romex got rained on

edward

Senior Member
So I can leave breakers out in the rain as long as I don't install them there?
We are not talking about breakers. Breakers have moving parts and when left in the rain water will get in and probably cause trouble later on. But NM cable will not leak or even cause trouble when subject to minor wetness.

I am just saying the inspector does not have a leg to stand on.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Breaker in the rain - what does it take before it is compromised? Leave dead front on an outdoor panel but leave the door open and get a few drops on breaker handles? - Chances are not much compromise happens here. Leave uninstalled breakers in a low spot that gets submerged in runoff water? This situation you generally don't really know if there was any compromise or not, and is usually safest to just assume there may be some damage.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
We are not talking about breakers. Breakers have moving parts and when left in the rain water will get in and probably cause trouble later on. But NM cable will not leak or even cause trouble when subject to minor wetness.
I agree with you. :)

Now show me in the NEC the rule that prohibits breakers out in the rain but allows NM to be out in the rain.

I am just saying the inspector does not have a leg to stand on.
The inspector has the same tools to prohibit NM from being in the rain as breakers, GFCIs etc.
 

wwhitney

Senior Member
Location
Berkeley, CA
I don't agree with the 110.3(A)(1) citation, as per the definition of Dry Location "A location classified as dry may be temporarily subject to dampness or wetness, as in the case of a building under construction."

2011 NEC 110.11, however, says in part "Equipment not identified for outdoor use and equipment identified only for indoor use, such as “dry locations,” “indoor use only,” “damp locations,” or enclosure Types 1, 2, 5, 12, 12K, and/or 13, shall be protected against damage from the weather during construction." So that makes it an AHJ judgement call whether the wind-blown rain has "damaged" the NM cable. Personally that idea sounds crazy, but if that is the AHJ's judgement, is there any way to demonstrate the NM cable is undamaged?

Cheers, Wayne
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I don't agree with the 110.3(A)(1) citation, as per the definition of Dry Location "A location classified as dry may be temporarily subject to dampness or wetness, as in the case of a building under construction."
There is nothing in 110.3(A) about a dry or wet location.
 

wwhitney

Senior Member
Location
Berkeley, CA
There is nothing in 110.3(A) about a dry or wet location.
OK, then what is the 110.3(A) violation in the OP's situation?

I thought the idea was that the NM is for dry location only, the rain somehow meant it wasn't a dry location (which is wrong), and that was a 110.3(A)(1) violation.

BTW, do you think that the OP could megger the installed NM to show that it wasn't damaged by the rain, and hence there was no 110.11 violation? Or if the AHJ says it was damaged, there's basically no way to rebut that?

Cheers, Wayne
 

edward

Senior Member
I agree with you. :) I agree with you as well:)

Now show me in the NEC the rule that prohibits breakers out in the rain but allows NM to be out in the rain.

Breaker in wet location is a common sense and I won't find it in the code book, but I will find that NM cable is temporarily allowed in a wet location.


The inspector has the same tools to prohibit NM from being in the rain as breakers, GFCIs etc.
You and I are getting our points across and the OP is long gone with his single post. So, I don't think he will come back to read our replies anyway.
 

macmikeman

Senior Member
First thing to understand here is you never in your life have experienced sideways rain until you see it on the Big Island. Might as well build the house upside down , cause an equal amount of water gets in thru the open windows as would happen if there was no roof. One of my houses up in Waimea Hawaii on the wet side had to be completely dried in , windows and all before being allowed to start wiring per the local inspector up there. I've seen it enough to completely side with the inspector on this one.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
OK, then what is the 110.3(A) violation in the OP's situation?

I thought the idea was that the NM is for dry location only, the rain somehow meant it wasn't a dry location (which is wrong), and that was a 110.3(A)(1) violation.

BTW, do you think that the OP could megger the installed NM to show that it wasn't damaged by the rain, and hence there was no 110.11 violation? Or if the AHJ says it was damaged, there's basically no way to rebut that?

Cheers, Wayne
If it is deemed damaged is it still suitable for use?

I'm not stating whether the cable is actually damaged or not, but if inspector claims it is then isn't 110.3(A)(1) a valid cite from inspectors point of view? The argument with inspector then becomes not so much the code section cited but whether or not the cable actually is damaged.
 

wwhitney

Senior Member
Location
Berkeley, CA
I'm not stating whether the cable is actually damaged or not, but if inspector claims it is then isn't 110.3(A)(1) a valid cite from inspectors point of view?
I don't know, the 110.3(A)(1) language includes the phrase "conformity with the provisions of this Code". If something isn't conforming with another part of the Code, just cite that part directly. The rest of the language in 110.3(A)(1) strikes me at first glance as too vague to be enforceable.

Cheers, Wayne
 

petersonra

Senior Member
I don't agree with the 110.3(A)(1) citation, as per the definition of Dry Location "A location classified as dry may be temporarily subject to dampness or wetness, as in the case of a building under construction."

2011 NEC 110.11, however, says in part "Equipment not identified for outdoor use and equipment identified only for indoor use, such as “dry locations,” “indoor use only,” “damp locations,” or enclosure Types 1, 2, 5, 12, 12K, and/or 13, shall be protected against damage from the weather during construction." So that makes it an AHJ judgement call whether the wind-blown rain has "damaged" the NM cable. Personally that idea sounds crazy, but if that is the AHJ's judgement, is there any way to demonstrate the NM cable is undamaged?

Cheers, Wayne
is NM cable considered "equipment"? does not seem like it from the definition.

Equipment. A general term, including fittings, devices, appliances,
luminaires, apparatus, machinery, and the like used as a
part of, or in connection with, an electrical installation.
 

wwhitney

Senior Member
Location
Berkeley, CA
is NM cable considered "equipment"? does not seem like it from the definition.
Nice. Conductors are not equipment as you note. This idea is reinforced by the fact that the first paragraph of 110.11 uses the phrase "conductors or equipment" while the second paragraph of 110.11 just uses the word equipment. So this implies that it is not necessary to protect conductors "against damage from the weather during construction."

That leaves us with 0 code violations for NM that gets rained on during construction.

Cheers, Wayne
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I don't know, the 110.3(A)(1) language includes the phrase "conformity with the provisions of this Code". If something isn't conforming with another part of the Code, just cite that part directly. The rest of the language in 110.3(A)(1) strikes me at first glance as too vague to be enforceable.

Cheers, Wayne
If same NM cable has sheath all sliced up, burned off, or full of holes, tears, etc. what is an inspector's basis for not accepting it's use in the installation? If he is to cite a NEC article I'd say 110.3(A) is one possible place to start.

I'm not trying to state that NM can not get wet, just that if being wet is for some reason deemed unacceptable that this is maybe the section you could cite to reject it.

I guess next section to possibly cite is 110.3(B), but instructions included in the listing or labeling would need to state that it can't be used if it got wet, I don't think you will find such instructions but could be wrong.
 
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iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Been busy

OK, then what is the 110.3(A) violation in the OP's situation?
Lets say (7) again this is well withing the judgement of the AHJ or their designee.

(I have read ahead, I will get the to equipment or not issue further on)


I thought the idea was that the NM is for dry location only, the rain somehow meant it wasn't a dry location (which is wrong), and that was a 110.3(A)(1) violation.
Keep in mind the definition of dry location does not mean that we can let dry location equipment get wet. It only says what it says and it does not say you can let equipment get rained on.



BTW, do you think that the OP could megger the installed NM to show that it wasn't damaged by the rain, and hence there was no 110.11 violation? Or if the AHJ says it was damaged, there's basically no way to rebut that?
I think exactly what I have been saying all along, it is up to the AHJ, I could not force them to accept a megga test.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
is NM cable considered "equipment"? does not seem like it from the definition.
That is an interesting observation and really puts things in disarray as that means 110.3(B) does not apply to any conductors at all.

If you think any inspector is going to by that argument I think you will be disappointed.

Nice. Conductors are not equipment as you note. This idea is reinforced by the fact that the first paragraph of 110.11 uses the phrase "conductors or equipment" while the second paragraph of 110.11 just uses the word equipment. So this implies that it is not necessary to protect conductors "against damage from the weather during construction."

That leaves us with 0 code violations for NM that gets rained on during construction.
You are getting ahead of yourself.

Despite the allowance in the definition of dry location there is no permission to let the cable get wet in the NEC or the listing.

In my opinion I only need the first paragraph of 110.11(A) 'conductors will be protected from liquids'

I know you do not agree, I am fine with that.
 

wwhitney

Senior Member
Location
Berkeley, CA
That is an interesting observation and really puts things in disarray as that means 110.3(B) does not apply to any conductors at all.
I agree. 110.3 doesn't apply to conductors at all, only equipment.

In many places the NEC uses the phrase "equipment or conductors" or "equipment or materials"; in others it just says "equipment". So I believe this is an intentional distinction.

Despite the allowance in the definition of dry location there is no permission to let the cable get wet in the NEC or the listing.
Well, the NEC is a permissive code. So permission is not required; rather a prohibition on letting NM cable get rained on needs to be demonstrated.

In my opinion I only need the first paragraph of 110.11(A) 'conductors will be protected from liquids'
A more representative shortening of that rule is 'no conductors shall be located where exposed to liquids that have a deteriorating effect'. So I would say that rain on an intact NM cable sheath does not constitute 'exposure to liquids that have a deteriorating effect'. The water will run off the sheath and not deteriorate anything, which is what we all know.

This is in contrast to flooding, where (a) the water may well contain other deteriorating agents and (b) the water will rise up and enter the cut ends of the sheathing and saturate the paper. So that would constitute 'exposure to liquids that have a deteriorating effect'.

Anyway, that's how I see it.

Cheers, Wayne
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I agree. 110.3 doesn't apply to conductors at all, only equipment.
:D

There is no inspector I have worked with that is going to agree that 110.3 does not apply to cables and conductors

We can waste a ton of typing trying to talk about it but the bottom line is for better or worse inspectors apply 110.3 to cables and conductors and there is nothing that can be said on this forum to change that.


In many places the NEC uses the phrase "equipment or conductors" or "equipment or materials"; in others it just says "equipment". So I believe this is an intentional distinction.
I agree, regardless see above for the real world.

Well, the NEC is a permissive code. So permission is not required; rather a prohibition on letting NM cable get rained on needs to be demonstrated.
So you are looking for a rule tells us that things designed to be dry cannot be wet?

110.3(A)(7), 110.11(A)


A more representative shortening of that rule is 'no conductors shall be located where exposed to liquids that have a deteriorating effect'. So I would say that rain on an intact NM cable sheath does not constitute 'exposure to liquids that have a deteriorating effect'. The water will run off the sheath and not deteriorate anything, which is what we all know.
Ah ... see this here is an issue, the water does get inside at the ends and wicks into the paper NM liner very far. Is this always the case? No, can it likely be determined by a megga? Yes. Can I force the AHJ to accept this? No


Anyway, that's how I see it.
I see it from the real world. :)
 
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