Can I Run Romex In Conduit? What You Need To Do
Romex is a brand name for a non-metallic sheathed electrical conductor common in residential branch wiring. Non-metallic cables are the most common type of circuit wiring.
They work best in dry, well-protected areas not subjected to mechanical damage or extreme heat. The sizes of the wires traveling inside the NM cable must match the amperage of each circuit.
Conduit wiring is an electric system that encases cables in metal or plastic tubes. But below is the question many have been asking.
Can I Run Romex in Conduit?
Yes, you can Romex in conduit. The National Electrical Code (NEC) recommends using non-metallic wires in tubes to prevent physical harm.
A Romex cable contains three wires. These include two insulated wires (positive and negative) and a bare copper wire. Damage to the cable will expose the copper wire, creating further problems.
So, it’s ideal to use a weather-resistant conduit when stripping and running Romex wires, especially if you’re working outside or near power lines.
About Romex Cables
Romex is a brand name for a non-metallic sheathed electrical conductor used in residential branch wiring. It is considered standard in-home wiring. Romex cables belong to cables classified by the National Electric Code as non-metallic sheathed cables or underground feeders.
This class of cables has a non-conducting, flame-resistant, and moisture-resistant coating. Therefore, they are suitable in moist locations, such as basements.
Paper binds the wires on the inside, while the outer sheathing comprises woven rayon, which is an upgrade to the typical plastic sheathing. The inner paper winding prevents the wires from sticking together after heating up. It also allows the wires to be flexible during installation.
The sheathing comes in three colors that signify the different gauges: 14, 12, and 10. The white sheathing represents a 14-gauge wire and is common in 15-amp circuits. These circuits power appliances like fans, lighting, laptop, and mobile phones.
The yellow sheathing houses a 12-gauge wire is standard in 20-amp circuits. These circuits can carry up to 2,500 Watts, making them ideal for larger machines like air compressors and automobile charging. These circuits are standard in commercial and industrial electrical distribution lines.
The orange sheathing represents the 10-gauge wires typically used in 30-amp circuits. These circuits handle up to 7,200 Watts and can power space heaters, deep freezers, microwaves, and other power-intensive appliances.
Romex cables must conform to specific regulations during usage. What are these regulations? Continue reading to find out.
National Electric Code (NEC) Regulations For Romex Cables
The National Electrical Code (NEC) sets criteria for safe electrical design, installation, and inspection to protect people and property from electrical risks.
The following NEC regulations apply to Romex conductors:
- Fittings, junction boxes, and device boxes must remain shielded, secured, and clamped to the cables.
- Do not use support devices that could harm the cables, such as bent nails or overdriven staples.
- The NM and NMC cables shouldn’t be longer than 4.5 feet and should fit within 12 inches of the connecting junction boxes. Cables that do not follow these criteria are prone to sagging and damage.
- They’re suitable for permanent wires in homes, not replacing extension cords or appliance wires.
Romex offers some advantages and disadvantages. We’ll consider them in the next section. Continue reading to find out.
Advantages of Romex
Here are some of the benefits of Romex cables.
- Romex® wire comes in bundles, allowing you to run numerous cables simultaneously.
- Romex wires are available in various sizes ranging from 14 to 2 AWG.
- Romex is suitable for use at home and small office use.
- Romex comes in color codes, so you can tell the size by looking at it.
Disadvantages of Romex Wires
Romex is not without flaws. The following are some of the potential drawbacks of Romex® wire:
- Romex is not suitable for outdoor use. Romex® isn’t the most long-lasting wire available. It can quickly deteriorate due to its lack of protection after prolonged exposure to the weather.
- Romex has sensitive entry and exit points. If you’re not careful, the wires at entry and exit points can easily damage. These points must have the appropriate connections or brushings installed.
- Romex requires a specific conduit. You must select the correct conduit size. Using too tiny conduits for the cable’s diameter may damage the sheathing.
Romex And Other Cables
You may be having problems deciding between Romex® and other popular cable types. You can make a better decision if you understand the differences.
Underground feeder (UF):
Romex wires and underground feeder (UF-B) cables have a lot. On the other hand, UF cables have a more robust outer sheath, making them suitable for underground and outdoor use.
Unlike Romex®, THHN is a generic wire type rather than a trademarked term. Contractors use THHN wire to power lights and outlets in structures. It’s highly versatile and helpful for a wide range of internal and external applications.
Type MC cables:
THHN wires and a green THHN wire serve as the ground wire in Type MC cables. Because moisture cannot access bare copper, the ground wire allows you to use this cable in conduit or outdoors. MC stands for “metal-clad,” which refers to the aluminum coating on the cable that makes it simpler to push through the conduit.
Types Of Electrical Wiring
The type of electrical wiring used could influence the cost of a project. As a result, knowing which electrical wiring systems to use for specific work is essential.
We discuss the different types of electrical wiring below.
Cleat wiring is the most cost-effective and straightforward type of electrical installation. However, it’s common in temporary electrical wiring systems and offers few long-term advantages.
This wiring system uses cleats to keep insulated wires and lay them out in the electrical grid. Cleats are usually wooden or porcelain materials that come in two screwable sections.
A slit in the bottom cleat accommodates wiring. Cleats contain one to three grooves, each with a half-inch gap between tracks to separate wires and enable screw insertion on larger cleats.
With cleat wiring, the insulated wires are visible. Technicians can quickly examine for defects and irregularities without stress. Because of the system’s simple access and inspections, you can do repairs without removing a considerable portion of the cleat network.
Casing and capping wiring:
This wiring involves inserting PVC-insulated wires into plastic casings and covering them with a cap. The casing and capping system is helpful for household wiring, wire distribution, other wiring system protection, offices, and low-voltage equipment.
Casings are rectangle strips with grey or white channels and caps. A “case and cap” measures 39.4 inches in length, 1.5 inches in breadth, and 0.8 inches in thickness. The system has a 20-year lifespan and is suitable for homes and businesses.
This wiring system is significantly less expensive than encased and conduit wiring systems, and it has a lower danger of electric shock. However, it is not the best option for external use because the wiring system will degrade faster.
A batten wiring system keeps things in place by stringing wires over a square-shaped, flat strip. A batten is a piece of wood used to hold an object against a wall. The strip is mainly wooden, although metallic buttons can appear occasionally.
The setup is straightforward, takes minimal time, and is usually low-cost. After boring two separate holes in the wall, fit the plugs at an acceptable distance of 12-24 inches. The wooden or steel battens fasten to the wall.
The cables are secured to the strip using brass link clips or pins. The wires should be around 4-6 inches apart.
Conduit wiring is a method of enclosing cables in metal or plastic tubes. The conductors come insulated to the appropriate voltage, but there is no mechanical protection. Because the cables fit securely in a tube, the circuit may be adjustable and include new points.
There are two conduits wiring types, surface and concealed conduit wiring. Surface conduit wiring refers to conduit pipes running on walls and ceilings’ surfaces. Concealed conduit wiring, on the other hand, refers to pipes that run inside the surface of the walls and ceilings.
Surface conduit wire applies to industries for connecting powerful motors. On the other hand, concealed wiring is the most common method of wiring residential buildings. This option is the safest and most appealing option.
This system insulates the electrical conductor with vulcanized Indian rubber before wrapping it in a Lead-Aluminum alloy sheath. Like the Batten Wiring, this wiring is run on wooden battens and attached with tinned clips.
It can work in damp environments if the cable ends cables have protection against moisture. However, it’s unsuitable for areas prone to chemical corrosion.
Romex is a brand name for a non-metallic sheathed electrical conductor common in residential branch wiring. Non-metallic cables are the most common type of circuit wiring. They work best in dry, well-protected areas not subjected to mechanical damage or extreme heat.
The Romex cable consists of three conductors, two insulated wires, and a bare copper wire. Any damage to the cable will expose the copper wire. The National Electrical Code (NEC) recommends using non-metallic cables in conduits to avoid physical injury.