What is the difference between AC vs. MC Cable

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Old 04-25-10, 08:13 PM
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What is the difference between AC vs. MC Cable

Always have used BX in my house...which seems to = AC.
Aside from the looks of MC not having a paper sheath on the wires an a separate ground.

Out here in NYC BX land...the casing has always served as the ground for me.

Just curious as I saw a spool of MC the other day
 
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Old 04-26-10, 08:55 AM
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"BX" is a brand name of armored cable (AC).

AC and metal-clad cable (MC) are similar in uses and construction. The main difference is that AC has a copper or aluminum bonding strip manufactured into the spiral sheath so that the spiral can be used as the ground. MC has an insulated green ground conductor. AC cannot be used underground, outdoors or in wet locations whereas some types of MC can be.

Both must be used with proper fittings and metal boxes. Both come in either steel or aluminum.
 
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Old 04-26-10, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
"BX" is a brand name of armored cable (AC).

AC and metal-clad cable (MC) are similar in uses and construction. The main difference is that AC has a copper or aluminum bonding strip manufactured into the spiral sheath so that the spiral can be used as the ground. MC has an insulated green ground conductor. AC cannot be used underground, outdoors or in wet locations whereas some types of MC can be.

Both must be used with proper fittings and metal boxes. Both come in either steel or aluminum.
And to confuse the issue further, MC-AP is MC with a full size bare bonding wire run in contact with the spiral sheath so that the spiral can be used as a ground. This wire is cut flush with the end of the cable sheath and must be used with fittings listed and approved for MC-AP grounding.

It's basically a kind of hybrid of MC and AC, but is technically MC for purposes of identification and code regulation.
 
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Old 04-26-10, 02:26 PM
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What also differs between MPAP (Metal Clad All Purpose) and AC is that MCAP has the Mylar jacket around the insulated conductors just like regular MC cable where AC cables conductors are wrapped in a fire retardant paper.

In many cases if a fitting is rated for MC is it also approved for MCAP. See here: http://www.southwire.com/documents/L...ASolidMCAP.pdf
 
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Old 04-26-10, 05:37 PM
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And don't forget HCF MC with redundent ground; also sometimes called Hospital Grade.
 
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Old 04-26-10, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
And don't forget HCF MC with redundent ground; also sometimes called Hospital Grade.
As mentioned, Health Care Facility Metal Clad has both the full size bonding strip/wire and an insulated grounding conductor. This is required in any place there is patient care.
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 04-26-10 at 07:29 PM.
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