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Old 10-09-2017, 04:19 PM   #1
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Wires in conduit or SE cable


I am installing a sub panel in my house and running the wire through the attic. I am planning to run THNN wire in PVC conduit or SE cable. Since the circuit will be breaker protected I am thinking SE cable is OK. However if I use PVC conduit and pull the wires I can save some money and of course my labor is free.

Are both or either of these solutions code compliant? I live in Oklahoma and the attic probably gets around 140F
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:51 PM   #2
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Re: Wires in conduit or SE cable


A sub panel needs a four wire feed. I think SE is only three wire so it would not be permitted for this use.
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:57 PM   #3
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Re: Wires in conduit or SE cable


You need SER cable which is 4 wire.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:22 PM   #4
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Re: Wires in conduit or SE cable


Sorry. I meant SER. Also what about the PVC conduit?
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:27 PM   #5
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Re: Wires in conduit or SE cable


PVC would be fine.
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:13 PM   #6
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Re: Wires in conduit or SE cable


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Originally Posted by mccorb101 View Post
Are both or either of these solutions code compliant? I live in Oklahoma and the attic probably gets around 140F
It's too hot for PVC conduit - it's limited to 122F. You would need to use EMT.

Oklahoma is on the 2014 NEC. In this version, SE cable run in insulation is restricted to using the 60C ampacity column. This means you would need to run much larger cable unless you can remain clear of the insulation in the attic.

Aluminum SER is usually the least expensive option even with the larger cable requirement.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:31 AM   #7
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Ok. SER cable it is. So I guess I can hang it from the rafters using staples to keep it out of the insulation. Is this ok?
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Old 10-12-2017, 03:38 PM   #8
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Re: Wires in conduit or SE cable


Yes. It needs a staple, SE bracket, or other support every 4 1/2 feet. Also make sure each length passing through the attic insulation is less than 10 feet.
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