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Old 08-26-2011, 06:50 AM   #1
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Running UF on outside of house


I live in an older home and am interested in running a new circuit for a receptacle in the interior of an exterior wall for an air conditioner. The wall is brick (two bricks deep) with plaster on the inside.

It seems like the best solution would be to run UF on the outside of the wall and into the room. The wire could then either go into the floor cavity for a floor receptacle, or straight into the wall into a junction box for a receptacle.

I have a few questions that I'm hoping somebody can help out with:

1) When running UF on the exterior of the wall, what should be used to connect the cable to the brick wall (obviously, it wouldn't be staples).

2) What's the best way to drill through the brick and plaster walls? Go through the brick or mortar? What type of bit?

3) How practical would it be to drill into the floor cavity w/out hitting a joist?

4) If we got the wall outlet route, are there "nice" looking junction boxes that don't have multiple knock outs on all sides?

I really appreciate any help in the matter and want to have a plan together before I call the city and get a permit.

Thank you!

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Old 08-26-2011, 07:58 AM   #2
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Running UF on outside of house


You can get Wiremold surface mount boxes.

If you drill a 1/8" hole at the baseboard through the floor you can check to see if you are close to a joist.

You could secure the UF using one hole straps. Drill the brick with a masonry drill bit and use screws and plastic anchors. A hammer drill will speed up the drilling.

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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:06 AM   #3
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Running UF on outside of house


You could also bury the UF along the foundation and sleeve it up the wall with pvc to where you penetrate the wall. Photos might show us some other options.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:08 AM   #4
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Thank you so much!

Is it safe to assume that it would require a 1/2" bit? Is there any strategy for going through the brick to avoid cracking, ie going through the center, or through the adjacent mortar?
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:29 AM   #5
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Running UF on outside of house


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You could also bury the UF along the foundation and sleeve it up the wall with pvc to where you penetrate the wall. Photos might show us some other options.
I'll see about taking some pictures when I get home from work.

It's a three story, 100 year old brick house. I called the electrical inspector last year and he said that I would need to use conduit for any wire less than 8' off the ground. I've never worked with conduit and am going off the assumption that it would be more difficult than just running UF and keeping it above 8'.

Then again, the only other time I used UF, it was a royal pain and the outer sheath was incredibly difficult to get through, even with an exacto knife.

If need be, would it be acceptable to run UF inside of conduit for the lower portion of the run and have it exit the conduit at 8' off the ground to continue up the wall?
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:37 AM   #6
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Running UF on outside of house


It would be acceptable code wise but it will look like heck.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:00 AM   #7
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Running UF on outside of house


Why can't you route under the house? No crawl space?
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:14 AM   #8
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It would be acceptable code wise but it will look like heck.
Very good point!

I'm not terribly familiar with conduit. Am I on the right track... I would have a junction box on the inside of the basement wall, where the NM and THWN interface, with a short piece of conduit going through the wall, meeting up with a LB fitting. Conduit would then go up the wall, joining another LB fitting, with a short piece of conduit going through wall, joined to a J-box, where the THWN interfaces with NM? I've attached a diagram in case I'm not explaining myself well.

Is that essentially how it's done? My biggest concern would be finding the space for a PVC junction box for the upstairs, especially if I want to go the floor receptacle route.
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Running UF on outside of house-wiring-schematic.jpg  
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:17 AM   #9
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Why can't you route under the house? No crawl space?
There's a basement but we need a receptacle on the second floor. The room is on a corner, with no good way to run wire up the interior of the house, since two of the walls are exterior with no cavities (just plaster on brick).

The receptacle needs to be on the exterior wall because it will be for a window air conditioning unit.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:39 AM   #10
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Running UF on outside of house


How do you intend to put an accessible pvc j-box in the joist space on the second floor?
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:44 AM   #11
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How do you intend to put an accessible pvc j-box in the joist space on the second floor?
That would be an issue. I guess it would have to be mounted to the floor, which really isn't desirable.

Would it be acceptable to use a PVC J-Box on the top of the exterior conduit run and connect the THWN to NM which then leads to the floor mounted receptacle?
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:57 AM   #12
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Running UF on outside of house


That would work along with one of these:



http://www.carlon.com/Product_Adjust...lFloorBox.html
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:21 AM   #13
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Would it be possible to run the UF through the conduit, avoiding the need for any junctions? Doesn't the NEC allow for cable in conduit when it's used for protection?
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:27 AM   #14
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Running UF on outside of house


Yes. I would recommend a minimum of 3/4" unless you are using UF larger than 12/2, as UF is somewhat unwieldy.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:28 AM   #15
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Running UF on outside of house


I am kind of lost here. Are you wanting to run the wire for a window unit, or are you trying to hook up a central A/C unit.

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