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  1. #1

    Default the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    hello all,
    first time poster here. seems like a nice site to get opinions.
    well, i am a local 3 IBEW electrician in nyc for 35 years and wanted to get a specific view on the use or prohibited uses of NM cable, BX cable (AC) and emt as legal wiring methods or "preferred" wiring methods in residencies in the chicago and surrounding areas.

    specifically, is it legal to install romex or bx in new or existing homes?

    there seems to be some bad info going around here about this subject and i wanted to get the info right from the horses mouth.

    obviously, this question would be for any chicago bases journeymen.

    thank u
    JB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
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    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    Johnny,

    Simple answer conduit only.

    Limited amount of FMC, no lightweight FMC (Aluminum) no NM what so ever.

    Why it is not here for now I do not know;

    http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/municipalcodeofchicago?f=templates$fn=de

    Possibly updating the code, last update was 01 or 02.

    Read this;

    http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/w...ionID=@@@@1111

    Orland Park Il's;

    http://il-orlandpark.civicplus.com/D...w.asp?DID=1078

    As you can see Orland uses the NEC with their amendments.

    Hope this clears things up a little.

    This topic was discussed here previously;

    http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=42941

    Tj
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

  3. #3

    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    thank you for your quick answer.
    what might have led to a local law to prohibit the use of armored cable and non-metallic cable in residences? is this a political/creating-work/democratic thing? lol.
    i cannot for the life of me think of one solid reason as an electrician except for the replacement of burned out wiring why conduit would be the choice.

    can u explain how any qualified electrician would be able to do any alteration in an existing dwelling without "nuking" the walls and floors? i do not believe that in most cases, 6 feet of FMC would be ample enough to do any alterations.
    i appreciate your thoughts!
    JB

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    North/Central FL
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    784

    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    If I'm not mistaken it was enacted after fires burned down half the city. I don't live in the area, maybe one of the locals could lend some expertise.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Northwest Indiana
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    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    Johnny,

    Not sure of the why. 134 is pretty strong in Chicago, I am a former member.
    I have heard the primary reason is safety, it does offer greater physical protection.

    I will not argue which is better but conduit is and will always be my preference.

    A few reasons why I prefer it;

    Customer calls to have fan installed in bedroom to replace existing light, wants fan/light control to replace existing switch. Easy to add the extra wire, metal box, depending type and how it is installed it may be possible to mount the fan to it. I now install only fan rated boxes in bedrooms no matter what fixture is being installed. I do know technology and SSR's has made this a mute argument but that is pretty recent.

    Replacing existing wiring and bringing certian remodel projects up to code is easier also. In my own home I remodeled the second floor bath, to bring the 2-12 ga (outlet) and additional 4-14 ga (floor heat and towel warmers, whirlpool tub) conductors to the room was just a matter of pulling them through the existing conduit. I know there may not always be enough room in the conduit, but there may be another path that gets you close and then just complete the conduit as needed.

    The 2008 NEC address shared neutrals, (XX/3 NM) I pull circuits 1 for 1.

    I can run multiple circuits through one conduit, up to and including 12-14ga. THHN in 1/2" EMT. So up to 6 circuits.

    A kitchen needs multiple circuits, one home run to a 1900 deep box, distribute from there. No up and down back and forth to the panel.

    1900 box with single or dual ring covers 90% of boxes needed.

    Match colors for 3 or 4 way travelers, no tape on the white to i.d. it. Funny how the code had to include an exception just for this.

    Various colors to identify circuits, 2 colors for neutrals also. (Shades of colors expand both possibilities.)

    Cost, for 5 100' circuits, wire (14 ga THHN and conduit (1/2") runs me 108.80. 400 feet of 14/3 NM is 113.60 100 feet of 14/2 is 15.60 = 129.20

    Costs came from here, used it for comparison purposes only;

    http://wesbellwireandcable.com/products.html

    Conduit offers greater protection against physical damage. How many basements have NM running down the walls IN EMT. If I recall correctly protection from physical damage is specifically addressed in the NM section of the code.

    No ground wire to hook up.

    I just did a bath where NM was allowed so I tried it, I am more than certian for the time it toke to snake the 4 runs of NM from the panel to the room I could have piped and pulled the whole thing in 1/2 the time. Tying the grounds together packing them in the box and connecting them to the devices is a royal pain. Granted I do not have a lot of experience with NM.

    As for the alterations. Lets work on a ranch home, unfinished basement, we need to install a ceiling fan in a bedroom that has no ceiling box, switched outlet for lamp.

    Step 1- drink coffee while driving, arrive at job. Do not forget to pick up the permit on the way.

    Step 2- drill 1/16" hole on a diagonal through wall/ceiling intersection into attic space, references wall box location in attic.

    Step 3- turn off power and remove switch, remove knock out.

    Step-4 enter attic, locate drill bit used for reference, drill 7/8" hole through top plates, install connector on EMT, cut to clear roof, insert, exit attic, install lock ring.

    Step 5- reenter attic, install fan box, bend and connect conduit as needed, done in attic, check you did not forget anything, exit for good.

    Step 6- insert 3 wires in conduit, remove switched receptacle, tie on neutral wire to switched conductor, pull neutral to switch box, make necessary/proper connections in outlet box, replace receptacle, install receptacle and cover.

    Step 7- make proper connections to fan/light control, connect neutrals, install fan, turn on power and test.

    Step 8- Fill 1/16" hole with DryDex.

    For you NM guys do not forget to remove the i.d. tape from the neutral.

    Did not "nuke" any walls. Most of the time when the system is being upgraded it is part of a larger project. So wall, ceiling, floor work is part of the project. A little bit of thought and it can go well.

    It has been taken down from Chicago web site, but with the last change there was an increase in the allowed use of FMC.

    As I stated in the linked post I have a friend who builds new homes, all conduit because it is less expensive.

    Hope this address some of your concerns.

    Tj
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

  6. #6

    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    thanks again
    i would like to share what is typical of a residential installation here in NYC. (new work).
    first....the former NYC electrical code which was a strict enforcement.
    NEC was implemented in many areas. at one time a couple of years ago, no dwelling over 800 sq feet was allowed the use of NM cable. armored cable, conduit was the norm. i have to admit, after all these years in this industry, i have never seen a new dwelling roughed out in condut...except for exposed areas such as basements, attic's and garages.
    with that said, even in my home, i dont think that i would use conduit. i agree it may be a better job, but in reality....it probably would be knocked down by our building dept. cutting and notching beams, supports, headers etc.....are allowed to be nominally cut. any overages of the guidelines would surely bring violations to the dwelling. no C of O would be attainable unless all the frame work was replaced...NOT REPAIRED!

    getting back to NYC.
    armored cable is much easier to install than romex (NM).
    even though NM is cheaper than BX armored cable....we still prefer BX because its easier to pull through studs....no kinking...or very little.

    typically, 2 men can rough out a 7 room home in 2 days.
    service..typical of 150-200 amp - approx - 4 hrs with the stand pipe....if underground service, even less time.
    i simply cannot fathom conduit faster than armored cable.
    with our stud spacing 16 inches, how many emt couplings are u guys using and how many cuts are u making? would u buy a bundle of emt and cut it into 2 foot sections?
    please help me understand.
    thank you
    JB

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
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    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    Johnny,

    7 rooms 3-beds 1-kitchen 1-family room 2- baths?

    2 days complete is about right. Normally 1 person though.

    Typical stud spacing here is also 16" o.c. 1 1/4" (7/8" bit, center at 1 5/8") from the edge and the EMT has enough flex to be installed. If you get a chance try it. There have been times where I have drilled end studs at perpendicular was and slide the stick straight in. Lights/boxes between 2 floors (in joist space) is not bad either. If you can get there before the cladding you can drill and slide in from the outside.

    Vertical is no different than what you encounter with BX or NM.

    The true advantage comes from the number of runs back to the panel (do you call them home runs?). Once the system is tied together/connected circuit distribution is easy.

    Unless needed no 2' sections.

    We are not allowed to damage the framing either.

    Bends become second nature. Every box you place and every hole you drill is second nature and allows for you to make most of the bends without measuring or trimming the ends of the conduit. I.E. if you place a 1900 box center at 13" above the rough floor and drill all the holes at 22" above the rough floor a bend with the shoe even with the end of the conduit will fit, slight back kick so it is vertical and your good to go.

    My primary is as a remodeler, for an average 1400 square foot basement I figure a 10 hour rough and pull.

    More just what you are used to.

    Tj
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

  8. #8

    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    very interesting indeed! i just might try it!
    well, i def' know more now than yesterday.
    its great to be able to communicate with you guys.

    our branch circuits from the panels are called or referred to as "Home Runs" yes.
    i thought that was universal electrical language! lol.
    well, all i can say is is that its great that amendments are made for the saftey of people and just not for the dollar.
    i suspect that the fire issue precipitated your code in regard to the use of conduit. smart move.
    thanks for straightening this out for me.
    if u guys are ever curious about NYC and its code issues....feel free to contact me.
    JB

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Northwest Indiana
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    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    Not trying to straighten anyone out just passing on information.

    As you read more here (on any part of this forum) you will find not always are items referred with the same nomenclature. I was out east and someone referred to a 1900 box as a 4 square, took me a few seconds to figure it out.

    JLC had an article on this subject, with pictures, maybe someone can link to it.

    Tj
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
    Posts
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    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    Found it, but it appears as if you may have to pay for it.

    http://www.jlconline.com/cgi-bin/jlc.../View/0805runn

    Just notice it says free to members.

    Tj
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    41.88N -88.2W
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    613

    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    I know in Kane and Will counties romex is allowed. I don't know if you consider that part of the surrounding areas of Chicago?

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Northwest Indiana
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    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    Ed,

    I do not know about Kane county, but the statement about Will county is not completely accurate.

    Tinley Park, Orland Park and Frankfort both exclude NM, FMC and other non metallic conduit;

    http://il-orlandpark.civicplus.com/D...w.asp?DID=1078

    Page 17
    http://www.villageoffrankfort.com/do...nance_1877.pdf

    Page 5
    http://www.tinleypark.org/votp.asp?c...ts/content.asp

    All 3 of the above communities have areas in Will county.

    I also know that the northern and western suburbs of Cook county do allow NM, FMC, ect...

    I just got my River Forest license and hopefully can make it to Oak Park, Friday, because I now need their license, so I am constantly checking for this type of information. It is really helpful I can now get the info on line.

    Tj
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Northwest Indiana
    Posts
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    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    Ed,

    Elgin is in Kane county and they also prohibit NM, FMC, ect..;

    See 16.24 100

    http://www.sterlingcodifiers.com/cod...hp?book_id=524

    Tj
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    41.88N -88.2W
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    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    O.K., let me rephrase that. I know in some parts of Will and Kane counties romex is allowed.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Default Re: the use of emt in residencies of chicago.

    Ed,

    My intent was not to be a wise a**.

    Just pointing out that you need to check the municipalities code.

    Tj
    http://chicagocraftsmen.org/2011/06/261.html

    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.

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