Do exposed wires require conduit?

tomkellMarch 15, 2010

I would like to install a light switch in a utility area (i.e. exposed studs). Can I simply run an electrical wire to a switch box or is a conduit required since the insulated wire is exposed. (I was told the code requires conduit where the wires run down the surface of the concrete block wall.)

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Ron Natalie

As far as the NEC is concerned, NM cable is allowed to follow the building surface exposed as long as there's no chance of physical damage.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 10:06PM
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Your local government can pass codes that are stricter than national standards though.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 8:31AM
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Surface? That's news to me. You can follow along the top of rafters, the sides of studs, the bottoms of floor joists. But along a block wall you need conduit.

Easy way to find out - ask your inspector.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 8:44PM
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"But along a block wall you need conduit."

Must be a local requirement.

The most the NEC would require is a piece of 1x beside the cable.

Or you could pull NM into the core of the blocks.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 9:23PM
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