fininishing basement - wire question


Old 02-22-10, 06:01 PM
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fininishing basement - wire question

I'm in the process of doing the rough in wiring for finishing our basement. There is one area that I would like to run about a 2 foot length of 14ga elec wire in a air return to the furnace. The air return is enclosed with wood and drywall on the bottom.

Is this allowed by code?


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Old 02-22-10, 08:52 PM
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Electrical wiring in a return air space must be in metal conduit, be a metallic sheathed cable, such as MC cable, or be rated for plenum use.
Old 02-23-10, 05:29 AM
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Was this going to run parallel or perpendicular to the long dimension of the return?
Old 02-23-10, 09:35 AM
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long dimension, but only about 2 feet.
Old 02-23-10, 09:48 AM
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Unfortunately the code prohibits any romex from running in the long dimension of a cold air return regardless of length. It does allow runs in the perpendicular dimension, which would be 16" or 24" so perhaps your inspector may allow this if you mention it to him. An option to avoid the code issue would be to do this segment of wiring using metal clad (MC) cable and metal junction boxes which is allowed in the air handling space.

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