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  1. #1
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    Default Routing of Romex Cables In Stairwell Closet

    Is there anything specifically wrong with the routing of these romex cables aside from the fact that it just looks sloppy? This was in a brand new construction house this morning.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Routing of Romex Cables In Stairwell Closet

    Just poor workmanship.

    But what about this?

    From the 2006 IRC.
    - R311.2.2 Under stair protection. Enclosed accessible space under stairs shall have walls, under stair surface and any soffits protected on the enclosed side with 1/2-inch (13 mm) gypsum board.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Routing of Romex Cables In Stairwell Closet

    Hmmmmmm. I never see the underside of basement staircases in new construction enclosed with drywall.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Routing of Romex Cables In Stairwell Closet

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Hmmmmmm. I never see the underside of basement staircases in new construction enclosed with drywall.
    Nick - Was that space enclosed? Obviously it was accessible. Or was it open to the rest of the basement?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Routing of Romex Cables In Stairwell Closet

    John, the stairwell was enclosed inside a closet beneath the basement steps.


  6. #6
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    Cool Re: Routing of Romex Cables In Stairwell Closet

    Romex cables are to be protected from physical damage NEC Article 334. It is also poor workmanship.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Routing of Romex Cables In Stairwell Closet

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Abrams View Post
    Romex cables are to be protected from physical damage NEC Article 334.
    Which allows "Exposed Work":
    - 334.15 Exposed Work.
    - - In exposed work, except as provided in 300.11(A), cable shall be installed as specified in 334.15(A) through (C).
    - - - (A) To Follow Surface. Cable shall closely follow the surface of the building finish or of running boards.
    - - - (B) Protection from Physical Damage. Cable shall be protected from physical damage where necessary by rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC conduit, or other approved means. Where passing through a floor, the cable shall be enclosed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC conduit, or other approved means extending at least 150 mm (6 in.) above the floor.
    - - - - - Type NMC cable installed in shallow chases or grooves in masonry, concrete, or adobe, shall be protected in accordance with the requirements in 300.4(F) and covered with plaster, adobe, or similar finish.
    - - - - (C) In Unfinished Basements and Crawl Spaces. Where cable is run at angles with joists in unfinished basements and crawl spaces, it shall be permissible to secure cables not smaller than two 6 AWG or three 8 AWG conductors directly to the lower edges of the joists. Smaller cables shall be run either through bored holes in joists or on running boards. NM cable installed on the wall of an unfinished basement shall be permitted to be installed in a listed conduit or tubing or shall be protected in accordance with 300.4. Conduit or tubing shall be provided with a suitable insulating bushing or adapter at the point the cable enters the raceway. The NM cable sheath shall extend through the conduit or tubing and into the outlet or device box not less than 6 mm (¼ in.). The cable shall be secured within 300 mm (12 in.) of the point where the cable enters the conduit or tubing. Metal conduit, tubing, and metal outlet boxes shall be connected to an equipment grounding conductor.

    It is also poor workmanship.
    Yep, that it is.

    Also, though, being as that is not an open stairway, the underside needs to be protected by gypsum board ... in which case we would not have seen that NM cable, thus we would not have any problem with it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Routing of Romex Cables In Stairwell Closet

    While Jerry has the code CD open, what is the specific prohibition against this routing?

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Routing of Romex Cables In Stairwell Closet

    Michael,

    Looks like NM liquid tight conduit (LFNC).

    From the 2008 NEC. (underlining is mine)
    - 356.10 Uses Permitted.
    - - LFNC shall be permitted to be used in exposed or concealed locations for the following purposes:
    - - - FPN: Extreme cold may cause some types of nonmetallic conduits to become brittle and therefore more susceptible to damage from physical contact.
    - - - (1) Where flexibility is required for installation, operation, or maintenance.
    - - - (2) Where protection of the contained conductors is required from vapors, liquids, or solids.
    - - - (3) For outdoor locations where listed and marked as suitable for the purpose.
    - - - (4) For direct burial where listed and marked for the purpose.
    - - - (5) Type LFNC-B shall be permitted to be installed in lengths longer than 1.8 m (6 ft) where secured in accordance with 356.30.
    - - - (6) Type LFNC-B as a listed manufactured prewired assembly, metric designator 16 through 27 (trade size ½ through 1) conduit.
    - - - (7) For encasement in concrete where listed for direct burial and installed in compliance with 356.42.
    - 356.12 Uses Not Permitted.
    - - LFNC shall not be used as follows:
    - - - (1) Where subject to physical damage
    - - - (2) Where any combination of ambient and conductor temperatures is in excess of that for which the LFNC is approved
    - - - (3) In lengths longer than 1.8 m (6 ft), except as permitted by 356.10(5) or where a longer length is approved as essential for a required degree of flexibility
    - - - (4) Where the operating voltage of the contained conductors is in excess of 600 volts, nominal, except as permitted in 600.32(A)
    - - - (5) In any hazardous (classified) location, except as permitted by other articles in this Code

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Routing of Romex Cables In Stairwell Closet

    Sorry, should have identified it, old BX. (AC).

    Michael Thomas
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Routing of Romex Cables In Stairwell Closet

    BX?

    And it's outside?

    - 320.10 Uses Permitted.
    - - Type AC cable shall be permitted as follows:
    - - - (1) For feeders and branch circuits in both exposed and concealed work
    - - - (2) In cable trays
    - - - (3) In dry locations
    - - - (4) Embedded in plaster finish on brick or other masonry, except in damp or wet locations
    - - - (5) To be run or fished in the air voids of masonry block or tile walls where such walls are not exposed or subject to excessive moisture or dampness
    - - - - FPN: The “Uses Permitted” is not an all-inclusive list.
    - 320.12 Uses Not Permitted.
    - - Type AC cable shall not be used as follows:
    - - - (1) Where subject to physical damage
    - - - (2) In damp or wet locations
    - - - (3) In air voids of masonry block or tile walls where such walls are exposed or subject to excessive moisture or dampness
    - - - (4) Where exposed to corrosive fumes or vapors
    - - - (5) Embedded in plaster finish on brick or other masonry in damp or wet locations

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Routing of Romex Cables In Stairwell Closet

    Interesting bit of of trivia I just encountered:

    "Per Jim Dollins, VP of Product Development for AFC Cable Systems, the term "BX" stands for "Product "B" - Experimental."

    Apparently, back when the product was first developed, the first manufacturer of this product had only one product at the time: "Product "A"". So when they developed this product they didn't know what to call it. Somebody suggested "Product "B" with the suffix "X" added as the product was at that time experimental."

    - BX cable - All About Circuits

    Michael Thomas
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Routing of Romex Cables In Stairwell Closet

    Thanks Michael.

    Interesting tidbit to try to remember ... uh? ... what? ... oh, yeah, I remember someone saying something like that before ... that's what I'll be saying next time.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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