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Below is an amendment to my village electrical code.

Can someone please help me understand what #2 below means? Does this mean we can not daisy change can lights using BX? Can we use use junction boxes to tie it all together, or can we only install can lights using BX when we tie into a wall outlet using 6' or less BX?

I am wondering if I need to hard pipe it all.

Article 333, Armored cable (BX), shall be deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following: “Armored cable (BX) is not allowed except for the following installations:

  1. Lengths of not more than 2 feet at terminals where flexibility is necessary and installation is approved by the code official.

  2. Lengths of not more than 6 feet from an outlet for connections within an accessible ceiling to lighting fixtures or equipment.”

  • It says "from an outlet", not "from a wall outlet", but are you trying to use AC for a daisy-chain of lighting outlets (i.e., fixture/junction/pull boxes)? – Upnorth Nov 30 '17 at 0:22
  • Is the use of MC cable similarly restricted by local amendment? – ThreePhaseEel Nov 30 '17 at 0:27
  • There is no mention of MC in any of the amendments. It only says Article 333 is deleted in its entirety. Not sure if that also covers MC. I am considering a remodel on a house that currently has can lights in a basement dropped ceiling. They are daisy changed together using BX and junction boxes. I think all the whips are under 6'. I was trying to verify that I do not have to rip it all out and hard pipe it. – DG01 Nov 30 '17 at 17:12
  • @DG01 -- no, MC is covered by Art. 330 in the 2014 NEC. (Your village amendment is referring to an old version of the Code though -- my 2014 Codebook has no Art. 333 in it, referring to AC in Art. 320 instead.) – ThreePhaseEel Nov 30 '17 at 23:17
  • @ThreePhaseEel they are using 1996 National Electrical Code – DG01 Dec 1 '17 at 22:47
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As the cable flies

Length limits on cables and cords in the NEC are measured in the length of the cable or cord you need to get there by the most direct route. Keep in mind that instead of type AC (nee BX) cable, you can use type MC cable instead. (In particular, I'd do some research into what's generically known as a type MCI-A cable -- these are basically a cross between AC and MC that beats both of its parents on most things.)

Outlet != receptacle

An "outlet" in the NEC is any point where the house wiring stops and other wiring (cordage or utilization equipment whips) begins. Receptacles are simply devices that make outlets convenient to use -- an outlet under the NEC for a hardwired appliance that's not in yet will simply be a junction box with nutted-off wires tucked inside and a cover slapped on.

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Exception 1 is for industrial applications, when machinery is subject to movement, might also apply to an air conditioning unit, water heater etc.

Exception 2 is talking about whips for fluorescent troffers inside drop ceilings. I.E. The hard ceiling has an array of junction boxes, and then there is a drop ceiling with easily removable panels, and some panels are replaced with a panel-sized luminaire (a troffer).

The troffer floats in the drop ceiling, and it is powered by a flexible cable up to the junction box in the hard ceiling. Using cords with plugs is hotly debated and often illegal. That leaves "whips", or metal jacketed flexible cable. They are saying the whips can't be over 6 feet.

If you don't have this setup, this exception does not apply to you.

They are not saying you can use it for inter-lamp interconnects for fixed lamps above a hard ceiling in an attic.

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You cannot daisy chain BX cable from light fixture to light fixture. You need another acceptable wiring method for most of the wiring. If that means hard pipe or MC cable is based on your local ordinance.

Locate a junction box above the accessible ceiling between a couple of lights. You can use up to 6 feet of BX cable from this junction box to the light fixture, keeping the BX cable above the ceiling. One junction box can feed multiple lights. That's why it is located between a couple fixtures. Maybe you can reach 4 lights from one junction box.

Only from junction box to fixture (or equipment). Only above an accessible ceiling. Only in lengths up to 6 feet of BX cable.

  • Can they run the BX to the junction boxes to power them? I am still not understanding. Currently there is no hard pipe to the junction boxes that the BX comes out of. Power goes in and out via BX. – DG01 Dec 1 '17 at 22:51
  • BX cable can't go from junction box to junction box. It also can't go from panel to junction box. So some other approved method is needed to reach the junction box. – Swanson Dec 6 '17 at 13:40

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