I have an older 2 story home in Massachusetts and the main chimney is used only for exhausting the furnace. I want to run conduit from the basement to the attic to get eletric, cable, and phone lines to various rooms on the second floor. Can I run conduit up through the chimney chase if I stay as far away from the chimney as possible? Even if I commit to never using that chimney for anything else? Can someone explain the details of why you should keep wires from the chimney chase? Specifically, does the purpose of the chimney matter? Does distance from chimney matter? Does PVC vs metal conduit matter?
The chimney is brick - it is unlined and used only for the furnace and hot water heater flues. The chase is really just the framing but probably 4 inches or so from the brick on three sides and about 8-10 inches on the back side. I was "thinking" about putting the conduit up the back side as far from the chimney as possible. The main sanitary line for the second floor and the water lines for the second floor are already in that space but I wanted to bring the conduit from the basement up through the second floor into the attic. I checked the national code book and I couldn't find anything about NOT putting the conduit up through the chase but it did say to make sure the wires and conduit are rated for temp, the temp isn't too high, and you are careful to seal off the space around the conduit so that you prevent open access from basement to attic for fire spreading reasons.
I just got another email from someone reading this posting and they were pretty critical about not doing this. I'm just looking to make a good, sound, safe decision.
THANKS for your help!
#79177 - 12/01/0101:20 PMRe: Electric in chimney chase?
Buy a maximum temperature thermometer, available from stores selling weather measuring equipment http://premiergreenhouses.safeshopper.com/12/56.htm?341 , and place it in the top of the shaft for one week. Let me know what the highest temperature recorded was. I will try to figure out from that what the conducter size and type will need to be for your installation. One critical issue is the type of conduit you use. Electro metallic tubing would be a good choice. You have to be able to install the conduit in such a way that you can keep it's entire length away from the chimney surface itself. If you can not provide support every ten feet of tubing then you can not use conduit. One possibility is to run the tubing on the outside of the chase on the exterior of the building. In that application you could be sure that the ampacity for three current carrying conductors in conduit in free air would apply. -- Tom
"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous for general use" Thomas Alva Edison
#79178 - 12/08/0112:17 AMRe: Electric in chimney chase?