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Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 625
I'm wondering if Chicago and vicinity, with their codes that require putting residential wiring in pipe, actually have a better safety record than the rest of the country? Has anybody actually done any research to find out if all this extra effort is paying off in any measurable way?

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
I would like to know also.

There might be a lot of factors that are not accounted for. Most places have been pipe for a while some towns still have there old section of cloth 2 wire NM or K+T. There are plenty of places with all types of wire methods when it comes to old remodel work. That seems to be the worst parts of a place. Unskilled electric work with making changes. In the city it has a lot of old places done in ridgid pipe and cloth wire. The electric in these is noarmily outdated and overloaded but still works. It is easier to update except they would use the smallest boxes possable.

I think they would need to spicify what area and wiering method was involved where the fire started or if it was external like a heater cord.

Wonder if there is any differance in shock & electricution victoms from state to state. Death row inmates excluded.


Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 582
Ron Offline
I'm sure there was some research done in NYC. as the code changed permitting NM cable for residential (not high rise) approx 2 years ago when they moved to the NEC 1999 with amendments. Now their on NEC 2002 with amendments.

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 615
I think it is paying off in measurable way. $$$$ EC's charge more and it keeps more people employed. I think that was more on the minds of the people that lobbied for the requirements.

But the payoff also comes back to the owner who wants to make little changes like add a light kit to ceiling fan, or pull a dedicated micro circuit. More often than not it makes small functionality changes easy (and cheap for the customer)

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 62
How do you fish a wall to add a receptacle, especially if it's an outside wall. Also, do they use wood or metal studs?

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687

We can use flex conduit (greenfield) mostly 3/8 to fish down walls. They don't expect us to stick EMT thru a finished wall or cut open drywall to add a few things. Same thing with adding remodel cans or drop cieling lights. They like to see it shorter and with a ground wire.

Single family and town homes are allways wood. A lot of comercial is metal. I have not been on one but I see some single building restraunts, banks, offices with a wood structure. All the big jobs are metal. I think there is no across the board rule.

Things seem slow now. If EMT was not required it would put a people of people out of work. Maybe some EC out of business and lower overall pay.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Things seem slow now. If EMT was not required it would put a people of people out of work. Maybe some EC out of business and lower overall pay.

Did you ever think maybe if they didn't require EMT that you would have more work, not less? EMT raise your material and labor cost to a point that make many jobs too expensive so they don't get done.

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 91
I use pipe and wire when i work. I would be lost trying to wire a house/business with NM cable. The reason for pipe in commercial work is to allow for flexibility down the road. As for residential, it offers the same.

If additional circuits need to be installed, the raceway is already in place. Yes, it does raise the cost of the install but in my opinion, the additional cost is worth it. Pipe does offer better protection of the conductors compared to NM.

Now i know some will say that if the NM is installed properly there is little risk of damage from drywall screws, etc. WHEN it is installed properly. Also, if there is a problem down the road, get out the saw and start opening walls.

I'm sure all of us could go round and round with the merits/faults of each wiring method. Some will say the only reason to install pipe is to increase the hours on a job. Others will say anybody with a pair of strippers can install NM. To each his/her own....

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