Can I run romex down an old steel pipe?

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Old 11-30-14, 02:28 PM
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Can I run romex down an old steel pipe?

I am re-doing my kitchen and have a 3 way switch that I would really like to relocate ....the only issue is that the wall I want it on is an old unused chimney covered in plaster. There is also an old steel pipe which most likely used to be for a gas light at the turn of the century...but is also not being used. It comes vertically down the middle of the wall (surrounded by 3/4" of plaster and then there's a right angle pipe fitting sticking out. I thought this would be a great way to run a 12/3 and 14/2 down from the ceiling and then using a low profile switch box, make my connection.
I cut the top of the pipe at the ceiling and then taped the two wires together and rubbed a tiny bit of light purpose grease to get them fished down the pipe....it was a tight fit.

Probably would have made sense to ask if this was a good idea before I started ! But, I want to make sure that this is ok to have the romex enclosed in a steel pipe like this before going any further.
 
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Old 11-30-14, 02:37 PM
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I see a couple of issues, the lack of a bushing on the ends of the pipe,the pipe might not be sized properly and the use of a lubricant that may deteriorate the insulation of the wiring.
 
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Old 11-30-14, 02:39 PM
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Technically NM type cable is not normally run in conduit but I don't believe there is a reference in the code that specifically prohibits it.

334.15 Exposed Work.
In exposed work, except as provided in 300.11(A), cable shall be installed as specified in 334.15(A) through (C).

(B) Protection from Physical Damage. Cable shall be protected from physical damage where necessary by rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC conduit, Type RTRC marked with the suffix -XW, or other approved means. Where passing through a floor, the cable shall be enclosed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC conduit, Type RTRC marked with the suffix -XW, or other approved means extending at least 150 mm (6 in.) above the floor. [ROP 7-94] Type NMC cable installed in shallow chases or grooves in masonry, concrete, or adobe shall be protected in accordance with the requirements in 300.4(F) and covered with plaster, adobe, or similar finish.
 
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Old 11-30-14, 03:51 PM
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I did file the pipe down to get rid of sharp edges. Not sure what the inside is like though. I did notice that the plastic sheathing was a bit scraped up which made me think I should ask about this before proceeding. I also never thought about what the grease could do to the plastic...it said light duty so I thought it was harmless....
What other ways could I possibly add a switch to this darn wall?!
If I did get up the nerve to remove the pipe out of the plaster, (not a fun job) could I use that channel and run the wires down that.? I do plan on adding 1/4" drywall to finish the wall....but would it be ok to have the wires within that channel with nothing around them or would I have to enclose them in something before the drywall?
The only other thing I can think to do is to drill a hole or try to remove a brick at the top and one off to the side of the pipe where I can mortar in a box and then fish my wires through the chimney.
Thanks for your expertise! I would appreciate any input you could provide
 

Last edited by PJmax; 11-30-14 at 04:01 PM. Reason: reoriented picture
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