out-there question about conduit/j-box wiring


Old 10-30-06, 11:36 PM
ddr is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 133
out-there question about conduit/j-box wiring

Let me give you the set up and the questions will be listed at the end:

My friend was planning on running either 1/2Ē or 3/4Ē EMT from his service panel up through an insulated wall and into a crawl space so he could add possible future circuits without having to fish through the insulation. He had planned on connecting the EMT to a junction box and then splicing the loose wires from the EMT to individual runs of 12/2 AC cable and going from there.

Now technically the crawl space is accessible from a removable panel about 3í square, but I felt that might be in violation of 314.29 which states that the wiring in the box must be ďaccessible without removing any part of the building.Ē Even if itís within code, I suggested that he wouldnít want a potential failure point to be so hard to get to.

I had an idea, but I donít know if itís any more legal:

Would it be against code if the AC sheathing was cut at a point so that the exposed wires were long enough to be passed through the cable connector at the j-box, down the raceway into the panel, and then the cable was secured to the j-box?

I know the potential for a loss of ground continuity is still there, but assuming a secure connection it should be slim. If NM cable were used instead if AC it would eliminate the ground loss problem since the bare ground could run all the way down to the panel. The question there is would the grounds count as conductors in the fill calculations of the raceway?

So the questions:

1. Is my friendís idea code compliant?

2. Is my idea compliant?

3. Would the wires still count as feed through in this case and count as one each?

4. If NM was used, would the grounds run through the conduit count towards fill capacity?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/advice.
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Old 10-31-06, 02:31 AM
itsunclebill's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Denver, CO area
Posts: 221
If the panel is designed to be removeable, as opposed to having to break drywall to gain access, the the area is considered to be accessable. The rule states no part of the permanent structure can need to be removed to provide access, and a panel that can be lifted out or removed with a few screws doesn't fit the definition of permanent structure.

The box only needs to be accessable, and if you have access even in a 2 foot high space you have met the intent of the code.

Your friends idea seems OK.

The wire in AC and NM-B isn't listed to be installed without its' sheath or covering so installing these wires in conduit after removing the sheath isn't code compliant.

All wires in conduit count as fill. Since the conduit itself can be the grounding conductor or a single ground wire as large as the lagest current carrying conductor can be used (prefered) there is no reason to run multiple grounds through one conduit.

1) yes

2) no

3) count as one wire how? in the box? conduit?

4) not legal

I think you're way too worried about a non-issue. What your friend is proposing is done frequently
Old 10-31-06, 07:03 AM
ddr is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 133
Thanks, Bill.

With regard to your answer to question 3, I meant in the box, but thatís moot anyway since you pointed out that the wire feeding through would be illegal. (Which Iím glad I found out now, because the wire my friend was going to use to feed through up the conduit would have been removed from a load of AC cable he had laying around anyway!) Iíll make sure he gets some solid 12AWG THHN off a spool for the conduit run.
Old 11-03-06, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,767
If it were mw, I'd consider a 1" run for power, and another inch conduit for LV wiring.

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