Custom MC Cable for Multi-Unit Residential High-Rise?

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Lbartowski

Member
Location
MN
I had always been told that the manufacturers will make whatever I want when it comes to MC Cable.

Now that I have a job that could utilize some custom MC cables I'm being told that they don't do that.

Has anyone used any of the following MC combinations?

3#8+G with AL conductors for 40A range circuit,
4#14+4#12+G Copper, or
4#12+6#10+G Cooper

I'm looking at roughly 10K feet of each of these. I realize these are odd combinations, but figure it's cheaper than pipe and wire.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
What company told you that they do not make custom combinations?

If I'm understanding correctly you're looking for 3#8+G with AL conductors for 40A range circuit with 4#14+4#12+G or 3#8+G with AL conductors for 40A range circuit with 4#12+6#10+G Copper in a single cable?

Either of those cables will have derating issues with the number of CCC's within the cable.
 

Terminator5047

Senior Member
Location
Saint Louis
Occupation
Electrician
Southwire may make it but the problem you will have is finding mc connectors. You could have a prefab shop make you greenfield ships with those wires in it our southwire even might do that I know they have “cable in conduit” which is a bore pipe more or less maybe they will do it with greenfield.
 

Terminator5047

Senior Member
Location
Saint Louis
Occupation
Electrician
Or you could run greenfield and get custom barrels of wire made in them combos u ask for by southwire and just pull the wire in. The do that all the time around here now
 

Lbartowski

Member
Location
MN
Encore Wire Company said they couldn't do different wire sizes in an MC? And that #8 was too small of an Aluminum conductor? Checking into Southwire. Greenfield might be a good option, thanks.
Either of those cables will have derating issues with the number of CCC's within the cable.
This is 3 cables, not 2. The 8/3 AL would be it's own cable. I think I have the derating part covered.
 

Lbartowski

Member
Location
MN
No multi's, but it's (2) 15A and (3) 20A 1P circuits so they are upsized. I'm debating whether larger wire is better than running multiple cables.
 

Terminator5047

Senior Member
Location
Saint Louis
Occupation
Electrician
Encore Wire Company said they couldn't do different wire sizes in an MC? And that #8 was too small of an Aluminum conductor? Checking into Southwire. Greenfield might be a good option, thanks.

This is 3 cables, not 2. The 8/3 AL would be it's own cable. I think I have the derating part covered.
I know southwire will give u a barrel full of like 10000ft of what ever wire combo you wish and the have barrel dollys for them to
 

Terminator5047

Senior Member
Location
Saint Louis
Occupation
Electrician
If they did make a custom order you would pay dearly for it.
If I order a custom barrel it’s not really anymore expensive price per foot plus it’s a labor saver not having to change out spools all the time. Usually Ill
Get a full boat or black read blue whites and greens and pull all my home runs with that and use one of the maxis drill mount tuggers for pulling and use a a small Chinese finger basket instead of making a head each time the stuff flies in
 

Lbartowski

Member
Location
MN
I think he means a custom order of MC. You're talking Greenfield.

My concern with greenfield is pulling through (4) 90's. Maybe I'll just go with 10#10 MC and 3#8 MC CU. These are more standard sizes that I know Southwire makes and I don't have to worry about pulling in Greenfield.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
If they did make a custom order you would pay dearly for it.
You would be surprised. Even relatively small quantities of custom cables are surprisingly cost effective. You need to remember that electrician time is insanely expensive and even saving a few minutes of electrician time per operation can work out to a huge amount of money on a project.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Also if you use FMC (Greenfield) it technically cannot have a total of more than 4-90° bends without adding a pull point.
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
I am curious if you would be better off using pairs of cables (eg 4#12 and 6#10 side by side) rather than a single fat cable. Not as much labor savings as using a single fat cable, but better than a bunch of 2#xx cables.

Or if not mixing sized would be cheaper than mixing small and large, simply because things are more standard.

AFC lists 'home run cable' with lots of conductors in it; coloring would be wrong, however: https://www.afcweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/home-run-cable.pdf

-Jon
 

Lbartowski

Member
Location
MN
My experience (mainly with conduit) is that's it's always cheaper to run one slightly bigger conduit, with upsized conductors, than to run 2 conduits. Not that being cheap is always the driver, just saying that's my experience with estimating at least.
 

Terminator5047

Senior Member
Location
Saint Louis
Occupation
Electrician
I think he means a custom order of MC. You're talking Greenfield.

My concern with greenfield is pulling through (4) 90's. Maybe I'll just go with 10#10 MC and 3#8 MC CU. These are more standard sizes that I know Southwire makes and I don't have to worry about pulling in Greenfield.
I know what he ment but what I’m telling you is people are running fmc like emt now. I was giving him an option if they don’t have the mc he was looking for
 

SceneryDriver

Senior Member
Location
NJ
Occupation
Electrical and Automation Designer
I had always been told that the manufacturers will make whatever I want when it comes to MC Cable.

Now that I have a job that could utilize some custom MC cables I'm being told that they don't do that.

Has anyone used any of the following MC combinations?

3#8+G with AL conductors for 40A range circuit,
4#14+4#12+G Copper, or
4#12+6#10+G Cooper

I'm looking at roughly 10K feet of each of these. I realize these are odd combinations, but figure it's cheaper than pipe and wire.

Contact TPC Wire & Cable. They're making some custom cables for us (TC-ER, not MC), and their pricing is shockingly good.


If you don't get anywhere with a local rep, DM me and I can put you in touch with our rep. We're in NJ so I'll bet he won't cover MN, but he'll know who to contact.



SceneryDriver
 
You would be surprised. Even relatively small quantities of custom cables are surprisingly cost effective. You need to remember that electrician time is insanely expensive and even saving a few minutes of electrician time per operation can work out to a huge amount of money on a project.
Yeah actually when I have priced custom Runs, I haven't really found it to be much more expensive then extrapolating if it was a stock item. Here is one example that sticks out from about 3 years ago. This is cic, comes installed in 1 in polyethylene conduit.

Option #3: 2 - #8 5KV unshieled L-824 (airport lighting cable), and one #8 white THHN. $1.83 per ft

A friend of mine ordered a whole bunch of custom larger aluminum tray cable and I don't know the price but he said it wasn't bad at all

I have never tried to order custom MC, but I don't see why it would be any different.
 
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