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MC (armored cable) ok instead of conduit?


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I had an electrician tell me a few things today that seem suspect so I just want another opinion.

So, I have a box for an electric water heater with a receptacle at about 5' from floor, and it was wired with romex to a light in the closet/storage shed. I replace the 14/2 romex with 14/2 MC, thinking it would be "protected". Is this ok, or does it have to be in conduit?

I did the same inside a cabinet to connect a receptacle on the side of the cabinet from a junction box.

An electrician told me armored cable (MC) cannot be used where it is visible because the same rules apply to it as standard romex and this does not fix the code violation of romex being used below 8? such as in a storage space, or inside cabinets.

Is this true? Do I have to install conduit in these spaces?

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MC cable has to follow many of the same installation requirements as NM cable. It may be exposed, but it may not be installed in such as way that it's "subject to physical damage." How you achieve this is often dictated by local custom.

There's not enough detail in your post to really tell what's going on. Pictures would help.

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  • 3 months later...

MC, Metal Clad, & AC, Armored Cable are 2 different materials having different installation requirements & each has there own NEC article, AC art. 320, MC, art. 330. and both have the same limitation as NM in regards to protection from physical damage.

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I don't agree with your electrician though I'm in a different state. MC can be installed in some places where NM is not.

In your scenario, the MC doesn't need to be within conduit, though I'm not sure the use of MC in that application is kosher.

Marc

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If the MC was installed in place of NM due to physical damage concerns the MC did nothing to make it any better. MC has the same restrictions on physical damage as NM.

With that said, I do not consider inside a cabinet to be subject to damage.

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