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AC going outside


Mike Lamb
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This AC heads to an outside GFCI which would be considered a damp or wet location. Right? And I'd like to double check that this is the correct NEC reference:

320.10 Uses Permitted.

Where not subject to physical damage, Type AC cable shall be permitted as follows: (3) In dry locations

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None of the raceway is visible from outside. Why would visibility makes a difference?

That said, I have looked over ARTICLE 320 Armored Cable: Type AC and found nothing wrong with this installation.

I do find it odd that that there is a section re: EMT connections embedded in mortar (358.42 Couplings and Connectors.

Couplings and connectors used with EMT shall be made up tight. Where buried in masonry or concrete, they shall be concrete tight type. Where installed in wet locations, they shall be of the raintight type.) and none about AC connectors enbedded in mortar which is likely the case here. Can an AC connector be rain tight? Is there a concrete type connector for AC?

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Originally posted by Mike Lamb

None of the raceway is visible from outside. Why would visibility makes a difference?

From the information you gave, the flexible conduit is in a dry location. Electrical wires do not need to be protected from water if there is no chance of water entering the conduit. If you can see the flexible conduit outside, there is a chance of water entering.

It appears to be fine.

the slope of the soil might be different story.

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Originally posted by Chad Fabry

Did you call out the location of the condensor disconnects?

You checking to see if everyone is anal like me? They are. I learned it here.

BTW it's compressor and condenser. Second only to masonary.

Yeah, the condenser could make you "sor" when reaching for the disconnects on the "masonary" wall.

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Originally posted by Mike Lamb

This AC heads to an outside GFCI which would be considered a damp or wet location. Right? And I'd like to double check that this is the correct NEC reference:

320.10 Uses Permitted.

Where not subject to physical damage, Type AC cable shall be permitted as follows: (3) In dry locations

You'll find the definition for "Location, Dry" in article 100.

Personally, I think that the MC cable is fine in this instance.

The disconnects shouldn't be located behind the condenser units.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by Mike Lamb

This AC heads to an outside GFCI which would be considered a damp or wet location. Right? And I'd like to double check that this is the correct NEC reference:

320.10 Uses Permitted.

Where not subject to physical damage, Type AC cable shall be permitted as follows: (3) In dry locations

You'll find the definition for "Location, Dry" in article 100.

Personally, I think that the MC cable is fine in this instance.

The disconnects shouldn't be located behind the condenser units.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Unless the units are located 36" or more away from the building.

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Just out of curiosity, how many people call out that the disconnects are improperly located if they can still be easily accessible? I note it on my report to cover myself but that's as far as I go. Others might disagree.

It's been many years since I've been a HVAC tech for residential but I remember when companies were able to install the disconnect on the condensing unit. Then they had to locate the disconnect somewhere else, normally on the house sometimes behind the condensing unit. Then they couldn’t install them behind the condensing unit anymore which likely did not make them happy since it made them installing the outside unit that much harder/time consuming.

As Jeremy wrote, there were exceptions.

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The AC cable appears to be properly installed. If an inspector were to question the AC cable based on the fact that the exterior masonry is a "damp" location then he/she would have a case.

In this instance, MC cable would have been a better choice.

If I were doing code enforcement, I would not have flagged this situation although I would have a strong case if I used the "damp" word, however that appears to be a bit overzealous.

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

The disconnects shouldn't be located behind the condenser units.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

I've never heard that before. Ever. Interesting. Where's the cite?

In the city, you put it where it will fit. I work on the line of sight/visible/dry/reasonably accessible requirements. Shoot, on some of the stuff I look at, if you couldn't put it behind the machinery, there'd be no place to put it.

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Originally posted by kurt

Originally posted by Jim Katen

The disconnects shouldn't be located behind the condenser units.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

I've never heard that before. Ever. Interesting. Where's the cite?

In the city, you put it where it will fit. I work on the line of sight/visible/dry/reasonably accessible requirements. Shoot, on some of the stuff I look at, if you couldn't put it behind the machinery, there'd be no place to put it.

Sorry for the delay. I've been away.

The cite is 110.26(A). It's the same section that requires clear working space in front of a panel.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jeff Remas

. . . AC cable would be OK in my book but I would tell the electrician to use MC next time he goes through brick.

I'm guessing that the stuff in the photo is MC. Maybe it's different in Chicago, but around here, no one has used AC for a long time.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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