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Old 12-10-2010, 08:24 PM   #16
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I hadn't heard that before. The suggestion was given to me by an electrician. Any idea of why the rating (I am assuming you mean current rating) would go down? If the issue is heat I would think that the wires would run cooler without the armor. I've learned a couple of new things while investigating this project. Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:25 AM   #17
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If you remove a section of the outer part of any cable assembly, you change its characteristics. this is a violation of its UL listing, and this example is not allowed by code.

you are using this section of conduit for a chase sleeve.

If you wanted to use the section of conduit as a raceway(which would allow a code complaint removal of the jacketing) you would need a jbox on each end and to transition from one wiring method to the other(cable to pipe and back).
however from what you tell us this would not be in your best interest

cables have many ratings beside amperage and voltage, and degree of physical protection, wire type, may wiring methods have special provisions governing use
with jacket for example I can run romex "freely" in an attic but must be in a box with out.
the rating of a cable may change when molested because cables are rated as a whole, and changing that can bring in other effects such as induction heating. lets just say that using something in a way which the manufacture did not intend may change things and tend to make code maker upset:P

not sure if all this is relevant but i pecked it out not goin back
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Old 12-11-2010, 02:58 PM   #18
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What I had been told was that where the armor meets the conduit I should use a fitting that connects the armor to the conduit which I was thinking acted like a j-box. Since the other end of the conduit ends at the breaker box (connected) I thought that the requirements would be met. I am amazed at what I thought would be a simple question has turned out to be much more complicated than I thought. So, one more question. Can I run romex down a short section of conduit, just so I can get into the breaker box, take the other end of the romex and terminate it in a j-box and then run the armored wire into the garage and down the wall to the outlet? Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:54 PM   #19
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use of a fitting to transition to the pipe is an acceptable solution
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:13 PM   #20
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VFR Don, that last proposal sounds good to me. NM in short sleeve conduit to a Jbox to transistion to armored sounds good to me. JBox needs to be "accessible" but if it's in your attic in the open that's fine. Just don't wall it up behind drywall or paneling.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:03 PM   #21
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One more question, just to be clear. The latest suggestions are to run NM from the breaker box to a j-box, from there armored to the outlet. The j-box is in the attic so there is no problem with accessibility. That should be doable. I had been planning to run part of the armored wire through the conduit, after removing the armor, from the breaker box to the end of the conduit, short run, and connect a fitting that allows armor to connect to the conduit. That would give me a completely protected run and eliminate a splice or connection involving wire nuts. The splice is the original source of the problem so I was really interested in avoiding splices. I gather that I shouldn't do it that way, is that correct? Again, thanks to everyone who has chimed in on this and helped send me off in the right direction.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:07 PM   #22
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If you do the wire nuts right they will still work 100 years from now. Make sure you use wire nuts large enough for two 10 AWG wires, and twist them on there hard enough to twist the wires together all the way down to the insulated part, even if they weren't pretwisted.

Improperly installed wire nuts are the reason splices fail 99.9% of the time.

Alternately, I see no reason why you can't do NM the entire run uninterrupted, without peeling the sheath off in the conduit. You were the one that suggested the transition to AC if I recall right.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:30 PM   #23
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I'm afraid that I have been confusing. I do not want to remove the sheath from the NM but from the armor wire. I was planning to remove the metal armor and run the wire itself down the conduit to the breaker box. I'm trying to avoid removing the siding above the breaker box in order to reach the top (outside) of the breaker box to install wire clamps. At the other end of the conduit I would connect the armor to the conduit and continue to the outlet. This would give me one continuous run with no splices and have the wire protected by the armor where it runs in the garage. As far as the wire nuts I used, it is a aluminum to copper connection. I used properly sized AL to CU rated wire nuts with dielectric grease and have had two failures. I think that the real problem is the AL to CU junction, it causes a severe IR drop and that causes the overheating. CU to CU should work better but no splices should work best. The hangup comes with the armored wire with the armor removed for the part running through the conduit.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:09 PM   #24
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I apologize for the misunderstanding. Your plan of using "armor wire" (we call it MC or AC or BX) from garage to conduit and removal of armor inside conduit with use of fitting on the way to the panel is a perfectly acceptable installation.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:47 PM   #25
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Thanks Saturday Cowboy. Sorry for not using the correct nomenclature. That's how it was described to me so I used it. I know that it adds to the confusion. Thanks for the confirmation, I think that will be the best way for me to go.
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:57 PM   #26
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Cu to al wire nuts shouldn't be allowed by code in my opinion. Cu to cu is a completely different ball game. So don't be averse to cu/cu wire nuts in the future based on your cu/al experience, even if you go with an unspliced run here.
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:35 PM   #27
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I've never had a problem with wire nuts before but I've never had to deal with AL wire before either. I looked into the AL to CU issue at the beginning of this whole thing and found out that I could not use regular wire nuts, they had to be spec'd for AL to CU. Other than the dielectric grease inside the wire nuts the only real difference I could find was the price. They are expensive. I'm hoping to never need them again. Is there a better way to splice AL to CU?
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:10 PM   #28
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I dont have my code book in front of me and im sure someone can clarify on this but if the wirenuts are not working due to a malfunction or your own error while putting them on, im pretty sure you could use underground rated lugs that are protected by a type of plastic and i think it might already have dielectric grease already in them if not its easy enough to buy, just make sure the lug is rated for AL/CU. get a 4 11/16 box attached it to the conduit for the AL wires and support the box and then bring the existing romex into that box and terminate with those lugs
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:42 AM   #29
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The wirenuts with the grease in them are crap as you found out. They are UL approved but the CPSC recommends against using them because they get hot and fail.

There's a couple other options. COPALUM crimped connections are good, but they play stupid games with the crimping tool, you won't be able to buy one as a normal mortal.

Like SGC said, you can get screw lugs that are pretty good, they keep the aluminum wire separate from the copper wire. I don't have a link to a CU/AL screw lug handy.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:09 PM   #30
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Well I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one having difficulty with the AL to CU wire nuts. I completely missed the point. I don't understand why they don't work better, doesn't seem that big of a challenge. I understand the grease but not why they don't work better than they do. My solution is to eliminate the AL wire all together. Thanks for the confirmation on the wire nuts. Now I know it's not just me doing something wrong.
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