Lighting in basement

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MarkM
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Lighting in basement

Post by MarkM » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:54 am

I am trying to add lighting in my unfinished basement. Nothing fancy, just the good ol cheap white porcelain lights that have a pull chain (but I will use a switch to control current).

My question is, how do I bring my Romex cable along I-Beams like I have in the picture? Do I have to run it inside conduit? And if so, does anyone have a good suggestion to secure the conduit to the I-Beam? I do not want to try to drill into it if I don't absolutely have to.

Any advice you guys have would be great!

Thanks!
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emtnut
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Re: Lighting in basement

Post by emtnut » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:55 pm

MarkM wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:54 am
I am trying to add lighting in my unfinished basement. Nothing fancy, just the good ol cheap white porcelain lights that have a pull chain (but I will use a switch to control current).

My question is, how do I bring my Romex cable along I-Beams like I have in the picture? Do I have to run it inside conduit? And if so, does anyone have a good suggestion to secure the conduit to the I-Beam? I do not want to try to drill into it if I don't absolutely have to.

Any advice you guys have would be great!

Thanks!
Unless you can attach the romex to the underside of the floor, then EMT conduit or MC (AC90) would be the way to go.
Check out Caddy fasteners. They have clips to secure both EMT and AC90, as well as any device boxes you need.
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Shannon
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Re: Lighting in basement

Post by Shannon » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:20 am

I think Emtnut actually means to attach the wire along the floor joists not the actual underside of the floor. If you attach to underside of the floor and in the future nail or screw down new subfloor or something and use to long of fasteners you could short circuit the wiring.
It looks to me that that is a mobile home with a metal under belly so I think you are going to have to run EMT or MC like suggested.
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emtnut
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Re: Lighting in basement

Post by emtnut » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:49 am

Thanks Shannon, my wording wasn't very good on that one ! :mrgreen:
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Aaron
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Re: Lighting in basement

Post by Aaron » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:20 pm

Looks like you've got all steel beams in there. So yeah, EMT with beam clamps is probably your solution. The clamps look like this and attach to the lip of the beam:
beam_clamps_straps_clamps_clamp_backs_rmc_imc_large.jpg
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As you can see there's a threaded hole in the base of the clamp where you attach a conduit hanger.

EMT is fun but not easy to work with for the average DIY'er, it's used much more in commercial than residential buildings.

You could also drill and tap threaded holes in your steel beam to screw clamps to hold Type MC cable, too, that might be easier. Though stripping MC cable is not advised unless you have the cutter tool purposely designed for it.

MarkM
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Re: Lighting in basement

Post by MarkM » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:48 pm

I have been seeing that you cannot run Romex through emt.

Any truth to this? Ideally I would just use 14-2 with ground...

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emtnut
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Re: Lighting in basement

Post by emtnut » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:57 pm

MarkM wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:48 pm
I have been seeing that you cannot run Romex through emt.

Any truth to this? Ideally I would just use 14-2 with ground...
With some exceptions, you can't run romex in conduit.

I really think that you should just use 14/2 armoured cable with the caddy clips ...

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Aaron
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Re: Lighting in basement

Post by Aaron » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:01 pm

You can sleeve non-metallic (NM; Romex) cable in EMT for very short runs. For example from a ceiling joist space down to a surface-mounted receptacle, like five or six feet or less. I haven't found any code that specifies any constraints for that, though--I've only seen it in practice.

The philosophy of not being allowed to run NM within EMT is purely technical. If you sleeve it in EMT, you are effectively derating the cable engineering and derating it--it's all heat dissipation. It doesn't really matter for short runs, though. Can you strip the jacket of NM and run those conductors in EMT? Technically no, as well... because those conductors are not marked as THHN/THWN, which are the only conductors that can be run within EMT. But I have done it anyway because I'm convinced it's perfectly safe. Just make sure you run a green insulated THHN wire, though, for ground. No bare conductors are allowed inside EMT.

Now, in residential construction, you ARE allowed to have exposed NM in joist cavities. The idea being they are out of the way and very unlikely to get physically damaged. I'm thinking there is a chance you could run NM in that steel-beam space if you can just find a way to secure at the required 4-foot intervals. You could drill a hole in the beam lip, for example, debur it, and slip a nylon zip tie through it to secure the NM cable above it.

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