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#96851 - 12/31/05 07:46 PM mounting plastic boxes in brick  
kyelectric  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 64
When installing the plastic blue boxes for receptacles on the outside of a house that will be bricked do you just stub out some extra wire and the box. Does the box get mounted some way or is it just installed by the bricklayer and cemented in with the brick?

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#96852 - 12/31/05 09:33 PM Re: mounting plastic boxes in brick  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
I've never thought of doing it quite thqt way.....there are steel "masonry boxes" intended for this use, and they just happen to be sized to fit in with the brickwork.

The way your request is worded, it seems you plan to use NMC (Romex). Masonry is generally considered a 'wet' location, and you should use UF instead. However it's done, the wire should be secured to the box with the appropriate cable clamp.

#96853 - 12/31/05 11:13 PM Re: mounting plastic boxes in brick  
Celtic  Offline
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 361
Masonry is generally considered a 'wet' location, and you should use UF instead.

Are you sure about that, reno:

340.12 Uses Not Permitted.
(8) Embedded in poured cement, concrete, or aggregate, except where embedded in plaster as nonheating leads where permitted in 424.43 (2002 NEC)

Over the summer, I had an AHJ referral on a DIYer that had installed UF in a brick and mortar knee wall/post set-up. The AHJ and I were both in agreement that the UF was NFG in this application. The AHJ *suggested* that (if I got the job) I have the HO sign a waiver on the UF install that he had done (typical HO/DIYer w/o permits) - and the AHJ would sign-off on my work at this location.
It confused me that, while the UF was in violation, the AHJ was willing to accept it as the whole brick "fence" would need to be torn down at the HO's expense. I can only assume the AHJ would allow it would have been quite expensive to re-do. This was a typical HO/DIYer no permit job.

~~ CELTIC ~~
...-= NJ =-...

#96854 - 01/01/06 09:28 AM Re: mounting plastic boxes in brick  
earlydean  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 751
Griswold, CT, USA
I think the post asked about using a plastic box on the outside of a house where the brickie would come by later and install a veneer of brickwork. He wanted to know if the brickie would install the box correctly. (i.e. flush, securely, etc.)
I have done this, but I always use steel boxes hanging on the tails of NM poking out at the approximate locations of the devices and fixtures. The mason will install the box in the closest course of brick or block.
The wet location is outside of the masonry, the NM entering the back of the box is dry, nor is the NM imbedded in the mortar. Wet location fixtures and WP covers on devices are required for the finish to keep the wires inside the box dry.

I suppose plastic boxes are OK, but I don't know if they are listed for imbedment in mortar and brick.


#96855 - 01/01/06 11:36 AM Re: mounting plastic boxes in brick  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
I note that the "uses not permitted" refers to concrete and similar materials, and not masonry in general. In Article 100, in defining a "location,wet," separate mention is made of masonry and concrete.

Earlydean has a point; location is everything. I was imagining something suach as a retaining wall or fence. In those uses, I would consider the brickwork to be either 'in direct contact with earth' or 'subject to saturation.'
Brick is not waterproof; it actually acts as a pretty good sponge. A close look at the way a brick facing is installed will reveal all sorts of weep holes, flashing, and some sort of vapor barrier (housewrap or tar paper). In spite of these efforts, moisture behind the wall often becomes a problem.
Yet, I do agree a brick facing would be a "damp" location.

#96856 - 01/01/06 08:57 PM Re: mounting plastic boxes in brick  
BigJohn  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 391
Boston, MA
The way we do boxes in brick walls is to either leave the box on a whip and let the mason install it, which I'm not too fond off.

Or more often than not, I end up going back after the fact with a masonry-wheel in an angle-grinder and cutting and chisling out a hole. Then I take take what I think is just a standard octagon box, 3.5 or 4 inches or whatever, and that's usually darn close to the size of a single course of brick and morter. Beat that thing in with a 3-pound sledge and it will never ever come back out.

As an aside, I wouldn't argue that brick can be a wet location, but I think it's awfully funny that it's perfectly code compliant to use a non-weatherproof box and a non-gasketed light fixture that goes on that box, and then worry about the fact that Romex coming into the back of the box might be in contact with morter. Maybe the whole system needs an overhaul. [Linked Image]


#96857 - 01/01/06 10:08 PM Re: mounting plastic boxes in brick  
kyelectric  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 64
My questions that started this discussion stem from a job that I'm going to be working on where the brick is on the inside wall and outside of the house on a new "sunroom addition" but I also have to put the required receptacle on the outside of the house and a light by the exit door. After I posted my question, I went to a local subdivision where there are new houses being built. I noted that all of the boxes on the outside are blue plastic Carlon boxes that the nails have been removed from and they are hanging on about 10" of slack cable. I did not note whether the cable was UF or NM. I am going to call the building inspector Tuesday and get the matter cleared up. I have already bought the romex to pull the new circuit through the attic and into the new sunroom addition. I guess if I have to use UF for the outside recepts, I will splice the romex to the UF in one of the boxes before it goes to the outside receptacle. Thanks for the replies!!!

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