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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 7593
Experience:  Proven Professional 48 years Experience
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Finishing a basement and have installed all the new wiring

Customer Question

Finishing a basement and have installed all the new wiring and lights. Attempting to eliminate the existing run of lighting that is ran in EMT conduit from one end of the basement to the other. Upon inspection the lights in the basement are actually fed
off of outlets upstairs so it should be fairly easy to eliminate those. However, also in the EMT conduit are two larger gauge wires look to be a size larger than #12 but would need to verify. There are junction boxes with splices at either end of the basement
and the red and black is spliced in both locations but it is ran continuous through the EMT from one end to the other. The question is can I run these two single strand wires through holes in the joists by themselves or do they need to be in conduit? Trying
to eliminate the EMT as is attached to the underside of the joists and I'm putting up drywall.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I'm Mike G and I'll be glad to assist you. Unfortunately you can't run the individual conductors outside of a conduit. You may use a cable of the same size, spliced at junction boxes at each end or from panel to outlet.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do they make a flexible conduit that I could use the run it through the joists? Also there is a ground wire that comes into the metal box at either end of the basement and no ground runing with the red and the black so I suspect they are utilizing the EMT conduit as the ground so is there a flexible conduit that I can connect to either box that will take the place of the ground or would I need to add a ground wire along side of the existing red and black?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.
A cable replacement would be the best overall solution. The cost of a flex conduit, ground wire and difficulty in pulling the wire thru the flex, makes a cable the right way to go. Also, previous codes didn't allow flex in lengths exceeding 6ft. Your area mabe still using an old code.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Good solution. Next question. The two boxes on either end of the basement are above the foundation and it will prove impossible to have them exposed once the basement is finished. Our City inspector has already given me the go ahead to use the cable splices rather than boxes since I am doing remodel work and they comply with the NEC code. Do you know if they make cable splices (Tyco type) for larger gauge wire that I could use on either end of the basement?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

Unfortunately no. I use the Tyco Splices and only know that the #12 wire as being the largest

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Would something like this be an acceptable option?
Customer: replied 2 years ago. this?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

The video shows a violation of code. Splices an't be made on individual conductors in anything other than an underground installation.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How about the Tyco splice from Home Depot that I attached?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

That splice needs to be in either a junction box or underground to be code compliant. You have no alternative other than a cable replacement.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

Had you considered a suspended ceiling. It would allow you to leave the wiring as it is and provide access to the junctions and anything else in the future.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not wanting to do a suspended ceiling.Upon further inspection the wire is larger than #12 because it must feed the range in my kitchen. Obviously the homebuilder didn't have a long enough wire to run from the panel to the range so they spliced it TWICE.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

If you replace it, current code requires it be a 4 wire. 2 hots, 1 neutral and a ground. The wire size for a range is #6. If it is a dryer the size is #10, 4 wire also.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It would appear to be the range circuit which has a double pole 40 amp breaker in the main panel.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

A 2 pole 40 or 50 is acceptable for a range.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I turned off breakers to determine where the red and black mystery wires were running and it turns out it was the AC circuit. The AC unit is outside on the north side of the house (same side as the electric panel), so a little confused as to why there would be a wire running from the north to the south side of the house.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Problem now. Now that I flipped the breaker off/on for the AC the fan on the unit outside isn't running. Should that fan be running all the time or did turning the power on and off to the AC break the unit?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

It will run when there is a demand from the t-stat. The T-stat will be on a 120V circuit to the furnace, which you may have turned off.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Shut it off for awhile and just turned it back on and it works.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 years ago.

Very good.