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#94010 - 06/30/05 05:49 PM NM Cable Limitations  
George Little  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
Why does the '05 NEC limit the use of NM cable to Residential and buildings of Types III, IV and V construction?


George Little

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides

#94011 - 06/30/05 07:56 PM Re: NM Cable Limitations  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
The code greatly expands the allowed uses of NM, and you're complaining?

One of the objections to the acceptance of NM has been its' contribution to the "fire load." So limiting the use to small or fire resistant buildings seems consistant.

I have always seen NM associated in use with wood balloon-frams (stud type) buildings. Oddly enough, the prior limitation on the use of NM was three stories....the highest you can go with that sort of framing. It seems everyone just understood NM wasn't for use with block, steel frame, masonry, tilt-up concrete, or whatever other methods were out there.
In like manner, balloon framing was associated with residential construction- not commercial. Of course, today we see that line crossed- a lot.

Personally, I think NM is limited more by the fact that there are limited wires in the stuff. This in turn limits your flexibility- anything more elaborate than 20 amp light/receptacle circuits are best run using other methods (the odd stove/ water heater circuit notwithstanding).


#94012 - 06/30/05 08:48 PM Re: NM Cable Limitations  
Ryan_J  Offline
Moderator
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
West Jordan, Utah, USA
Why? Because that is where the cable Gods and the raceway Gods met in the middle.

Take a look at the ROP/ROC for the 2002 if you think I am joking. It was just a tradeoff for the 3 stories rule. [Linked Image]


Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

#94013 - 06/30/05 10:13 PM Re: NM Cable Limitations  
resqcapt19  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
IL
Ryan,
You can't stop with just looking at the ROP/ROC for this one. The 3 story rule was upheld in the ROP, the ROC, the floor of the May meeting, but eliminated by the Standards Council.
Don

[This message has been edited by resqcapt19 (edited 06-30-2005).]


Don(resqcapt19)

#94014 - 07/01/05 07:59 AM Re: NM Cable Limitations  
George Little  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
I suspect Ryan has it correct about the metal versus non-metallic battle. However they allow smurf tubing in Types I, II and III construction, given the consitions of 15 minute finish rating etc.

The State of Michigan has for at least 20 years amended the NEC and allowed NM cable above 3 floors in all types of construction. So the limitations of the '02 and especially the '05 are a step backwards as far as Michigan is concerned. Michigan's record is spotless and the use of NM cable does not cause fires when installed properly. I will concede the fire load issue but if we are in a Type I, II or II construction the chances of fire are lessened. One could argue that NM cable would be less of a fire load risk in I, II and II construction.


George Little

#94015 - 07/02/05 07:41 AM Re: NM Cable Limitations  
cpal  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 162
Cohasset MA
Does anyone recall if NM was used in the MGM fire in Vegas??



[This message has been edited by cpal (edited 07-02-2005).]


#94016 - 07/02/05 10:11 AM Re: NM Cable Limitations  
Tiger  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
Crystal Lake, IL USA
The use of NM wasn't mentioned in the NFPA report of the fire. A waitress reported blue sparks coming from a keno board.

Dave


#94017 - 07/02/05 10:45 AM Re: NM Cable Limitations  
resqcapt19  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
IL
The MGM fire originated at a FMC connection to a display cooler in the Deli area.
From the The MGM Grand Hotel Fire Investigation Report
Quote
The metal raceway (tubing) acted as the “grounding” conductor in the side stand. Through examination of the raceway in and over the side stand, it was determined that a ground fault condition did exist prior to the fire. The O/Rs observed several loose connections between the junction box connectors and the flexible aluminum raceway.
Portions of the raceway were unwound and unconnected. Arcing was observed where the raceway and E.M.T. chase came in contact with each other and where the raceway came in contact with each other and where the raceway came in contact with the metal studs. ... Improper installation and exposure to the warm atmosphere surrounding the raceway caused the insulation surrounding the copper conductors to loosen and deteriorate, exposing the bare copper conductors. Short circuiting occurred in the exposed copper conductors because only two conductors existed (no ground). Installation of the raceway to the junction boxes was faulty, and the ground could not function the way it was intended. The delayed action caused the electrical current to attempt to seek a ground; when it could not find a ground, it caused the copper conductor to become warm and eventually hot. This in turn caused the raceway to overheat to the point of glowing metal. This caused additional heat build up in the area approximately 45 in. from floor level in the soffit area. The lack of proper ground equipment for the conductors to provide a low impedance rate to carry the fault current to trip the breaker allowed a longer period of time for arcing to occur. This arcing produced that amount of heat needed for ignition temperature. Electrical fires can occur even when properly operating circuit protection is installed. As an example, loose connections at termination points can cause this effect.

(For the purposes of this report, the term O/R or O/Rs designates the officer or officers reporting, terminology which is in fact applied to Clark County Fire Department Fire Investigators in all written communications.)



[This message has been edited by resqcapt19 (edited 07-02-2005).]


Don(resqcapt19)

#94018 - 07/02/05 01:09 PM Re: NM Cable Limitations  
Ryan_J  Offline
Moderator
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
West Jordan, Utah, USA
Don thanks for that link.


Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

#94019 - 07/02/05 06:05 PM Re: NM Cable Limitations  
richard  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 94
L.I. New York
so if that compressor had been fed with rx, chances are there would not have been a fire there?


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