metal or pvc boxes


Old 05-27-06, 10:19 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 41
metal or pvc boxes

I am installing receptacles in may basement and couple of them are supposed to be on a wall that is unfinished from the other side, now the boxes used for those receptacles will not be covered by drywall from that side which I am palnning to use as a storage area, so what kind of boxes I am supposed to be using in this situation. metal or PVC .
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Old 05-28-06, 12:31 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wally World
Posts: 451
It depends on how you plan to wire the boxes, and what your local code allows.

Assuming code allows, if you plan to pull new NM (Romex) from the panel, or extend NM from an existing j-box, then plastic boxes are OK. Just make certain the wire gauge and amp ratings are kosher. Also, be sure to use recepticles and switches that have an attached grounding screw, and that comport with the associated amp rating.

Again, if code permites, you can use metal boxes, but you'll need to make sure they are grounded as well.

When they are allowed, many people choose plastic boxes because they are less expensive, and don't require a ground to be attached.
Old 05-28-06, 07:32 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 41
thanks for the reply, the reason I am questioning the box type is that as the other side of the wall is not going to be finished, I thought I am supposed to install metallic boxes as they are stronger and more "damage-resistant", but if the code allows me to install plastic boxes, I actually love to do that as they are easier to install plus the grounding issue too. I am running new circuits from the panel and I will be using Romex cables, now I have one more question . I will be running wires between the studs and again , one side of the wall is unfinished. How should I deal with that situation, I mean how to have those wires protected, the ceiling is not accessible at that part because of the main heating duct is right there, and also I don't like to finish that side of the wall since it is a part of a storage area. any suggestions?
Old 05-28-06, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Bern, NC
Posts: 1,623
The wire should be stapled so that it is at least 1 1/4 inches from the edge of the stud. Same goes for the edge of the holes you drill.

If your hole gets closer to the edge of the stud, use nail plates to protect the wire from someone putting a nail in the stud later to install something.

If you need to nail more than two wires in a stack and still need to keep the 1 1/4 distance buy stack it type hangers. they nail into the stud and then you clip the wire into them.
Old 05-28-06, 08:09 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 41
I am not sure f you understand my point, may be I was not able to explain it clearly. now if you have a stud framed wall that is finished from one side and unfinished from the other side , and you want to run cables between the studs , I don't think it is appropriate to have the cables running between the cables unprotected, since that side of the wall will be exposed.
Old 05-28-06, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
I think you need to talk to your local inspector. I have exposed plastic boxes in my shop and the inspector had no problem with that. He also passed exposed Romex in the stud bays. His reasoning was that it was not an occupied dwelling.

MY daughter lives in a nearby town. I helped her finish her basement using plastic boxes and romex. One small room in the basement used for storage was left unfinished. The inspector would not pass that. He said plastic boxes and exposed romex had to be protected.

Different town, different inspector. Probably both right.
Old 05-28-06, 08:01 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 41
Thanks for your reply, I think I will figure out the code for that since it can be either way.

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