ac or mc armoured cable?

Old 06-27-02, 10:22 PM
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ac or mc armoured cable?

the question i have is..on 12/2 ac armoured cable is it safe to use the aluminum wire as a ground wire? or am i better off using mc armoured cable with a green ground wire by the way this is for a dedicated recepticle in my house. someone told me that mc armoured cable with green copper wire is generally used in hospitals is this true? thank you
Old 06-28-02, 11:33 AM
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MC or AC cable is allowed as a wiring method in most parts of a hospital.

MC cable contains a copper grounding conductor and is installed just like a PVC conduit or Romex cable is installed using the green copper conductor as an equipment grounding conductor designed to be connected directly to the device such as a receptacle or switch. The flex conduit of an MC cable is not used as an equipment grounding path.

AC cable contains an aluminum strip or small aluminum conductor that is used in addition to the metal flex conduit of hte AC cable making up as a combined unit creating the equipment grounding conductor. Neither the flexible conduit of the AC or the aluminum strip or the smaller aluminum conductor will fulfill the equipment grouinding conductor requirements by themselves. It takes a combination of both the aluminum strip or conductor and the aluminum flex conduit to make a combined effert to fullfill the requirements of an equipment grouidng conductor.

To install the equipment grounding conductor of an AC cable with a smaller aluminum conductor in it all you have to do is use a metal box, an approved AC connector, and a green grounding screw connecting that smaller aluminum conductor to that green grounding screw. Then you must install a green grounding screw and a copper grounding conductor from that metal box to the device such as a switch or receptacle.

To install the equipment grounidng conductor of an AC cable with an aluminum strip again you must use an approved AC connector and wrap that aluminum strip back onto the metal flex cable. Then the approved AC cable connector is the equipment groundiong path to the metal box.

AC cable is not designed to use non metallic boxes unless approved for use with AC type cable containing a green grounding screw in that plastic box whether the AC cable contains an aluminum strip or smaller aluminum conductor.

MC and AC cable is normally allowed in non rated structures whether residential or commercial or industrial. The two types of cable just have different installation and connection requirments.

Hope this helps


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