Issues with 240V cable run on new HVAC install

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Old 06-24-14, 06:47 PM
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Issues with 240V cable run on new HVAC install

I recently had my central A/C system replaced with a heat pump system. I have noticed some issues with the running of the two 240V lines and had some questions as to whether some items were code violations. I want to be sure I fully understand the issue and proper method so I can ensure they properly resolve the issues.

In a previous post on a separate issue, it was pointed out to me in one of my pictures that the 240V line should not be ziptied as shown below.


What is the acceptable attachment method? With exposed joist bays, is it acceptable to staple to the face of the joist? I know with 12/2 and 14/2 you need to have a runner board, but have never personally installed any 240V.

In some instances, the cable is supported as a bundle with the A/C plumbing lines as shown below. Is this acceptable?


Is it ok to turn the 240V between two plumbing lines as shown below? The red arrosws are the two 240V lines. I know both should be better stapled to the joist, but was unsure if running between the two pipes was acceptable.

The wiring is also resting on my baseboard hot water pipes from my boiler. Is that acceptable?

My final question is just basically an extension of the first one. In the vertical run to get outside to the compressor, the 240V is also zip tied. What would be an acceptable manner of supporting the wire in this instance with the concrete wall?

 
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Old 06-24-14, 07:10 PM
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In a previous post on a separate issue, it was pointed out to me in one of my pictures that the 240V line should not be ziptied as shown below.
That's right, cables ziptied to the refrigerant lines are a code violation.

What is the acceptable attachment method? With exposed joist bays, is it acceptable to staple to the face of the joist? I know with 12/2 and 14/2 you need to have a runner board, but have never personally installed any 240V.
Is this a basement or a crawl space. If a basement, I'd run the NM cable through holes bored in the joists. If a crawl space, I'd probably use a running board on the bottom of the joists.

In some instances, the cable is supported as a bundle with the A/C plumbing lines as shown below. Is this acceptable?
No

Is it ok to turn the 240V between two plumbing lines as shown below? The red arrosws are the two 240V lines. I know both should be better stapled to the joist, but was unsure if running between the two pipes was acceptable.
Running NM cable between the pipes is acceptable if they are properly supported. Why do you have two 240 volt cables running the the outside heat pump?

The wiring is also resting on my baseboard hot water pipes from my boiler. Is that acceptable?
I don't think the heating pipes will damage the cable, but the cable is not installed or secured properly.

In the vertical run to get outside to the compressor, the 240V is also zip tied. What would be an acceptable manner of supporting the wire in this instance with the concrete wall?
You should have conduit running down the face of the masonry wall with an LB fitting to go through the wall. What does the outside look like? Is there a proper NEMA 3R raintight disconnect at the heat pump? Is the line voltage wiring in conduit to the unit?


Were there no inspections when this work was completed, no permits? In my area this job would take both a mechanical and an electrical permit with two inspectors, one for each trade. A real electrician wouldn't do work like that.
 
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Old 06-25-14, 03:45 AM
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Is this a basement or a crawl space. If a basement, I'd run the NM cable through holes bored in the joists.
It's the garage portion of a basement.

Running NM cable between the pipes is acceptable if they are properly supported. Why do you have two 240 volt cables running the the outside heat pump?
It's two separate circuits. One 240V from the breaker box to the air handler and one 240V from the breaker box to the condenser. Would correct stapling at the proper distances make this properly supported?

I don't think the heating pipes will damage the cable, but the cable is not installed or secured properly.
What would be proper installing/securing? Is it just better stapling?

In the vertical run to get outside to the compressor, the 240V is also zip tied. What would be an acceptable manner of supporting the wire in this instance with the concrete wall?
You should have conduit running down the face of the masonry wall
with an LB fitting to go through the wall.
Is it a correct interpretation of this comment that just running the UF cable through a PVC pipe in the wall with the other connections (shown below) is not correct?



What does the outside look like? Is there a proper NEMA 3R raintight disconnect at the heat pump? Is the line voltage wiring in conduit to the unit?
This is the outside.



Based upon all your comments on the conduit, should this connection of the 240V to the air handler also be in conduit?



Were there no inspections when this work was completed, no permits?
There seemed to be a lot of unclarity regarding the permits, but ultimately the town is now requiring an electrical permit (no mechanical). They are putting in that paperwork and there will be an inspection, but I'd rather get the issues addressed beforehand rather than having to go back and forth on failed inspections.
 
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Old 06-25-14, 06:10 AM
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It's the garage portion of a basement.
Ok

It's two separate circuits. One 240V from the breaker box to the air handler and one 240V from the breaker box to the condenser. Would correct stapling at the proper distances make this properly supported?
The air handler circuiit is probably also sized for emergency electric resistance heat strips, correct? What size is that larger cable? Depending on the size, it may be able to be stapled under the joists.

What would be proper installing/securing? Is it just better stapling?
Better stapling and keeping it off the piping and ductwork.

Is it a correct interpretation of this comment that just running the UF cable through a PVC pipe in the wall with the other connections (shown below) is not correct?
Yes, it is not correct. I don't see a need to have used UF cable at all. I would have run conduit down the face of the wall inside and through the wall approximately 12" above the refrigerant line penetration and directly into the back of the disconnect so that no cable would be exposed outside.

Based upon all your comments on the conduit, should this connection of the 240V to the air handler also be in conduit?
Typically an air handler is wired with cable through or on the joists above and installed through a protective length of conduit where the cable drops down to the air handler from the joists above. There needs to be a disconnect at the air handler. Does the air handler have circuit breaker disconnects built into it?

There seemed to be a lot of unclarity regarding the permits, but ultimately the town is now requiring an electrical permit (no mechanical). They are putting in that paperwork and there will be an inspection, but I'd rather get the issues addressed beforehand rather than having to go back and forth on failed inspections.
If your town is just beginning to put together a building office and issue permits, there is a very good possibility that they haven't hired a qualified inspector as yet and will be using an existing code enforcement person who has no knowledge of electrical wiring, methods and codes to do the inspections. That's pretty common for many smaller towns.
 
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Old 06-25-14, 07:22 AM
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There seemed to be a lot of unclarity regarding the permits, but ultimately the town is now requiring an electrical permit (no mechanical). They are putting in that paperwork and there will be an inspection, but I'd rather get the issues addressed beforehand rather than having to go back and forth on failed inspections.

Its up to who you hired to make sure this passes inspection. Make sure to point out these examples to the AHJ (inspector). Of course the inspector might be in the pocket of the contractor or is incompetent and it might pass with flying colors.

I would ask the HVAC Co. to send an electrician (and not an HVAC installer) to correct this wiring. If they refused my request then I would not pay for this job until it is corrected.... hopefully you haven't paid in full. If you have you might want to consider stopping payment and start stepping on some toes.

Was this wiring existing from your old HVAC equipment or is that a new installation?
 
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Old 06-25-14, 03:27 PM
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http;//www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumers.aspx
 
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Old 06-25-14, 07:59 PM
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The air handler circuiit is probably also sized for emergency electric resistance heat strips, correct? What size is that larger cable?
Correct. It is 6-2 with 10 ground.

Does the air handler have circuit breaker disconnects built into it?
Yes, it has a breaker on it.

Was this wiring existing from your old HVAC equipment or is that a new installation?
The UF cable I believe was existing, but Ic annot say that for use. The other 240V cabling is definitely new.
 
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Old 06-25-14, 08:23 PM
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Correct. It is 6-2 with 10 ground.
You probably have 10 KW electric emergency heat.

Yes, it has a breaker on it.
Probably one 60 amp 2 pole breaker for a disconnect.
 
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Old 06-26-14, 06:54 AM
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Was this wiring existing from your old HVAC equipment or is that a new installation?
The UF cable I believe was existing, but Ic annot say that for use. The other 240V cabling is definitely new.
If any of this was existing I suppose you cannot expect the HVAC hacks to have changed that on a standard installation. However, a good contractor would have checked local rules to see if that UF cable is allowed and if not they should have informed you that you need an electrician to change that. See if there is a date stamped on the UF cables jacket.

Theres no excuse though for the other Romex that is sloppily run.

Have you requested they send an electrician to clean this up? Let us know how it turns out.

ANother thing I thought of......

Since the can of worms is open, I think it might be a good idea to call another HVAC company to look at the entire system that they installed. Probably the cost of a service call at most. My thinking is (from experience with HVAC installers) is if you see minor things like this there are likely other issues you don't see... it would be best to take care of everything in one swoop. Also you might want to call the manufacture of the equipment, they might suggest another certified installer in your area to take a look.
 

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Old 06-26-14, 08:22 AM
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a good contractor would have checked local rules to see if that UF cable is allowed and if not they should have informed you that you need an electrician to change that. See if there is a date stamped on the UF cables jacket.
I cannot think of a single reason why the UF cable wouldn't be acceptable, but I wouldn't have used it because it is difficult to work with besides being pretty expensive. My best guess is that the OP is in a small rural town that previously had no codes, permits or inspections and that this type of work was common.
 
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Old 06-26-14, 09:37 AM
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I cannot think of a single reason why the UF cable wouldn't be acceptable, but I wouldn't have used it because it is difficult to work with besides being pretty expensive.
This doesn't help the OP but that might be worthy of a call to the AHJ. For example, in greater Chicagoland (which would also include parts of southern WI and Northern IN), that UF cable would never fly. I have also seen local rules in some communities do not allow NM in basements, garages or outdoors...even if they allow romex in the house.

Although I am not sure what the code states on it, but passing thru foundation walls unsleeved/unprotected might also be an issue... it would be for me anyhow.
 
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Old 06-26-14, 07:53 PM
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This doesn't help the OP but that might be worthy of a call to the AHJ. For example, in greater Chicagoland (which would also include parts of southern WI and Northern IN), that UF cable would never fly. I have also seen local rules in some communities do not allow NM in basements, garages or outdoors...even if they allow romex in the house.
I still cannot think of a single reason why the NEC would prohibit UF cable in this application and this forum is based upon the NEC. Most municipalities adopt the NEC verbatim, but some add their own amendments. The OP is in PA and not Chicagoland, I'd like to hear back from the OP about what his local AHJ allows.

Although I am not sure what the code states on it, but passing thru foundation walls unsleeved/unprotected might also be an issue... it would be for me anyhow.
That is exactly why I recommended conduit down the face of the wall and through the wall to the disconnect.
 
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