Electrical run through ducting?


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Old 12-05-14, 05:30 PM
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Electrical run through ducting?

I noticed in my house inside the grilles or duct covers within some of the ducting electrical wiring was run through. Is that against code? If it is, I wonder how the house passed inspection to be put on the market in the first place, which was built in 1998.
 
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Old 12-05-14, 07:20 PM
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The wire is coming out of the grilles or you can look in and see it ?
Electrical wiring is not supposed to be run thru ductwork. It could be sound or A/V wiring.

Can you identify the wiring ? Color ? A picture might help. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...rt-images.html
 
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Old 12-05-14, 09:43 PM
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I can look in and see it through the grille (not coming out of the grille). Now that you brought it up, it may be cable TV cabling that's been painted white to camouflage it within the white interior, I'm going to have to verify if it's a supply or return duct, though I think it's the latter because it's painted white inside. I'll try and take a picture and re-post.
 
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Old 12-06-14, 07:32 AM
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Electrical cables may be run perpendicular thru stud space returns. It cannot be run thru supply ducts.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 12-28-14 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 12-27-14, 05:19 PM
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Some pictures

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Finally got around to taking pictures of what I was talking about. Here's one of my "vents" with the grille off. I can't tell if it's a supply or return and don't know if it's electrical or cable wires ran through it. I'll try and post more pics of the top and bottom of the opening to give you a better idea. If it's not to code, I don't know how the heck this house passed inspection when it was originally built then.
 
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Old 12-27-14, 05:22 PM
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Top of vent

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Here's the top, as you can see the wires are going through to the second floor.
 
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Old 12-27-14, 05:28 PM
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Bottom of vent

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Here's the bottom of the vent, so you can see it's going down somewhere as shown by the dark chasm.
 
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Old 12-27-14, 05:33 PM
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So after reviewing the pictures...

So can anyone tell if this is electrical and/or cable tv cabling? It looks like both. And is this a return or supply duct? Does it look to code or not? If not, what's the fix? I'm hoping someone here verifies it's a return, which means it's okay?

Also to add, I do have other ventilation openings that do not have any wiring through, so I'm hoping those are the supply ducts.

Should the fins of the grille covers, when I put them back on, be pointing down or up? I figured they would be pointing down so air flows "up" into them, but correct me if I'm wrong or if it doesn't matter. Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 12-27-14, 06:30 PM
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What does the writing on the cable say?
 
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Old 12-27-14, 06:36 PM
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CATV wiring is round. NM cables are flat or round.

I suspect someone used the open chase to run the cables since they had easy access. I doubt the inspector even saw the cables to even make a comment. The only thing I see correct is the draftstop.

Based on the dust I think that is a return.
 
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Old 12-28-14, 08:05 AM
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Its a return. If it was a supply it would be a metal duct, not just a chase.

This is a code violation. Cables can run in returns, but only perpendicular to the chase. These cables were likely added later after the house was built.

Not sure of a fix here. Reroute the cables, relocate the return, or replace the cables with a wiring method that is OK for plenum spaces (AC/MC/EMT)
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 12-28-14 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 01-07-15, 06:47 PM
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Does it matter whether the cable is electrical or AV or coax cable? There is some round cable there that I imagine was for the additional cable TV connections in the extra bedrooms on the 2nd floor, but I am afraid the flat cable looks electrical, but can't determine what it would be servicing upstairs unless it's going up into the ceiling and back down to the kitchen for the blower above stove, which was removed. So I guess I'll have a problem selling the house later until I get this fixed, and the inspector probably worked with (or "for") the agent who was selling the house and "overlooked" this when it was sold to me.
 
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Old 01-08-15, 06:44 AM
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The underlying safety issue doesn't matter what type of cable it is, but the electrical code doesn't really regulate A/V cables except under some very specific interpretations so it's maybe a legal gray area. The safety issue is that the PVC cable jacket produces nasty black smoke if it ever burns. When those cables are in the air ducts the nasty smoke will be blown throughout the house making escape/rescue from the house fire more difficult. Generally speaking plastic stuff is prohibited from being in air ducts (plenums) for this reason.
 
 

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