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  1. #1
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    Default Electric feed to old garages..

    I've seen a many old garages with the typical 2 wire to the garage from the home going over the drive.. today I saw for the first time romex as the replacement for same, height was fine, drip loop etc.. but I wasn't sure if todays standards allow romex over the drive?? Bells went off in my head by no whistles so I thought I'd throw it at you guys.. Thanks .

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    NM cable (Romex®) is suitable for dry locations only & it is not a subsitute for triplex cable for a overhead feed.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    NM cable is not suitable for use exposed to direct sunlight.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    OK, appreciate the posts.. the new inspection sticker passed not just that but also only one ground to the main panel, numerous new wires run without junction boxes and no afi breakers for bedrooms, I guess it was a slap and run inspector from the city!?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    OK, appreciate the posts.. the new inspection sticker passed not just that but also only one ground to the main panel, numerous new wires run without junction boxes and no afi breakers for bedrooms, I guess it was a slap and run inspector from the city!?
    If there is just a new service, there is no requirement to add junk AFCI's to a panel, if new circuits are added where they are required then, yes they should be there....


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    Hey Rollie,
    I thought the newer afi's were considered a vast improvement from the last?? Is that not true? But yes they had new circuits..


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    Hey Rollie,
    I thought the newer afi's were considered a vast improvement from the last?? Is that not true? But yes they had new circuits..
    Unlike GFCI's which is a proven, inexpensive safety device, AFCI's are snake oil, another way for manufacturers to pad the bill.


  8. #8
    inspector 23's Avatar
    inspector 23 Guest

    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    Interesting comment on AFCI's. Perhaps brushing up on the history of the AFCI's would help you understand their need.

    The MGM hotel fire in Las Vegas killed 84 people in the 1980's. Investigators concluded it began as an arc-fault.

    84 people went to Vegas for a good time and did not return to their families.

    Engineers began working on the technology to correct the problem, and once they figured out the solution, it took 3 electrical code cycles - 9 years - to get it mandated in the National Electrical Code.

    They are a legimitate safety feature that, like most innovative safety features, meet much resistance from the un-informed when they first are implemented.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    Quote Originally Posted by inspector 23 View Post
    Engineers began working on the technology to correct the problem, and once they figured out the solution, it took 3 electrical code cycles - 9 years - to get it mandated in the National Electrical Code.

    They are a legimitate safety feature that, like most innovative safety features, meet much resistance from the un-informed when they first are implemented.
    I would hardly call Rollie uninformed. Nor would I say that they have figured out all the bugs in the technology.

    The problem is when new items like ceiling fans and other appliances cause the arc fault to trip. The manufacturers cannot make an appliance to not trip when the trip algorithms are not standardized nor is the data available to help design a better appliance. There is also a lack of data of the number of fires prevented by the AFCI technology. AFCI's were sold to the industry when the technology was not mature and have caused problems.

    If the technology is so great why were certain areas exempted from the AFCI requirement? Are these circuits any less prone to arc then circuits in other rooms of the house?

    You also need to think about the make-up of the Code panels. This seems to be one where the manufacturers created a demand just to drive sales.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny martin View Post
    Hey Rollie,
    I thought the newer afi's were considered a vast improvement from the last?? Is that not true? But yes they had new circuits..
    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    Unlike GFCI's which is a proven, inexpensive safety device, AFCI's are snake oil, another way for manufacturers to pad the bill.

    Rollie was probably one of those electrician who did not accept GFCIs for the first 10-20 years, not until 'they had proven themselves'.

    Rollie as a dislike for AFCIs, in a few years he will probably being going 'You must be crazy not installing AFCIs! They are real safety features and are really good.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    I think the time will come where there will be a great failure w/ a structure equipped w/ AFCI's, & if there is a loss of life/lives because they did not do what was promised the trial lawyers will have a field day & the manufacturers & NFPA will rightfully get their face rubbed in the manure. The idea is great IMO, but making the general public be a beta test is not kosher.
    Edit:
    GFCI's 30 years ago were not perfect but they worked, and there is no way you can prove that a AFCI works at this time, pushing the buttion a saying it works does not do it for me, I don't subscribe to the AFCI religion, so it does not give me a warm & fuzzy feeling.

    While I disagree about AFCI requirements, they are code in new installs so I use em.....

    Last edited by Rollie Meyers; 04-25-2010 at 08:28 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    The idea is great IMO, but making the general public be a beta test is not kosher.

    The general public was beta testers for the GFCIs you now promote so much, and there were many, many, many failures before all the kinks got worked out.

    That is, unfortunately, the only way to find all the kinks - use them by the tens of thousands instead of by the tens and hundreds as are done in lab testing. Only when on the general market in use in real life systems can the problems be found.

    Yes, there will be lawyers chomping at that bit, even if it never really materializes, just like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq8wbXAR4ZQ

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That is, unfortunately, the only way to find all the kinks - use them by the tens of thousands instead of by the tens and hundreds as are done in lab testing. Only when on the general market in use in real life systems can the problems be found.
    Look how well that approach works for Microsoft. If it doesn't work just promise a new and improved one. And charge for it too.


  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The general public was beta testers for the GFCIs you now promote so much, and there were many, many, many failures before all the kinks got worked out.
    There was not the massive expansion of requirements for GFCI's in the early years, there was a incrimental approch to adding areas for them.
    If the 1999 requirements were all that was required now until the bugs were more ironed out that would be OK w/ me. You still cannot prove they work......


  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    Anytime a new and improved product costs 10X what it replaces you at least have to question the motivation of those involved in the process to require it.

    If I could require a change in home inspections that made them cost $4,000 instead of $400 I'd sure be behind it.... Heck, I might even hire a couple guys to do some research and only produce results in my favor.

    I'm not saying one way or another on the AFCIs but I don't believe they are the best thing since sliced bread. Like all technology..... only time will tell.


  16. #16
    mike huntzinger's Avatar
    mike huntzinger Guest

    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    Now back to the question of feeders to garages, I like to see a separte subpanel in the detached garage


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    South-West Michigan
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    Post Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    Good thing you caught the deficiencies, Kenny! Had there been a death related to the code official approving that SNAFU, it should have been criminal negligence. Why do we support this kind of disregard for safety with our tax dollars? Food for thought.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  18. #18
    Bill Nolte's Avatar
    Bill Nolte Guest

    Default Re: Electric feed to old garages..

    Gentlemen,
    Remember that if the installation was legal when installed it is still legal. NFPA70 NEC is a minimum standard for installations. If you are going to inspect electrical systems then you need to be familiar with each version of the NEC that was in effect at the time work was performed on the structure.
    I have seen too many "home inspectors" fault old wiring for being aluminum when in fact it was tinned copper.
    AFCI's like GFCIs will have to undergo improvements with age of the technology but they are not required where they are really needed which is in the older homes. Currently they provide sufficient protection to make them cheap insurance. kind of like the analogy to treat a GFI like a $10 parachute, it may help slow you down but don't trust your life to it. There is no substitute for a qualified electrician.
    As to the two wire feeders if they were legal when installed they are still legal. No one makes type NM cable anymore it is either NMB or NMC neither of which is legal for use outdoors. Make sure you are not looking at UF which is typically legal outdoors underground and exposed to sunlight. They look similar to the untrained individual.
    One other thing although the airport is DFW the Fort Worth Dallas Metroplex is the correct moniker for the region. we are not Chinese and therefore do not read right to left.

    Bill Nolte
    Certified Safety and Health Official
    Master Electrician (Texas 2004-2011 Dallas 1979-2004)


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