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Thread: wiremold box in damp location

  1. #1
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    wiremold box in damp location

    Hi All,
    I hope everyone had a good day. Does article 386 indicate you can’t use a wiremold box, with a light mounted on it, in an open porch? That is How I interpret it. I have seen it done many times but I have always said it’s wrong. 386.2 defines the box as part of the raceway and it’s not listed for damp location in 386.10. The application is extending the switch leg for the porch light to the outside porch ceiling. It’s a brick wall. Out of all people, the supply house told my customer that I am wrong. Any opinions?

    Jim



    ARTICLE 386 Surface Metal Raceways

    I. General

    386.1 Scope. This article covers the use, installation, and construction specifications for surface metal raceways and associated fittings.
    386.2 Definition.

    Surface Metal Raceway. A metallic raceway that is intended to be mounted to the surface of a structure, with associated couplings, connectors, boxes, and fittings for the installation of electrical conductors.
    386.6 Listing Requirements. Surface metal raceway and associated fittings shall be listed.
    II. Installation

    386.10 Uses Permitted. The use of surface metal raceways shall be permitted in the following1) 
    In dry locations.

    (2) 
    In Class I, Division 2 hazardous (classified) locations as permitted in 501.10(B)(3).

    (3) 
    Under raised floors, as permitted in 645.5(E)(2).

    (4) 
    Extension through walls and floors. Surface metal raceway shall be permitted to pass transversely through dry walls, dry partitions, and dry floors if the length passing through is unbroken. Access to the conductors shall be maintained on both sides of the wall, partition, or floor.


    Here is the electrical code definition of damp location:
    Location, Damp. Locations protected from weather and not subject to saturation with water or other liquids but subject to moderate degrees of moisture. Informational Note:  Examples of such locations include partially protected locations under canopies, marquees, roofed open porches, and like locations, and interior locations subject to moderate degrees of moisture, such as some basements, some barns, and some cold-storage warehouses.
















  2. #2
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    I think it is a grey enough topic that you get away with it some places and other places you don't.

    Probably get a higher number of inspectors that say no than yes though.

    Some may say no as a general rule but then when they see certain situations may not have much concern either.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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    Wiremold makes non-metallic versions of just about every component.
    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

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    I’ve seen a lot of Wiremold variations but none I recall that look suitable to damp or wet locations. They really should come up with something. Would it be that hard?
    Yes, I'll be happy to do a first class job for less than anyone else and take a dollar a week for 10 years.

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    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

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    Thank you for that link Larry. I appreciate it. I wouldn’t have an issue installing that.

    Jim


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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFine View Post
    Just because it's PVC doesn't mean that it's suitable for a damp location. Not only that, but am I correct in assuming that there will be raceway with fittings to extend the fixture location from the wall box to the ceiling? I believe 386.10 says it all even though it refers to a metallic version.

    Your next choice here is beautiful EMT or sched 40 PVC.

    -Hal

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    Quote Originally Posted by hbiss View Post
    Just because it's PVC doesn't mean that it's suitable for a damp location. Not only that, but am I correct in assuming that there will be raceway with fittings to extend the fixture location from the wall box to the ceiling? I believe 386.10 says it all even though it refers to a metallic version.
    + 1, I don't think the NEC allows this to be used as asked.

    I would not have an issue with the plastic version being used in this damp location (other than not meeting code).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsparky52 View Post
    + 1, I don't think the NEC allows this to be used as asked.

    I would not have an issue with the plastic version being used in this damp location (other than not meeting code).
    +2

    I wouldn't have much issue with metallic Wiremold in many situations like OP described.

    At same time I don't think it is NEC compliant. Damp location can be tricky in many aspects, how much dampness before it is officially damp? Even dry location definition says there can be temporary wetness/dampness, so other than when it isn't an obvious wet location, and maybe a few things mentioned in the informational note after damp location definition, it sort of becomes a judgement call by whoever is claiming it is dry or damp.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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