through top or bottom plates.

3/8 is kind of tight for two Romex, unless you are using 12/3 or 14/3 Simplex pull, which is round, not flat, then you may be able to get it in there with enough space. It would be nice if they went away from the flat Romex, and went with the same style as Southwire uses for the 3 wire. Would make things a whole lot easier for pulling, and not having to drill large holes.

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