wiring question

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Topic by woodrooster posted 10-29-2009 04:54 AM 29746 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View woodrooster's profile


4 posts in 4962 days

10-29-2009 04:54 AM

I’m running romex wire from my breaker box to my garage through the crawlspace. To get from the breaker box to the crawl space the wire will run in pvc conduit for six feet on the outside of the house. Can I simply run the romex through the conduit. Could I strip off the sheath and run the single wires in the conduit?

Or do I need to buy outdoor wire for conduit and then connect up to the romex in the crawl space? The conduit is new and sealed from the elements.

View a1Jim's profile


160 posts in 4980 days

10-29-2009 07:14 AM

leave the cover on the romex alone and run through the conduit. This kind of question makes me very concerned about you doing your own wiring, you should get some professional help with the wiring.

-- a-1contractor.com

View 3fingerpat's profile


86 posts in 5414 days

10-29-2009 08:46 AM

You need to verify the electrical code requirements in your area first; in my area pvc conduit is not authorized for exterior use, we would use emt conduit for that run that you describe. You do need to know the proper size conduit releative to the size\guage of romex wiring you are using.

View woodrooster's profile


4 posts in 4962 days

10-29-2009 05:31 PM

(This kind of question makes me very concerned about you doing your own wiring)

Well I think I was honest that I didn’t know exactly how to do it. Is merely asking the question make me so dangerous? I will do it right I was merely looking for some guidance to beef up my knowledge before asking professional advice from an electrician.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

331 posts in 5532 days

10-29-2009 06:33 PM

a1Jim, I think it’s a totally reasonable question: I’ve seen a stretch where a professional electrician ran NMB to a box, THHN in the conduit, and then NMB out of a box on the other side. I believe that if the conduit is large enough for the NM, then those two extra junctions are a bad idea.

woodrooster, this is the sort of question our local building inspectors are totally happy to answer, but, yeah, if PVC is okay for exterior use in your area (like 3fingerpat I’d use EMT, and if it’s one circuit your inspectors will probably be fine with 3/4”) stick with NMB through the conduit.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/

View frankson's profile


1 post in 5123 days

10-31-2009 03:01 PM

Past experience with exterior use of PVC is that cold weather makes it brittle and easily broken. When it get hot out it expands and get a wavy snake-like look. Some areas allow it some don’t. EMT is the better to go espeecially if it is a straight run. THNN wire is best used. But here is a better thought that you may want to proffessional to put a sub panel in your garage. Something that 4-6 circuts so you can have outlets and lighting on different circuts for saftey reasons. Beside if you are using the garage as a temporary or setting part (even whole are) of the garage for a shop you will need the extra lines that a subpanel offers and the conveinence of not travle through the house to reset a breaker. One last thought is EMT holds paint better than PVC so you can make it fade into the house’s ext. appearance.

View Catspaw's profile


35 posts in 5516 days

11-01-2009 02:21 AM

WR…your actions don’t worry me abit. The fact that you’ve paid attention to other wiring jobs and have seen it done different ways and would think to ask that question assures me that you’re not a danger to yourself or your shop.

When done properly, electricity is extremely safe. Doing it properly is very simple and I encourage anybody willing to learn to do it themselves when they want to. Personally, I can’t afford $65-$75 an hour to have some one do something that I can do myself.

The building inspectors are indeed willing to answer those kinds of questions and (although I’ve dealt with some real dweeb BI’s) they are usually a valuable resource.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

331 posts in 5532 days

11-01-2009 03:48 AM

I think building inspectors vary a lot by locale, in some places they feel very strongly that their job is to protect the monopoly of the licensed contractors, but my experiences with them so far in Petaluma is that they take the attitude that they’d much rather make sure a job gets done right than not get a chance to look at it, so they’ve been really helpful!

(‘though I’ve also had to say “no, really, the law says I need a permit and you need to inspect this, please take my money!” at least once)

Speaking of which, I need to go pull the permit for my house electrical rework, now that I’ve laid the groundwork for it.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/

View devans0's profile


4 posts in 4944 days

11-13-2009 01:31 AM

In my area, you must pass a proficiency test to get a license in order to do your own electrical
work. The test was over understanding how to look up the local codes to apply them to code application types of question. you were supplied a printout of the relevant code. Once I passed the test , every official was very helpful in all the odd questions that my refurbings threw up. I agree about planning ahead for future upgrades. A larger conduit and a couple of extra wires is easy to add and can save pulling wire later.

View DavidDoors's profile


2 posts in 4174 days

01-03-2012 10:41 AM

I am a little confused, so pardon me. The breaker box is the one usually found near the main doors of houses containing all the mains switches right?

-- David Doors - http://www.savoydoors.co.uk

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

331 posts in 5532 days

01-03-2012 05:46 PM

David, usually. The breaker box is the one with the circuit breakers. Usually that’s where the mains switches are, but you can have sub-panels elsewhere which have circuit breakers but no mains.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/

View Grandpa's profile


139 posts in 4382 days

01-07-2012 06:37 AM

breaker boxes are found indoors and outdoors. Some have mains and some don’t. I have seen every flavor you can imagine and they were mostly installed by licensed professional people.

View dem45133's profile


6 posts in 4157 days

01-08-2012 08:25 PM

As one who has read a lot of the NEC (National Electric Code) but am not a professional and who has rewired my entire farm (house and 9 out buildings) I would strongly suggest becoming familiar with the NEC and your local which can be more stringent. Many inspectors do not necessarily know it and it might do two things. 1) have the knowledge to wire correctly; and, 2) eliminate re-doing something when the inspector is in error and you can show him the NEC (with tact I would suggest, he’s only human and the NEC and local code have A LOT of information within them!).

I have mixed feelings on the need for inspections. Personally I am one who can learn anything I need to know and generally do… so I feel I do not need to be second guessed. But since we do not require inspections here in our rural area… I had a lot of crap that was done on this old place before we bought it (post the original 1941 wiring which was done professionally for its time… and was my best wiring believe it or not!). You would not believe what former owners and even what some wanna be electricians that hung out a shingle did here! They had a real BAD habit of running standard romex two wire 10 with ground some 250 ft or so underground, off a 40, 50 or even a 60 double pole out to one of the outbuildings.. mounting a 220 outlet and then off of ONE of the 110 legs OF THE OUTLET ran a whole 14 wire circuit for lights and outlets… all going back to the double pole breaker…!!! That 14 wire would have lit up like a light bulb before tripping that 60!!!!. Absolutely amazingly they did not burn the barns down! My old installations definitely needed an inspection by someone in the know when they were installed some 30 years ago or so. Thus the mixed feelings.

But… if your going to rewire yourself, it is certainly doable… but learn all you can first!. Its not all that hard. Start with reviewing and marking the NEC code book and your own copy of your local code. There is a myriad of wiring books out there too. Learn learn learn all you can before starting.

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