conduit question

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  #1  
Old 01-02-06, 08:34 AM
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conduit question

i am running a light into my stairway going to basement.house was built without ceiling light on stairs(1925),for years there has been a light fixture hung on wall with pull switch and extention cord going to outlet in laundry room....at the top of the stairs i have no problem running wire down the wall to 3 way switch,the bottom 3 way is my problem case i have to get threw the floor into the basement wall cavity....im think of running metal conduit from attic straight down to switch (12feet)enclosed in metal box ...

now instead of having a junction box to make the transition from ac cable(bx) to single condutors in the conduit, my plan is to strip off 12 feet of armored casing and attach a fitting to secure the bx to the conduit and then run just the red,black,and white wire down to the 3 way switch...

does anyone see anything wrong with my plan,both code and saftey wise...thanks george
 
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  #2  
Old 01-02-06, 08:36 AM
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If your basement is unfinished then you don't need a switch at the bottom of the stairs.
 
  #3  
Old 01-02-06, 09:18 AM
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If you can push the conduit down from the attic, then you should be able to 'fish' the BX down from the attic. So I don't see a good reason for using the conduit as you describe. Just run the BX.

I believe that the installation that you describe would be a code violation. The conductors inside of the BX are generally not listed and labeled for use separately from the entire assembly. Stripping off the outer armor and then using these conductors in a raceway would be using 'non-listed' conductors in that raceway. The proper and fully code compliant way of doing what you describe would be to put a junction box on the end of the conduit, run the BX to the junction box, run THHN conductors in the conduit, and to make a suitable splice in the junction box. However this is something of a ' technicality ', since the conductors themselves are usually made to the exact same standards are proper 'listed' conductors. IMHO the method that you described would be perfectly safe, probably safer then the 'code compliant' install, but not actually code compliant.

But as I said, just running the BX without messing with conduit is probably the best choice. If you use an 'old work' switch box with integral cable clamps made for BX cable, then you just pull the cable down from the attic, through the hole for the switch box, prep the cable and clamp it to the box, and then put the box into the wall using the mounting brackets for the box.

-Jon
 
  #4  
Old 01-02-06, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft
If your basement is unfinished then you don't need a switch at the bottom of the stairs.

I see that 210.70(A)(2)(a) requires a wall switched lighting outlet for stairways, and that 210.70(A)(2)(c) requires stairways with six or more steps have a switch at each floor, but I donít see any exception for unfinished basements. Where do you find that?
 
  #5  
Old 01-02-06, 11:31 AM
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yes it is a finished basement,and i spend a lot of time down there,so thats why i am wanting to put a 3 way switch set up..
as far as the conduit,i want to run in on the outside of the wall to the bottom of the stairs...exposed...then i can paint it to match the walls....being its a stair case i rather not have to do plaster work,and just have the conduit running down the corner of the wall.....thanks for the replies
 
  #6  
Old 01-02-06, 03:05 PM
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Juhl,

Read 210.70 (A) (3).
 
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Old 01-02-06, 05:45 PM
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You need a J box

Originally Posted by lovmy4x4
now instead of having a junction box to make the transition from ac cable(bx) to single condutors in the conduit, my plan is to strip off 12 feet of armored casing and attach a fitting to secure the bx to the conduit and then run just the red,black,and white wire down to the 3 way switch...

does anyone see anything wrong with my plan,both code and saftey wise...thanks george
Yes, there is a problem, if I am understanding you right.
To transition from BX to single THHN conductors you need to make the
transition in a Junction box, such as a handybox (single gang box).
It is a NEC code violation to do as suggest with a fitting.
 
  #8  
Old 01-02-06, 05:54 PM
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Instead of using BX{no insulated ground} use MC {insulated ground}.If you still want to run the pipe you can make the changeover from pipe to MC in this order--- using a conduit connector, threaded coupling,MC connector just make sure you strip back enough of the MC armor to make it into the box.This is accepted whenever I make a run like this
 
  #9  
Old 01-02-06, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft
Juhl,

Read 210.70 (A) (3).

There have been times when Iíve looked right at what I was looking for and not found it. Then, if I look long enough, Iíll forget what Iím looking for.

But honestly, I donít see anything in 210.70(A)(3) that gives exception to the requirement that stairways have a wall switch at each floor level. Section 210.70(A)(3) applies to storage and equipment spaces, I donít see how anything in that section would apply to a stairway.
 
  #10  
Old 01-03-06, 04:08 AM
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I belive that the relevant code section is 210.70(A)(2) which _requires_ a light in a stairway, and additionally _requires_ a switch to control this light at each level of the stairway. There is no exception for the finish of the room.

You will notice a bit of apparent disagreement between ggratecc and ampz, however they are talking about different things. If you use THHN wires in the conduit and splice them to the wires coming out of the BX, then you need a junction box to contain the splice. If you feed the stripped wires directly into the conduit without a splice, then the connection that ampz describes (with no junction box, just with appropriate BX to conduit transition fittings) is suitable. As I noted above, this may be considered a code violation because of the _type_ of wire in the conduit, but as ampz has noted, this is accepted [by the electrical inspectors] in the areas where he works.

I share ampz preference for MC cable, which looks like BX cable (BX is properly called AC cable), but which has a separate ground wire, and does not depend upon the cable armor for the ground.

-Jon
 
  #11  
Old 01-03-06, 05:11 AM
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Juhl,

I am not an inspector and I do not wire houses for a living so perhaps I am not a good one to address this issue. I do however take part in walk-throughs on new houses with my fire department. We mainly do this for housing developments so that we can become familiar with how the houses are constructed and to get a general feel for the layout.

I have noted, even in recent walk-throughs (early fall 2005), that houses with unfinished basements and no other means of entry/exit to the basement do not have a switch at the bottom of the basement steps. When the basements have been finished or when there is an exit from the basement that goes outside, I have noted switches at multiple locations.

I have assumed this is because unfinished basements are for storage and that it is not anticipated that people will be spending a lot of time there.

Since these are new houses and they are inspected, either the switch is not required in these situations, or there is a local exception, or the inspector allows it for some reason. I don't think it's an individual inspector issue, since inspections in my county are done by an agency using multiple inspectors, but I suppose that it could be.

This issue does not apply to this topic, since George's basement is finished, but I would be interested in hearing other opinions on this issue.
 
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