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Thread: Conduit????

  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Conduit????

    Would you report this and do you think it could pass county or city inspection, or is it acceptable according to NEC standards? I laughed my ass when I was taking the pictures.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    Isn't that supposed to be a 4X4?

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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  3. #3
    dana1028's Avatar
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    If the material is metal, it is called 'surface metal raceway' and is covered under NEC Art. 386; if the material is nonmetallic, it is called 'surface nonmetallic raceway' and is covered under NEC Art. 388.

    The raceway is code compliant; as to the transition I can't tell from the photo - this might be a code compliant transition using a listed connector [not seen in the photo].

    This method is quite common in situations such as in the photo where wiring must get to a fixture and you don't want to or are not allowed to tamper with the beam.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    If there was a listed wiring method under the wood I would consider the wood a cosmetic cover and not a raceway. It is had to tell if a proper connection has been made to the junction box.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    Quote Originally Posted by dana1028 View Post
    If the material is metal, it is called 'surface metal raceway' and is covered under NEC Art. 386; if the material is nonmetallic, it is called 'surface nonmetallic raceway' and is covered under NEC Art. 388.
    The "raceway" is "wood".

    The raceway is code compliant; as to the transition I can't tell from the photo - this might be a code compliant transition using a listed connector [not seen in the photo].
    As it is made from wood, it is not code compliant in any way.

    This method is quite common in situations such as in the photo where wiring must get to a fixture and you don't want to or are not allowed to tamper with the beam.
    Hopefully you are referring to listed surface mounted raceways, not "wood" "raceways" as pictured.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The "raceway" is "wood"....
    Actually, the "raceway" is wood, not "wood". It's not a real raceway, but it appears to be real wood.

    Signed, The Quote Fascist

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Actually, the "raceway" is wood, not "wood". It's not a real raceway, but it appears to be real wood.

    Signed, The Quote Fascist
    I stated "The "raceway" is "wood"." to show that the "raceway" (yes, if it has been routed out or otherwise made to allow wiring to run through a channel in its back, it is a real raceway, just not a listed raceway, and thus the quotes) was made or "wood" (yes, real wood, and I was trying to make sure that one realized it was made of real wood, and that real wood would not make a "listed" raceway).

    Quotes can be used for more than just what you are implying, in fact, that would also likely be an improper use of quotes, as I was not quoting anyone or anything.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    It is wood and it was "approved" by the city.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    It is wood and it was "approved" by the city.
    It is possible that there is a surface mounted raceway behind it ... doubtful, but possible.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  10. #10
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    No there is not


  11. #11
    John Steinke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    Who says you need a raceway?

    Hack job? Handyman special? Ugly? You won't get any disagreement from me!

    Yet ... we're allowed to use a cable, such as Romex, wihout a raceway, and to route it behind things. All we ask is that the cable be 1-1/2" behind the face of the covering material.

    The wood looks like a (nominal) 2x2 bit of lumber. Those actually measure about 1-1/2" If a chase for the cable is cut in the 2x2, then the cable is just a whisker too close to the surface, and would require metal protection.

    Cables also have minimum bend radius requirements. That nice right-angle turn is not enough.

    I'll give the guy an "E" for effort - then point him to the Wiremold aisle. (Wiremold, btw, is for wires, not cables)


  12. #12

    Default Re: Conduit????

    Quote Originally Posted by dana1028 View Post
    If the material is metal, it is called 'surface metal raceway' and is covered under NEC Art. 386; if the material is nonmetallic, it is called 'surface nonmetallic raceway' and is covered under NEC Art. 388.

    The raceway is code compliant; as to the transition I can't tell from the photo - this might be a code compliant transition using a listed connector [not seen in the photo].

    This method is quite common in situations such as in the photo where wiring must get to a fixture and you don't want to or are not allowed to tamper with the beam.
    Never seen any raceway with knots in it before!

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  13. #13
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    But the city approved it and the guy who owned the house is a contractor. Want to see the response given when they received the inspection report?


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    Sure!


  15. #15
    Norman Ellis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    Ok I think everyone is focused on the wire way, but my question is about the electrical box. I have not seen a wiremold brand light box fan rated, and if they used a fan rated pancake box than covered it with a wiremold cover, guess what the wire junction is not properly inclosed exposing the wood to the enclosure. but back to the wood wire/race way being too shallow, think it is ugly now, just imagine how ugly it would be BEDAZZLED with a line on nail plates!!!

    Junctions have to be inclosed in a U/L rated enclosure with no exposure to other materials. so the inspector that passed this installation should be looking for another job or going back to class.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    But the city approved it and the guy who owned the house is a contractor. Want to see the response given when they received the inspection report?



  16. #16
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    Do we know if the cable runs in a channel in the unpainted wood or underneath it in a slot in the beam? The beam looks like it might be 2 or 3 2x10s covered over with painted plywood, or maybe a steel joist with a plywood cover; if so it would not be weakened by a cable slot in the plywood. This could put the cable an acceptable depth below the wooden surface. Inspectors in my area would not require protection on wiring this high up, but where wooden protection is provided with no metal plates over it then the cable should be no less than 1.5 inch behind the front of the wood to minimize danger of nailing or screwing through e.g. when putting drywall or built-in furniture up. In summary it's not clear whether there is 1.5 inches of protection or not. If the electrical inspector has accepted somewhat less, perhaps a judgement call was made that a full 1.5 inches was not essential up here. That would seem reasonable but who am I to say.


  17. #17
    Guy W Opie's Avatar
    Guy W Opie Guest

    Default Re: Conduit????

    I think that it is posible that the wire mold is under the wood and wiremold does make a fan rated box.


  18. #18
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    Unhappy Re: Conduit????

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy W Opie View Post
    I think that it is posible that the wire mold is under the wood and wiremold does make a fan rated box.

    Blow up the picture and compare the width of the "conduit" to the width of the sheathing boards. I would estimate the width of the "conduit" to be about 1-1/4". With that width in mind if you look at the exposed end at the fan, it appears that about 1/2" X 3/4" or less is left for the wiring. This would be small enough for a non-metallic cable. By selecting a box designed for non-metallic cable, the cable would be secure as it entered the box. Looks like the "conduit" is for mechanical protection/decorative purposes only. The fact that it is slotted for the cable is demonstrated by the space at the 90 to allow for a sharp turn. However, if you look closly at the "conduit," it appears to be fastened with finishing nails as a few are protruding from the edges. Hope none hit the cable.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    I'd write up the bad miter joint on the wood!

    It looks to me like the beam is notched so the wire is inlaid into the beam and the wood is there to give the wire an 1 1/2" from the face.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Conduit????

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    I'd write up the bad miter joint on the wood!

    It looks to me like the beam is notched so the wire is inlaid into the beam and the wood is there to give the wire an 1 1/2" from the face.
    Frankly, I thought it was a pocket "faux wood beam" (i.e. plywood on either side of a 2x) just for "show" under scissor trusses, since the pole pendant box (or is it a fan box!) was off-center and overlapping the edge; the edge at the wall finish didn't look like a beam or gluelam and thought that the 2x2 was a next generation/DIY "faux running board" for oldtime illusion.

    Mat teased at post 13.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 04-26-2011 at 07:11 PM.

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