Low profile outlet box on side of cabinet

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Old 12-23-13, 10:34 AM
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Low profile outlet box on side of cabinet

Recently had some free-standing cabinets installed. The installers cut-in a low profile plastic outlet box on each end of the cabinets. I wish I had thought this through before agreeing to have them cut the boxes in. The problem is the low profile boxes are the blue plastic type. I do NOT want to run romex through the back of the cabinets to terminate at the low profile boxes. I want to use the armored BX type cable for extra protection. I can think of no good way to attach the BX cable to the plastic box. I read another post that said you cannot attach BX cable to a plastic box.

I looked for a metallic low profile box in the size I need but cannot find one. The size I need is about 2" x 4" for a single outlet. Right now I see two options:

1) Remove the boxes and cover up the hole and never use it for anything.

2) Go to the machine shop down the street and have them fabricate a box to the size I need. I don't care how much it costs (within reason) I just want this install to be done properly.

Has anybody else come across a situation like this where you have to terminate armored BX cable to a low profile box in a tight space?
 
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Old 12-23-13, 10:58 AM
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Both Lowes and Home Depot carry a shallow metal 2 X 4 box.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 11:00 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

You're right.... you can't connect the MC cable to plastic boxes.

Had you known ahead you were using MC cable, the cabinet builders could have installed metal gem boxes that come in many depths...... 1-1/2", 2", 2-1/2", 2-3/4", 3-1/2".
The problem with gem boxes is that they are smaller than plastic boxes and will just fall thru the hole that was cut for a plastic box.

It is also very hard to get a receptacle in a shallow gem box with MC cable.

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Old 12-23-13, 11:01 AM
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Hmmmm, my local Lowes and Home Depot don't carry them. I'll check online, maybe my local stores don't carry everything.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 11:43 AM
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What's behind the cutouts? Cabinet interior or space inside the base of the cabinet? Where are you planning to extend the power from?

Depending on where you've got them mounted, some 90-degree MC connectors might be useful.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 12:08 PM
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What's behind the cutouts? Directly behind the cutout is a drawer slide rail. The rail covers 1/2 of the box. Since the other half of the box is free and clear of obstructions, there should be room to mount one of those 90 degree connectors. I think I may just fabricate my own box out of steel and use that 90 degree connector.

I've already checked the clearance with the drawers and there is nothing obstructing the back half of the box. That should work.

EDIT: Even better, I found a 45 degree connector.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 12:53 PM
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1 1/4" deep handy box? 1-1/4" Deep Handy Utility Box
 
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Old 12-23-13, 01:04 PM
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Wouldn't Smurf tubing or non-metallic Sealtite be code compliant?
 
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Old 12-23-13, 01:22 PM
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1 1/4" deep handy box? 1-1/4" Deep Handy Utility Box
How would that be flush mounted in the face of a cabinet?
 
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Old 12-23-13, 01:26 PM
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Wouldn't Smurf tubing or non-metallic Sealtite be code compliant?
I don't think the Smurf tubing would be. I think that's only for raceways inside pours. The liquidtight would be, and so would Greenfield, but they're both thicker than MC.

k9,
Originally Posted by Nashkat1
Where are you planning to extend the power from?
 
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Old 12-23-13, 02:40 PM
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The power will come up through the floor into the back of the cabinet.

I already have some spare BX cable 3/8" 2-12 w/ground so I'm going to use it for this project. I have a junction box in the crawl space directly below the cabinet that has power. All I have to do is go down to the crawl space, drill a hole straight up through the floor, through the bottom of the cabinet and fish the cable up to the box.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 04:10 PM
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The power will come up through the floor into the back of the cabinet.

I already have some spare BX cable 3/8" 2-12 w/ground... All I have to do is go down to the crawl space, drill a hole straight up through the floor, through the bottom of the cabinet and fish the cable up to the box.
Sounds like a plan. The only thing is that BX, MC, AC and FMC aren't rated for floor penetrations. Best practice would probably be to drill a slightly larger hole and sleeve that with a piece of pipe to chase the MC through. Then seal around the cable and the pipe, if possible, with a bit of fire caulk on each end.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 05:30 PM
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I don't think the Smurf tubing would be. I think that's only for raceways inside pours
I see no reason why it wouldn't work just fine. I've seen it before in residential wood framing too. Not really much different than installing PVC conduit, just flexible is all.

The power will come up through the floor into the back of the cabinet.
Don't forget the GFCI protection.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 06:00 PM
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see no reason why it wouldn't work just fine. I've seen it before in residential wood framing too. Not really much different than installing PVC conduit, just flexible is all.
OK. It'll be fatter than MC but it will get around the issue with the floor penetration.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 06:16 PM
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My reason for suggesting Smurf or non-metallic Sealtite is it could be used with the existing plastic boxes. It could even sleeve NM-b since the O/P didn't want to see NM-b. ...or am I wrong?
 
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Old 12-23-13, 10:11 PM
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I have a GFCI breaker on this circuit already. I have some spare 1/2" conduit too. Thanks for the tip on the floor penetration.
 
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Old 12-23-13, 11:34 PM
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You're right about the sleeving, if that's what you're asking. And Joe said he's seen it used in residential wood framing, so it may be OK inside a cabinet.

I would dun it as conduit rather than as a sleeve to avoid having to caulk inside it. The only caulking then would be around the outside of the conduit as it enters and exits the floor.

k9, you can install non-continuous sections of the conduit and use it to protect Type NM-b at critical points, or you can run continuous conduit and install separate THHN conductors in it.
 
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Old 12-24-13, 06:55 AM
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I have a GFCI breaker on this circuit already. I have some spare 1/2" conduit too. Thanks for the tip on the floor penetration.
Ok, now that you decided to use either conduit or PVC flex inside the cabinet, how are you going to secure it? You would normally use 1-hole straps, but the outer skin of most cabinets isn't thick enough to accept a screw without extending past the outer surface (going all the way through).
 
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Old 12-24-13, 08:36 AM
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I use a piece of Panduct attached with double sided tape to the cabinet. The NM is held out of the way of pots and pans etc. I know the Panduct is not one of the listed means against physical damage but I have always had it accepted given that people are not swinging baseball bats in the cabinet it does provide adequate protection.
 
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Old 12-24-13, 08:46 AM
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The sides of my cabinet are 1.5" thick. No problem putting screws in it.
 
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Old 12-24-13, 09:04 AM
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The only thing is that BX, MC, AC and FMC aren't rated for floor penetrations
Can you expand on this? We almost use MC/AC and FMC for all floor penetrations in commercial and the inspectors have never had an issue with it.
 
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Old 12-24-13, 09:49 AM
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I was wondering if that was a local thing.
 
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Old 12-24-13, 11:22 AM
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Through wood or through a slab? I've been asked repeatedly to sleeve them.

Maybe it's just the inspectors here.
 
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Old 12-24-13, 11:24 AM
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Commercial so it was concrete between floors. Around here they tend to be more strict on commercial then residential.
 
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