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Preferred Electric Wire

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  • Preferred Electric Wire

    Which type of electrical wire do you prefer to use for residential applications?
    A) NM-B (Romex)
    B) Armored Cable (BX)
    C) Conduit (Separate Wires)
    Marcus Rinaldi<BR>Service Tech<BR>F&W Heating & Cooling

  • #2
    Romex in the walls and conduit for exposed wiring.

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    • #3
      Romex inside and UF outside
      L.J

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      • #4
        Residential Wiring

        What wiring type you use are determined by electrical codes primarily established by the National Electrical Code but refined by the local city/ county codes. But, the best for several reasons, is metallic conduit, called EMT, being far superior to ROMEX.

        1. Fires do to bad wiring, a home owner putting a nail through it etc., installed with a staple put through it, are next to non-existant for EMT, electrical fires if they should occur, are contained within the conduit. ROMEX on the other hand is great for starting fires, and this alone is the most important reason for using EMT. Imagine this, you have a new home, loaded with furnishings from your hard earned money, keepsakes, valuables. But back when you home was being built, an electrician accidentally put a staple through part of the ROMEX wiring leading to a bedroom. It didnt complete cut the wire but just injured it so it can no longer carry its ampacity. There are 100's of staples, so the inspector never sees the problem. By and by, the copper reacts to the steel staple, causing more resistance to build up at the point of staple penetration. Finally 4 years down the road, the penetration point becomes an arc welder and sets the wooden stud on fire, and the wooden framed home goes up in a blaze. Hopefully the smoke detectors were working, and everyone got out. Now will it ever be investigated to realize that it was an improperly placed staple? Probably not.


        2. You can often add a circuit, pull a new wire, without tearing up walls if the house was wired using EMT even if you dont have attic access to the upper plate. Example: you come down the stairs of a 2 story, and into a room, somehow the inspector(happens all the time), missed the fact that there needs to be a 3-way switch there for the room too. With EMT, you can do, with ROMEX, its wall tearing up time.

        3. The breaker box becomes a mess with all the ROMEX running into the top of it, its a nasty sight, not to mention a real pain to work on. Unlike the clean appearance of EMT. This is especially evident in larger homes that have more circuits.

        4. Rodents can't chew through EMT, but ROMEX is attractive to them.


        5. EMT is much easier to install overall than ROMEX, you will get proponents of ROMEX, saying its quicker, but have they ever used EMT on a regular basis? As an electrician living in different parts of the country, I have done both.

        6. Another trade that comes in after you could and has, on plenty of occasions, damaged the ROMEX. With EMT, you are safe.

        7. Is it more expensive to run EMT verses ROMEX, all things considered, definatelly not, however you may be lead to the contrary.

        ========

        For underground, Gray PCV is my choice, easy to add a circuit, and won't rust out.

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        • #5
          Gary????

          I work in both commercial and residential, I can't make up my mind which is better but there are some problems with saying EMT. BX cable would be better if you want the wire protected from other tradesman that don't care about how they can screw over others. EMT will kink when to much steady pressure is applied. Romex and BX will not kink as easy. What i dislike about ac is how it will blacken your hands from handling it.

          A) NM-B (Romex)
          Because it is easy to use and faster to wire a house with.

          B) Armored Cable (BX)
          Almost as flexible as Romex but still not able to get around tight corners like you can with romex.

          C) Conduit (Separate Wires)
          Easier to change things later but if you have to add a switch or outlets without using BX then you are cutting massive strips out the the walls.
          The good things are that it protects your wire better, and is easy to fish a new wire through. When installed correctly has a much cleaner look.
          The bad is when you have to get EMT in the walls of the X-ray rooms for dedicated circuits and isolated circuits.


          Over all I prefer to use conduit but in most residential buildings it just isn't realistic. We don't work on things higher than 3 floors above finished grade, and we don't do much new work with concrete or cement. We are working on a brick house and have to use conduit and we'll fish the wire in when we go to put the outlets and switches in.
          "Diplomacy is saying nice dodging until you can find a rock." Will Rogers
          "If a Monkey can do your job, are you in the right profession?

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          • #6
            gary1

            When you say that someone put a stable through a wire and the inspector never catches it.... This is most likely the result of "brother in law" or "relative" wiring, we just finished working on a nightmare. Every box we opened they didn't use wire nuts of clipped the grounds off in the back of the box. When i have seen a nail in a wire it was because the stucco guys got annoyed with it being in their way, so they nailed it to the wall. We have found things were other people in commercial and residential jobs "beat the crap" out of our EMT, PVC, and romex. How many times do we tell the same guy on a "Ditch Witch" where we ran our wire. I even walk with him and show him by all the light poles where our PVC is ran! And they can still hit it.

            When you hire people that don't care, you'll be hiring some one else to fix everything later.
            "Diplomacy is saying nice dodging until you can find a rock." Will Rogers
            "If a Monkey can do your job, are you in the right profession?

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            • #7
              depending on the type of construction. I like romex for residential and conduit for comercial. conduit is much easier to fix/upgrade down the line. but the bending takes a little to get use to. BX I only use so far for light drops in commercial and some in residential (I think furnaces, havn't done that yet). thing about condit is you can have a lot of wire circuits provided you dont over fill the pipe/box.

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              • #8
                emt in a house.....every circuit???? u have gone completely insane

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                • #9
                  and oh yeah what book did gary read that stuff is just crazy

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sparkync1
                    emt in a house.....every circuit???? u have gone completely insane
                    Standard practive here. All residential and commercial construction is done in either EMT or PVC for corrosion protection.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Preferred Electric Wire

                      conduit through a whole house eh? im glad i dont have to pay the bi;; when you come to visit. if you are a smart electrician loomex is perfect for in the walls. put in the center of a stud it takes a long screw to hit the wire, if they are using screws that long, well the waterlines in the house will soon be gone aswell. bx is used whenever an exposed drop is made to protect the wire, dont forget your antishort sleves. as for conduit the only time it is used is running wires from the main pannel to the supply, or any outside and underground wiring jobs.
                      how is it that so many answers are in the instructions

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                      • #12
                        Re: Preferred Electric Wire

                        Removed as post was insane
                        Last edited by Woussko; 03-01-2009, 12:47 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Preferred Electric Wire

                          Why not use solar power instead of the generator?
                          SSG, U.S. Army
                          Retired
                          K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Preferred Electric Wire

                            Originally posted by proplumb View Post
                            conduit through a whole house eh? im glad i dont have to pay the bi;;
                            Construction here is 100% concrete so no other option. Conduit is the only option and its as commonplace as using romex anywhere else. EMT however is rarely used anymore unless necessary. PVC has totally substituted it. EMT will corrode in 10-20 years and that means someone is probably going to be spending a lot of time with a chipping hammer some point down the line.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Preferred Electric Wire

                              well in NYC Idon't have much choice. Speed is relative. I can work faster with BX or Greenfield, because I'm used to it, got my roto strip and I don't have to be so careful. Don't have to go back and put nail protectors in. Plus I still feel grounding is better using ground and sheath. somehow I can't reconcile myself to plastic duplex boxes and such

                              Peter

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