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  1. #1
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    Default Yellow Romex Outside?

    I'm thinking this is not allowed....

    It's very protected from the weather but not from sunlight. I couldn't get up high enough to read the fineprint on the sheathing but isn't all the yellow stuff the same 20A - 12 gauge 2+1?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    Good question ... I haven't looked at it myself to know either.

    "Most likely" it is not sunlight resistant, but that is just my guess.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    I almost felt dumb asking.... I guess it's not all that silly of a question

    I just assumed it was incorrect at first. What really made me question it was that it is fairly recent work and all done by a good local electrical contractor.

    If it matters it's on a detached, insulated shop that has 3 large bays and one outdoor bay (roof overhead but no walls) which is where this was found. In reality, it's on the north side of the building and would likely not ever see sunlight but I'm guessing the code doesn't address N-S-E-W with the rules.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    I can't speak as to the particulars of that product, but most all of the NM cable I have seen over the years was stamped "sunlight resistant".
    I think the code speaks to the requirment of sunlight resistant when exposed to the "direct rays" which your description says it is not.

    Last edited by Jim Luttrall; 06-02-2008 at 06:59 PM.
    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    While I'm at it, does this fall under the above 7 feet doesn't need conduit rule? Or, am I mixing things up?

    Thanks...


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    Jim,

    Just being exposed to sunlight requires it to be sunlight resistant.

    From the 2008 NEC. (underlining is mine)
    - 300.6 Protection Against Corrosion and Deterioration.
    - - (C) Nonmetallic Equipment. Nonmetallic raceways, cable trays, cablebus, auxiliary gutters, boxes, cables with a nonmetallic outer jacket and internal metal armor or jacket, cable sheathing, cabinets, elbows, couplings, nipples, fittings, supports, and support hardware shall be made of material approved for the condition and shall comply with (C)(1) and (C)(2) as applicable to the specific installation.
    - - - (1) Exposed to Sunlight. Where exposed to sunlight, the materials shall be listed as sunlight resistant or shall be identified as sunlight resistant.
    - - - (2) Chemical Exposure. Where subject to exposure to chemical solvents, vapors, splashing, or immersion, materials or coatings shall either be inherently resistant to chemicals based on their listing or be identified for the specific chemical reagent.

    I have not looked at NM cable for the sunlight resistant labeling, but years ago about the only NM cable which was marked sunlight was UF cable.

    I think I've got some newer stuff in my garage, I'll go out and take a look.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    Looked at some 14-2 RomexTM (the real stuff) in my garage which is only about 6 months to a year old, not marked sunlight resistant.

    I think I've got some 12-2 RomexTM in the attic, but I'll have to wait until tomorrow to go up when my wife's car is not under the pull-down stair. But it is probably the same as the 14-2 in my garage.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    (1) Exposed to Sunlight. Where exposed to sunlight, the materials shall be listed as sunlight resistant or shall be identified as sunlight resistant.
    What would be the cut off for exposure if not direct?
    Would attic wire need to be SR if indirect sunlight is present?
    Would everything installed during daylight hours before being covered by drywall need to be SR?
    What is the definition of "Exposed to Sunlight"?

    I see in E3505.6 that service entrance conductors lists "Where exposed to direct rays of the sun..." requires SR rating.

    Are there any fine print or other directives in the commentaries that anyone is aware of?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    Just went out to my truck. Had a 100' coil yellow 12-2 Romex ($57.00 imagine that) anyhow, nowhere does it say UV resistant.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    I finally located the 2003 IRC reference I was looking for:
    Chapter 37 Wiring methods
    E3702.3.3 Locations exposed to direct sunlight.
    Insulated conductors and cables used where exposed to direct rays of the sun shall be of a type listed for sunlight resistance or listed and marked "sunlight resistant."
    This seems a little more definitive.

    Jim Luttrall
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    Dallas, Texas

  11. #11
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    Post Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    Based on the photo, the cable appears to be protected from direct sunlight. More of a concern is that the cable is not protected from damage. In this type of situation, it never hurts to mention that the cable should be protected, just in case something were to hit it hard enough to breach the insulation. It would not be a major engineering job to run 1X along the cable on either side.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    A couple posts up I asked about the lack of conduit and nobody has commented. I'm wondering if this falls under the above 7' rule doesn't need conduit.

    I agree it's a bad idea to not install conduit, whether it's required or not.

    The overwhelming majority of the time I see an install like this it is protected which is why this just stood out in the first place.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    What would be the cut off for exposure if not direct?
    Many jurisdictions do not allow electrical wiring to be installed until the houses are 'dried in', mostly for protection from the weather, somewhat as protection from the sun.

    After the building is dried in, the MEPs go in, then they are covered up with gypsum board, only being exposed during the limited construction duration time.

    Would attic wire need to be SR if indirect sunlight is present?
    If the attic were full of sunlight, yes. If the NM cable ran across a fully sunlit area, maybe that NM cable would need to be protected, I doubt many AHJ would go there, though.

    What is the definition of "Exposed to Sunlight"?
    I would say "exposed to sunlight" would be when installed in its permanent manner, allowing for exposure during limited construction times.

    I see in E3505.6 that service entrance conductors lists "Where exposed to direct rays of the sun..." requires SR rating.
    I'll twist that one around for you ... define "direct rays of the sun".

    Isn't basically everything which is lit up by the sun during the day lit up by "direct rays of the sun"?

    Are there any fine print or other directives in the commentaries that anyone is aware of?
    From the 2003 Commentary on the IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - E3505.6 Direct sunlight exposure.Where exposed to direct rays of the sun, insulated conductors and cables shall be of a type listed for sunlight resistance or listed and marked "sunlight resistant".
    (Commentary)
    Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight will attack and degrade many plastics such as those used for conductor insulation and cable jackets (sheaths). Therefore, any conductor exposed to sunlight, such as the exposed service-entrance conductors at the drip loop at the connection to a service drop, must be "sunlight resistant". Cables run on the exterior surfaces of buildings, such as SE cables, must be "sunlight resistant" as well.



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    Isn't basically everything which is lit up by the sun during the day lit up by "direct rays of the sun"?


    From the 2003 Commentary on the IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - E3505.6 Direct sunlight exposure.
    Day light is the combination of all direct and indirect Sunlight.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    I would make a note of it in my report that it should be protected. However, if it were my house, my daughter's or my mom's, I wouldn't be too worried about it. I doubt that the insulation is going to suffer any significant amount of damage in that location from the UV. And I live in a place where UV raises a lot of problems.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    as stated NM can not be installed in conduits outside.
    UF may be installed in conduit outside.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Yellow Romex Outside?

    They stuff in the gray jacket is designed to be sunlight resistant as far as I know. I still always recommend all outdoor wiring be inside conduit, however pulling that gray wire through conduit is not a fun time.


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