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#78946 11/11/01 05:59 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Why does the Chicago Electrical Code disapprove of NM, AC, and MC cables of any type?

Metallic the general wiring method for above grade new construction within buildings.
Nonmetallic raceway has expanded use underground, in corrosive atmospheres, in pools, and for signs.

See the Chicago Electrical Code, search http:://

Metallic cable has an expanded use for extensions to receptacle outlets in dwellings under 4 stories and for flexible whips to ceiling fixtures in commercial occupancies.

This global requirement is consistent with the requirements in over 90% of the surrounding cities, towns, villages and counties. (Based on a survey of 105 surrounding jurisdictions)

Is this really true??

PS: Copies of the Chicago Electrical Code cost $130.00

[This message has been edited by Joe Tedesco (edited 11-11-2001).]

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
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#78947 11/14/01 07:45 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 49
Yes Joe, it's true,
After working under the Chi. code for 17 years I pulled up stakes and moved to Orlando 3 years ago. When I first saw the stock of pvc at the shop here, I thought that maybe we also did sprinkler work.
One of the first jobs down here, I rode with a fellow to an appliance store to add a dedicated receptacle circuit. When he pulled off 80'of MC to run over the grid I was under the impression that this was temporary
until we came back and piped it.
The surronding communities of Chicago also add stricter amendmendments to the code.
EGC protection-rigid. Even the doorbell wires require an EMT chase.

#78948 11/14/01 07:57 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
did'nt the great conflaguration start with Nellie the cow there? So why not limit the overkill to art 547???

#78949 11/14/01 05:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
EMT for doorbell wiring?! That's one strict code.

What about other LV wiring in Chicago, such as CATV distribution, PBX telephone, intruder alarms, etc?

Do these have to be in conduit too?

#78950 11/14/01 08:02 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,294
What's the reasoning? I don't get it at all.
It sounds like they'd allow aluminum flex (as flimsy as it is), but not a steel armored MC. [Linked Image]

#78951 11/15/01 07:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 31
To understand the reasons of these strict must first understand who is only allowed to do the work. If you put two and two together, then you will understand why.

I lived in Joliet and Chicago for several years.

Just something that frustrated me.....


Carl Lee Tolbert
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#78952 12/07/01 11:56 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 308
Chicago is a union city. Chicago has large steel producing companies. It has always been this way. Chicago inspectors argue that emt is a better method than cable, both for grounding purposes as well as the ability to change wiring in the future without tearing open walls. Chicago claims to have a lower amount of electrical fires than other cities which allow all NEC methods. I don't think Chicago would allow flexible metal conduit, but I haven't delved into the new code yet. Also, Chicago does not allow more than nine wires in any conduit.

I am the inspector from Oak Park, IL, due west of central Chicago and we require emt for interior installations as well. Also, we require rigid for service conductors. But we follow the NEC otherwise. We use to follow Chicago code until 1984. Also we will allow AC, MC or flexible conduit to fish walls but NM cable is taboo here. If NM cable is ever discovered, the owner is notified that they have to get it removed. There are talks of going NEC no amendments, but there is also a strong opposition to it. I personally am opposed because I don't think Oak Park will ever supply enough help to properly regulate work going on without permits and the installations I see everyday would make any apprentice electrician cringe. Also, Oak Park is a completely developed community so the majority of work is remodeling and dealing with existing conditions. Oak Park still has a good percentage of homes with knob and tube wiring. For this reason, as well as I grew up in Chicago and that's just the way it's done, I prefer to see emt installations.

Welcome to the Windy City!!!

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