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#86339 10/14/03 10:53 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 60
gunther Offline OP
I have been working on the outside installation of a freezer/cooler. The two condensers are covered with a shield that is solid on top and two sides, but has a wire mesh with approx. one inch holes on the two largest sides. The first thing I noticed was that the whips going to the motor and the various equipment was in flex and not watertight. Then, after a rain, when I opened up the contactor cabinet where I am to supply the feed, I noticed it was completely wet and a cut sheet inside was soaking wet. I called the manufacturer and he assured me that they are installed outside like this all the time. Having only worked on inside ones and not confronting this issue before, I still have my doubts about what he is telling me. I would think that all the equipment under the hood should be 3R rated. Anyone have any insight on this? Would you bring the question up to the inspector or do you think this should be addressed. I have already expressed my opinion to the GC but he is satisfied with the info the manufacturer gave.

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#86340 10/14/03 12:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
The flex may be permitted by the code. See 348.12(1). The inside of the contactor should not be getting wet. You might want to call the agency that listed (UL or others) this equipment and tell them what you found.

#86341 10/14/03 05:12 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 195
My understanding is that non-waterproof metal flex can be used outdoors under two conditions. First, the wires inside must be suitable for that condition. Second, the flex must be installed in such a way as to disallow the entrance of water into boxes/equipment. As an example if the metal flex came out of the bottom of one J-box and went up into the bottom of a second J-box, and THHN wire was used, then the installation would be acceptable. I don't understand why this is allowed when there are better, readily available options. Is metal flex really that much cheaper and easier to use than liquidtight or sealtight?

#86342 10/14/03 07:50 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
This may cover the installation — Thanks to Joe’s magic download… Underwriters Laboratories GENERAL INFORMATION FOR ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT DIRECTORY 2003 a/k/a UL “White Book” CDROM {Italics Added}

19. … Units/Sections that are suitable for outdoor installation are so marked and are identified on the Listing Information Pages or Cards (#) either by the term "outdoor section" or by an appropriate footnote. Units/Sections not marked as suitable for outdoor installation are for indoor use only.

Equipment which is suitable for outdoor installation is so marked. Equipment not marked as suitable for outdoor installation is for indoor use only.

[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 10-14-2003).]

#86343 10/14/03 10:19 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 60
gunther Offline OP
Thanks guys. I really appreciate the help. I looked over it to find something that said 3R or something and didn't find anything so far. I'll look it over good again tomorrow but I really don't think I'll find it because I can look at the windings right through the ventilation holes in the motor. Now comes the part about how far to take it since the manufacturer is claiming it is rated "outdoor".

#86344 10/14/03 11:40 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 394
What the salesman says and what the spec sheet says are often far different from each other. Look for the listing and reference the UL section quoted.

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