beginner question -- replacing Romex with shielded

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  #1  
Old 11-10-10, 06:55 AM
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beginner question -- replacing Romex with shielded

Hi All,

Total beginner here with electrical. I'm selling my home and the buyer is asking me to replace the Romex wiring on the hot water heater with "shielded material."

Basically, what type of wire should I ask for at the hardware store? I'm not even sure what "shielded" means.

Any brands you would recommend?

How tough of a job is this? Is it a DIY or should I hire someone?

Thanks a lot!
 
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Old 11-10-10, 08:09 AM
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This isn't making sense to me - Romex is cable used to deliver electricity to outlets, like the one into which the water heater is plugged

Can you throw in a picture or two to help explain what's being asked to be replaced?

http://forum.doityourself.com/electr...your-post.html

BTW, welcome to the forums
 
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Old 11-10-10, 08:27 AM
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Do you mean there is an unprotected piece of Romex between the wall and the water heater? This is quite common but probably not code. Do you have a junction box on the wall or a junction box flush with the wall and a cover plate. If no junction box you will need to add one. You can buy a #10 "whip" at the BigBox store which is a ready-made metallic cable for this purpose.
 
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Old 11-10-10, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mitch17 View Post
This isn't making sense to me - Romex is cable used to deliver electricity to outlets, like the one into which the water heater is plugged
I've seen a number of homes where Romex (NM-B) was run directly from the load center to the fitting and junction box built into the top of the water heater.

Whether this is permitted depends on local and state codes. It wasn't a violation of the NEC in the 70s and 80s, but I don't know if it's been disallowed more recently. I can't see why it would have been.

Nonetheless, if the buyer wants it replaced, you may want to find out if a permit is required and if your local authority allows homeowners to do the work.

A photo would be helpful. You might also want to ask the buyer for clarification on "why".

If I were doing it, I would add a junction box on the structure near the heater, terminate the existing Romex in that box, and add a "whip" from the junction box to the heater. A whip is generally something like a 4' length of flexible metal conduit and fittings sold pre-filled with the proper conductors and a ground. These should be available at the Big Box or at an electrical supplier.

Another issue is that even if the installation met code when installed, as soon as you modify it, it must be brought up to current code. I can't see that being a big deal here, but you never know.
 
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Old 11-10-10, 03:31 PM
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Without a pic, this sounds OK. This request is a negotiated item that you do not have to agree to.
 
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Old 11-10-10, 04:45 PM
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And we won't mention "in line of sight of the breaker box" to the buyer requesting it.
 
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Old 11-11-10, 08:15 AM
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thanks for all the advice!

any idea how much $ this would cost, parts & labor, if I hire an electrician to install a junction box and replace the current wire with the "whip"?
 
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Old 11-11-10, 08:31 AM
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Labor rates vary too much to give an estimate on cost.

This may just be a waste of money anyway. Why are you trying to replace something that may be fine?
 
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Old 11-11-10, 10:17 AM
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I'm selling my home and the buyer is asking me to replace the Romex wiring on the hot water heater with "shielded material."
Is the buyer just asking or is the sale contingent upon this? If he is just asking, tell him you can have it done if he is willing to pay for it. If it's a contingency, bite the bullet and have it done. You certainly wouldn't want to lose the sale because of this trivial issue. Pcboss is right about varying labor costs, I have seen residential rates vary between $50 and $100 an hour. If you are just wondering what it would cost, do your own estimate figuring about 2 hours labor and $25 for material. You may also need to add some $$ for a trip charge or driving time based on the hourly rate in your area.
 
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Old 11-11-10, 06:32 PM
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Around here Romex dangling to a water heater is not protected. Romex must be protected from physical damage. I would just sleeve the Romex with a short piece of flex conduit with a connector on both ends (one attached to the water heater). This also would avoid installing a J-box for a whip.
 
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Old 11-11-10, 07:14 PM
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To add to what Toyln said I would suggest "Smurf", corrugated plastic ENT tubing. Very easy to work with. If you can find the snap fittings you don't even need cement. 15 minutes even for a beginner. Total cost less then $10.
 
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Old 11-12-10, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
To add to what Toyln said I would suggest "Smurf", corrugated plastic ENT tubing. Very easy to work with. If you can find the snap fittings you don't even need cement. 15 minutes even for a beginner. Total cost less then $10.
Smurf pipe also needs to be protected from physical damage so it would not be a good choice.
 
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Old 11-12-10, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Smurf pipe also needs to be protected from physical damage so it would not be a good choice.
Well darn, learn something new every day. If you want delete my post.
 
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