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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default NM-B wire attached to steel beam?

    I'm finishing my basement one room at a time. The first room is on the opposite end of the house as the panel. It would make things much easier for me if I could run the electrical home runs inside of my steel beam for the length of my house down to the panel. Is there a code-friendly and economical way to do this? Can I just use pvc conduit?

    Also, the beam ends about 16' before you get to the panel. Assuming I could use pvc conduit, would I then have to run the cable through holes in the joists, or would I be OK to hang the conduit from the joists?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: NM-B wire attached to steel beam?

    Quote Originally Posted by natcarroll View Post
    I'm finishing my basement one room at a time. The first room is on the opposite end of the house as the panel. It would make things much easier for me if I could run the electrical home runs inside of my steel beam for the length of my house down to the panel. Is there a code-friendly and economical way to do this? Can I just use pvc conduit?

    Also, the beam ends about 16' before you get to the panel. Assuming I could use pvc conduit, would I then have to run the cable through holes in the joists, or would I be OK to hang the conduit from the joists?

    Thanks in advance!
    Yes, run 3/4" PVC conduit with four pairs of #12 THHN stranded wire and one #12 green ground wire. Just mount a 4" square junction box at the other end, where it will remain accessible, with a blank cover.

    This will provide four 20A 120V circuits without overfilling the conduit or overheating the wire. I do it all the time.

    You can run it in the steel or across floor joists.

    Be careful in the main panel, if using a steel fish tape.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: NM-B wire attached to steel beam?

    If you plan to ever finish the area, you want to drill the joists and run cable through them. Conduit attached to the joist bottom may be fine in a utility area with no ceiling, but even there its bad practice to leave it that much in the way of later construction.

    If you get a right angle drill attachment and a short spade bit you can drill the joists quickly. Mark the line across the joists ahead of time and drill each joist at about the midpoint. That will make it much easier to pull the wires through the series of holes.

    Bruce

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,321

    Default Re: NM-B wire attached to steel beam?

    Whatever you do, always consider future possibilities and allow for them. One friend wanted to install a sheetrock ceiling in the basement of the home he had custom-built about ten years prior. I pointed out all the wiring and plumbing and HVAC lines that had been run under the joists with the presumption that it would remain unfinished. When I gave him the estimated cost just to get all that out of the way he nearly fell over.

    Nothing had been done wrong or improperly save that he hadn't told the builder that he would one day want to finish the basement, so the builder used standard practices to shorten runs and save materials and labor. Nobody planned for the future and it's possibilities when it would have been easy to allow for so when tomorrow came it cost too much to do. The basement remains unfinished and that is a shame.

    Phil

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