Cable repair

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  #1  
Old 04-06-07, 03:52 PM
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Cable repair

Not wanting to hijack the "drilled through a wire thread" I decided to start a separate one.

There have been several posts looking for guidance when the insulation around an electrical wire becomes damaged or when the NM cable jacket is damaged.
Has the industry ever considered a change to the NEC to allow certain types of repairs, i.e. splices? The reason I ask is that I know that electrical and sensor cables are routinely spliced and repaired on submarines and deep submersibles. In many cases these are cables exposed to seawater and extremes of temperature and pressure.
If a cable can be reliably spliced/repaired to withstand that sort of environment, it seems like code approved repair process could be developed for home wiring.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-06-07, 04:30 PM
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Amen to that!

I have torn down fresh walls, dug up floors and yards to replace one wire that was damaged usually from careless sheet rockers or landscapers....
 
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Old 04-06-07, 04:34 PM
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The types of repairs done on a submarine would probably be permitted under the NEC. However they would be cost prohibitive.
 
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Old 04-06-07, 05:31 PM
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That would be nice!

But, Government agencies, such as the military, are exempt from all codes.
 
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Old 04-06-07, 05:40 PM
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They're also (seemingly) exempt from most cost concerns. And a submarine certainly isn't a house. Just FYI, they do make underground cable splice kits that can be done without an electrical box. But of course there's little chance of a fire underground.
 
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Old 04-06-07, 05:43 PM
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I'm sure a UF splice kit would be legal. They are legal to bury 18" deep, why not in the wall?

I'll have to dig one out and read the instructions again.
 
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Old 04-06-07, 05:46 PM
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Because dirt doesn't often catch fire.
 
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Old 04-06-07, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by joed View Post
The types of repairs done on a submarine would probably be permitted under the NEC. However they would be cost prohibitive.

sorry joed, 300-15(a) (of the 99 code. My '05 is at work) says all splices must be in a box or fitting designed for such, with a few exceptions. Submarine wiring isn;t one of the ones listed.

It does, however list the connectors that are allowed to be used in mod/manuf housing to be installed sans box. I still haven;t figured out it those things must be accessible or not though. They are also restricted to mod/manuf housing although I can imagine a day where they are allowed in stick built.
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the funny thing though is the wire manufacturers do have splices within their wire. I have even had a bad chunk 'o wire that I had to replace because of a bad manufacturers splice.
 
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Old 04-06-07, 07:35 PM
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"Because dirt doesn't often catch fire."

I don't get it. If done properly why would anything catch fire???
 
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Old 04-06-07, 08:35 PM
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That's exactly right. When things are done properly, nothing catches fire.
 
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Old 04-07-07, 12:08 AM
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just put a box at the closest point in attic or basement before it goes through a top plate or sil. then you only need to replace 5 feet of wire or so.

Also insulation and jackets can be taped if damaged. its only a splice that cannot be done in-line.
 
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Old 04-07-07, 06:07 AM
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The reason why splices need to be left accessable is not only for fire safety, it is also because the splice is more likely to fail in the future. If the splice is burried behind a wall it will be that much harder to find.

The Navy has a crew full of people, who's salery is already paid, who can track down that bad splice, should it ever to bad again. In addition I am sure that there are very strick record keeping practices that would be un-enforceable to the general public.

In addition, systems on ships are continously checked under the "preventive maintance programs" that are used. Systems in the public arina are rarely checked until a problem is noticed. Heck, we can't even get our entire population to trip thier GFI's once a month or change the batteries in thier smoke detectors every six months.
 
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Old 04-07-07, 06:19 AM
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"Also insulation and jackets can be taped if damaged. its only a splice that cannot be done in-line."

That was my point initially. I don't think the NEC allows repairs to jackets and insulation. Instead, minor damage to a cable might require cable replacement or a jbox in an inconvenient spot.

John - I don't understand the concern about fire? Your fire concerns could apply to many home wiring scenarios where poor workmanship can trump any proven installation practice. The assumption is that if the installation is done correctly there is no hazard. My question wasn't about a jury rigged repair using a couple of wraps of electrical tape. There are products and processes for repairing cables that are probably more reliable and safer than a jbox and wire nut. These products are routinely used on systems where mission and lives depend on their reliability. A failure underwater can certainly cause a fire inboard on a submersible.

I only asked if the industry had considered adding an approved repair to the NEC.
 
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Old 04-07-07, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
"

I only asked if the industry had considered adding an approved repair to the NEC.
the NEC is updated every three years and anybody can make a suggestion for a change or addition.

You are more than welcome to initiate that process if you would like to.
 
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Old 04-07-07, 10:56 AM
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I don't feel qualified to answer your question about what the industry may or may not have considered to be added to the NEC. I'm sure the NEC committee considers a lot of things every code cycle, but I do not actively follow the NEC proposals.

When I look at the code, I often wonder why it is the way it is. Sometimes the reason is pretty obvious. Sometimes it is not obvious until you read something that explains some obscure hazard. Sometimes you are just left to scratch your head. But my philosophy is that you should follow all the codes that you understand the reason for. More importantly, however, you should follow all the codes that you do not understand the reason for, because these codes are protecting you from a hazard that you are not even aware of.

We all know that some hazards are more significant than other hazards. The code has to draw the line somewhere, and I'm sure that there are vigorous debates among the NEC committee on many of the codes as to which side of the line they should fall on.

We also have to accept that the code cannot cover every particular situation and product. The code is already over 700 pages long, and I'm sure the committe is not eager to complicate it even further. So the code certainly prohibits a few things that are actually safe, merely to keep the code from becoming overly complex. Furthermore, if there are already five different known-safe ways of doing something, there's not much incentive to figure out whether some currently unapproved sixth way is also safe or not.
 
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Old 04-07-07, 11:08 AM
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"That's exactly right. When things are done properly, nothing catches fire."

Therein lies my question. Define "properly".
Unless specifically prohibited what is the problem with a UF splice kit???

I'll make it clear, I've never done this myself. It just seems like a life saver fix in some instances.
 
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Old 04-07-07, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
"That's exactly right. When things are done properly, nothing catches fire."

Therein lies my question. Define "properly".
Unless specifically prohibited what is the problem with a UF splice kit???

I'll make it clear, I've never done this myself. It just seems like a life saver fix in some instances.
the code section I listed previously does specifically prohibit it without a junction box.
-------------------

"More importantly, however, you should follow all the codes that you do not understand the reason for, because these codes are protecting you from a hazard that you are not even aware of."

very wise statement John.


"The code is already over 700 pages long, and I'm sure the committe is not eager to complicate it even further. So the code certainly prohibits a few things that are actually safe, merely to keep the code from becoming overly complex"

I'm not sure they really care. The code is very confusing and in my opinion needs a very thorough restructuring to make it more "user friendly". For the code to restrict an action, it is supposed to be based upon justification and nothing else. It is a bit late for them to consider prevention of making the code overly complex. They passed that threshold a long time ago.
 
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Old 04-07-07, 11:54 AM
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proposals

Alot of people don't realize that ANYONE can submit proposals All are examined, I think that is good.

As far as restructuring, I have a friend on the state CMP, and they are always working to make it less confusing and clearer.

A good example of their efforts (NEC) is art: 250, along with the changes it was reorginized, I personaly find it much easier to read now.
These things take time. Tons of changes and additions over these many years have made it cluttered. (like my brain, garage,basement,van etc. etc.)
 
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Old 04-07-07, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee View Post
These things take time. Tons of changes and additions over these many years have made it cluttered. (like my brain, garage,basement,van etc. etc.)
Yes, I do realize it takes time. It didn;t happen overnight and it won;t be corrected overnight. There have been some major changes in the last couple of cycles. I look forward to a continuation of the same.

my post was more of a rant, I suppose. It can be frustrating to speak with several electricians and get different answers to the same question because of misunderstanding of the code. That means, to me, it is overly complex. Since it not only is a requirement, it is supposed to be a guideline to safety. If users cannot understand the thing, they are more apt to make an incorrect install. It should be understandable to the typical (although I do believe the typical user should be a trained person) user and not require an interpreter on a daily basis.
 
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Old 04-07-07, 12:11 PM
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All true.

But.. Is that realy what you want? Just imagine all the heated debates we will miss out on.
 
  #21  
Old 04-07-07, 12:26 PM
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It wasn't my intent here to suggest or promote repair processes outside those allowed by the NEC. I just wonder if we do things "because that's the way we do it" instead of looking for better, more efficient methods.

As for the NEC, if you think there is confusion within the electrical trade, think how confusing it is for the DIYer that posts a question here and gets 5 different answers from 4 professional electricians. That's not in any way intended to be a criticism, just a comment on how different people interpret the same standard differently. When that happens, the finger has to be pointed at the standard not at the individual interpreting it.
 
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Old 04-07-07, 12:35 PM
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That is an excelent point. There are many ways to reach the same destination. All can be correct and safe and to code. We were all trained by someone different therfore having unique approaches.

Hopefully (i think we have) been able to get the right answers out there.
Sooner or later all the answers reveal a common thread.I feel we do alright, considering the "language" barrier and we're working blind.

Myself, I need some work on my written communication/tech writeing skills.
 
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