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Please note: Since creating this question, several community members have explained to me that since I'm running 12/2 and 10/3 I will have a grounding wire and so the electrification concern I mentioned below in the question is null and void. However I really don't like the look of metal (remember these outlets will be fully exposed and tapconned to basement walls) and would prefer the look of PVC, but that is only aesthetic. If it is near impossible to find a PVC solution and super easy to find a metal-based solution, I will totally accept the metal solution and would consider just painting the metal a color of my choosing.

Background context and project specs

I am planning out the installation of 3 new outlets in my basement. I have a buddy that will actually install the breakers and do the wiring in the electrical panel (he is a licensed electrician) but I want to take on:

  1. Installing the junction boxes
  2. Running the (Romex) cable from the area where my service panel is (remember: I'm not doing the live electrical hookup) to the junction boxes, including running the cable through protective sleeves (I'll explain in a minute)
  3. Connecting the cable to the outlets
  4. Fastening the outlets into the junction boxes and attaching faceplate/covers to them

So I would do all the "outlet-end" work and my buddy will do all the "panel-end" work (the actual hookup). And yes, he will absolutely verify I did everything correctly before he turns anything on. The point of this exercise is to get me more familiar with doing light electrical work around the house, while doing it safely and in a controlled manner.

So, these outlets will be several feet off the ground and the junction boxes must attach to the concrete block foundation of my basement walls. The junctions must contain a knockout on the top of them so I can run the Romex cable into them from the top (this is more aesthetic for me than anything else). I want the Romex cable encased in a conduit to act as a protective sleeve (and nothing more) and I want that conduit to run from the top of the outlet all the way up to the "ceiling" of my basement which contains open-faced floor joists (that hold up the 1st story of my house). At that point, the conduit/protective sleeve would end, and the Romex cable will run along the bottom of my floor joists and attached/secured to them by staples. I obviously need to leave several feet coiled up once I get to the service panel, to give my buddy plenty of wiggle room to make his connections.

Further, I am really not a huge fan of metal junction boxes and metal conduit. I'm not a fan of how they look and whether its uneducated or not, they just sort of freak me out and make me worry about whether they could ever become electrified in the event of a fault. If you tell me metal is the only way I can go here, I would of course use them, but I would appreciate an explanation of why so that I can understand. Otherwise, I'm looking to go with PVC junction boxes, PVC outlet covers and PVC conduit/protective sleeves.

So here are my 3 outlets. We have a NEMA 14-30 240V 30A outlet that will be getting a (240v) GFCI breaker at the panel. Then we have two (2) 3-pronged duplex outlets (20A 125VAC). One of them is a GFCI outlet and one of them has a pair of USB chargers in it. I will be running 12/2 Romex NM-B to both duplexes and 10/3 Romex NM-B to the NEMA. The Romex must fit inside the 1/2" conduit protective sleeves (please speak up if thats not possible!!!) It is important to note that all 3 outlets will be at different locations in the basement and will not be sharing cables, conduit or junction boxes. They are all fully independent. Without further ado:

enter image description here

What I've done so far

I am trying to purchase junction boxes, outlet covers, conduit and conduit-to-junction connectors for each of these 3 outlets and I'm having a tough time finding products that will get the job done given all my constraints. I have found two products off of a bigbox retailer website:

enter image description here

The junction box I found seems to meet all my needs:

  • made out of PVC
  • looks like I can attach it to my basement walls with tapcon screws
  • looks like it will fit all 3 outlets (though the wider NEMA 14-30 might be a tight fit...)
  • has knockouts on the top for the protective sleeve conduit
    • I have a long section of 1/2" PVC conduit and it appears I can run the Romex through it and connect the conduit to the box with some type of connector
  • looks like it has screw holes that would be compatible with all 3 outlets (for fastening them to the junction box)

The cover I found for the 2 duplexes also seems to check all the boxes as well:

  • made out of PVC
  • seems to fit the junction box above
  • seems compatible with both duplex outlets

The only straggler that I wasn't able to find a product for is the faceplate/cover for the NEMA 14-30 junction box/outlet, and I would appreciate any suggestions.

My actual question

Will the products I've listed above work for my needs (given all the constraints/specs), and if not, why and what products would work instead?

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  • 7
    I'm wondering why you've chosen a weatherproof cover for outlets in your basement. Does it often rain down there ... ?
    – brhans
    Jan 12, 2022 at 14:52
  • 2
    The whole point of the ground wire is that the metal box is grounded, so in the case of a fault current returns to the breaker and it trips. Plus, it stands up to arc faults much better. Even less current in the case of the GFCI protected ones. All of these are easy to find parts for in 4x4 steel boxes. PVC is going to be a harder shopping trip, for sure, especially the covers. In Re: below, it can be painted or covered, of course.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 12, 2022 at 15:03
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    Metal is absolutely not the only option. But (a) Harper recommends metal and (b) my personal electrician (I do the easy stuff, he does the hard stuff) recommends metal, so no real question for me. You can use metal boxes and plastic faceplates together with wiremold or wood strips for vertical protection and then you really won't see much of the metal. Jan 12, 2022 at 15:05
  • 2
    Pulling NM-B cable through conduit is strongly not recommended. Granted, you're planning on a single straight run, so it won't be really bad, but pulling cable through conduit is a pain. Instead, look at pulling individual THHN wires through - it will be much easier. You cannot, though, run individual THHN along the bottom of your joists, so you'd have to transition to cable there or make the entire run in conduit. An advantage of using wires & metal conduit/boxes, is that the entire conduit system becomes the ground & you don't have to pull a ground wire, saving $$$ copper.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 12, 2022 at 16:59
  • 4
    The bounty makes it impossible to close this question, but the comments to the bounty turn it into a shopping question, on top of its inherent flaws. "Give me links to where I can buy things that meet my aesthetic constraints" is the essence of the question. The bounty only makes it LESS likely to get an answer I'm afraid. It would be better to ask 2 or 3 SHORT questions that are actually about how to solve problems. YOU pick boxes, conduits, and covers that YOU find pleasing, then ask specific questions about how to integrate them, and you won't need to offer a bounty.
    – jay613
    Jan 14, 2022 at 19:09

1 Answer 1

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+500

You need this cover: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Hubbell-TayMac-2-Gang-Square-Plastic-Weatherproof-Electrical-Box-Cover/1000391265

And this box: https://www.lowes.com/pd/TayMac-2-Gang-Gray-PVC-Weatherproof-New-Work-Old-Work-Standard-Switch-Outlet-Wall-Electrical-Box/4005491

And this https://www.lowes.com/pd/CANTEX-1-2-in-Combination-Connector-Schedule-40-PVC-Compatible-Schedule-80-PVC-Compatible-Conduit-Fitting/1000321585 threaded adapter from the box to the conduit. This matches what you posted, however I would suggest instead switching to boxes meant for gluing PVC instead:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/CARLON-1-Gang-Gray-PVC-Weatherproof-Old-Work-Standard-Rectangular-Exterior-Electrical-Box/1000975656

Or this: https://www.lowes.com/pd/CARLON-1-Gang-Gray-PVC-Weatherproof-Old-Work-Standard-Rectangular-Exterior-Electrical-Box/1000975662 since you need wire in, and not wire out.

Or this box: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kraloy-PVC-1-2-in-FSS-Single-Gang-Box-91-Hub-93/5001212815 if you need to daisy chain boxes.

This for the 2 gang: https://www.lowes.com/pd/CARLON-2-Gang-Gray-PVC-Weatherproof-Exterior-New-Work-Old-Work-Standard-Square-Exterior-Electrical-Box/1000975770 (note: It's 1 inch conduit!)

You may find this useful: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Hubbell-TayMac-2-Gang-Rectangle-Plastic-Weatherproof-Electrical-Box-Cover/3772755

I do have to add I'm kind of confused why you are installing a basement with waterproof fixtures. I'm answering the question you asked, but I feel like there are better ways. In particular you really don't need conduit in a basement. Is it just for looks? Because you can just attach a cable clamp to each box, and run the Romex (NM) right to that - there are both waterproof, and non waterproof cable clamps you can use.

1/2" clamp for the regular outlets: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Sigma-Electric-ProConnex-3-8-in-Clamp-on-Type-Service-Entrance-Connector-Conduit-Fitting/1087255 and 1" clamp for the larger box: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Sigma-Electric-ProConnex-1-in-Clamp-on-Type-Service-Entrance-Connector-Conduit-Fitting/1087351

Note that 3/4" will also fit for your 30Amp circuit, so if you are not running conduit, you can get a box with a 3/4" hole.

If you like the waterproof design, then you would use this: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Sigma-Electric-ProConnex-1-2-in-Uf-Cable-Connector-Conduit-Fitting/1087617 for the outlets, and this https://www.lowes.com/pd/Sigma-Electric-ProConnex-1-in-Sealing-Connector-Conduit-Fitting/3389542 for the 10/4 wire for the 30 Amp outlet. (I guessed on the 1 inch size, please have the 10/3 wire with you and test fit it, you might need 3/4 inch instead of 1 inch.)

Note: In both cases (regular and waterproof) you need to switch to boxes with threaded openings, rather than the glued openings for conduit.

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – BMitch
    Jan 20, 2022 at 14:49

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