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  1. #1
    John Chenault's Avatar
    John Chenault Guest

    Default SE Cable Protection

    Pardon if this has already been addressed.

    My question is whether any portion of the SE cable mounted on the exterior of any residential wall is required to be protected..installed in conduit, etc. (underground or aboveground services)? I read the text in 230.50, but want to get your ideas on this.

    If there is an existing thread on this topic maybe you could point me in the right direction.

    Thank you.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Osceola, AR
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    310

    Default Re: SE Cable Protection

    Quote Originally Posted by John Chenault View Post
    Pardon if this has already been addressed.

    My question is whether any portion of the SE cable mounted on the exterior of any residential wall is required to be protected..installed in conduit, etc. (underground or aboveground services)? I read the text in 230.50, but want to get your ideas on this.

    If there is an existing thread on this topic maybe you could point me in the right direction.

    Thank you.
    Wire type will determine protection needed. 230.43 should also give some guidance.

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: SE Cable Protection

    NEC Article 338 would give guidance. 338.12 prohibits installation where subject to physical damage unless protected in accordance with 230.50(B).

    Physical damage is a subjective call.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2008
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    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
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    Default Re: SE Cable Protection

    Quote Originally Posted by John Chenault View Post
    Pardon if this has already been addressed.

    My question is whether any portion of the SE cable mounted on the exterior of any residential wall is required to be protected..installed in conduit, etc. (underground or aboveground services)? I read the text in 230.50, but want to get your ideas on this.

    If there is an existing thread on this topic maybe you could point me in the right direction.

    Thank you.
    First Joh Chenault, welcome to the forum and your first post. Next, are you a home inspector, and/or is this question from a DIY, Homeowner, or HomeBuyer perspective (such questions belong in their own area of the board, not on the technical areas of the forum).

    Regarding your question(s):

    Elevation from grade, finished surfaces, walking surfaces, openings, operable panels, doors, other fixtures, equipment, hazards, exhausts, projections, spigots, temperature, insulation, etc. Conditions of the environment location are factors to be considered in keeping with all of chapter 3 articles and sub-article references as locally adopted and/or ammended, which are appliable to the circumstances of the installation - and any restrictions or requirements imposed by the service utility and local rules, as well as the actual individual product listing (mfg) limitations and restrictions.

    The short answer to the question: "whether any portion of the SE cable mounted on the exterior of any residential wall is required to be protected..." is it depends. There is also more than one type of "protected" or protection.

    You made reference to "underground" installations I do not believe you will find Type SE to be approved for "underground" use, even if in a raceway. I believe you will find Type USE, and that at its emergance to and above grade (riser), for example, it is required to be protected from damage.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 04-22-2011 at 10:16 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
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    Default Re: SE Cable Protection

    P.S.

    Pay special attention to Section 338.12 which has been added to the 2008 NEC and covers uses not permitted for both Type SE and Type USE cables.

    Here is a selected quote from the following IMO authoritative and well written published article by Mark Ode (staff at UL and frequent contributor to industry publications) direct link to ECMAG article here (clickable link): Electrical Contractor: USE by SE

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Ode
    ...
    It {section 338.12} states that Type SE cable cannot be used where subject to physical abuse, unless adequately protected, and can never be installed in an underground installation, with or without a raceway. SE cable also cannot be used for exterior branch circuit or feeder wiring, unless the installation complies with the provisions of Part I of Article 225 and is properly supported. USE shall not be used for interior wiring at all since it does not have a flame-retardant covering. In fact, USE cannot be used above ground except where it emerges from ground and terminates in an enclosure at an outdoor location. USE cable cannot be used as an aerial cable, unless it is a multiconductor cable, identified for use above ground and is installed as a messenger-supported wiring.
    I encourage you to read the above referenced Electrical Contractor Magazine (August 2008) published article, Article 300, Article 338, and cross reference other applicable portions of Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4, as employed and ammended by your local authority having jurisdiction; as well as the UL cable and marking guide, the UL "White Book" and the applicable UL Standards, and the specific listed instructions, limitations and restrictions from the specific manufacturer for the cable assembly as marked, tagged, or labeled.

    I would also encourage you to notice the sometimes subtle but distinct differences between the application of Type SE as "service entrance conductors" versus "main power feeders" versus "feeders" versus "branch circuit conductors" and the restrictions thereof.


  6. #6
    John Chenault's Avatar
    John Chenault Guest

    Default Re: SE Cable Protection

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    First Joh Chenault, welcome to the forum and your first post. Next, are you a home inspector, and/or is this question from a DIY, Homeowner, or HomeBuyer perspective (such questions belong in their own area of the board, not on the technical areas of the forum).
    I'm an inspector in DC, however, electrical isn't my strong trade.

    Thank you all for the information and especially Mr. Watson for providing these valuable links. I'm sure I'll be returning to the forum often.

    John


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