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I bought my house with an unfinished detached garage. I will never finish the walls. The previous owner has junction boxes with romex coming out of them and going to the fixtures. I've only seen MC or MC Lite used like this.

Is this legal (area dependent, I know) or even safe? SHould I replace the romex with MC or MC Lite?

Thanks, Evan

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  • It's better to ask "is this NEC compliant" because, other than which edition is being used, the NEC does not depend on location. – ArgentoSapiens Dec 1 '14 at 21:56
  • I don't even know what any of that means. My basic question...should I pull out all of the romex and replace it with mc, mc lite, or something other than romex? There are two different romex wires running, one is weatherproof 12/2, and the other I have no idea because it's painted over. – Evan Dec 1 '14 at 22:01
  • Exceptions and specific modifications to NEC, however, do depend on location. Last time I looked (which was not today) Maine still had an exception for garages allowing exposed Romex, which was pretty much the standard way to do a garage in Maine when I lived there. – Ecnerwal Dec 1 '14 at 22:11
  • ok, thanks for the info. I'm in NJ. In addition to not understanding their conceptualization with road and highway design, I can't begin to imagine what they accept for electrical design. Regardless, if exposed romex is an exception here also...is it safe and a "good idea", or am I better off replacing it? – Evan Dec 1 '14 at 22:20
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    My personal preference is wire inside metal since what I've seen rodents do to wire is horrifying. Depending on your mindset that can be EMT or MC/AC type. EMT has a steep but short learning curve, IMHO, and often prices out lower all told. – Ecnerwal Dec 1 '14 at 22:23
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New Jersey apparently is using NEC 2011 with some minor amendments that would not appear to affect the question.

I believe that means the wire needs to be "protected" and as stated in my comment I'd personally recommend EMT (lightweight steel conduit) first and foremost, though MC/AC also suits my concept of keeping it rodent-proof (and barring insane rodent pressure, PVC conduit also works.)

  • I've only worked with MC/MC lite ( I prefer MC Lite for ease of use). Are those rodent proof and acceptable in your opinion? I've never worked with EMT. – Evan Dec 2 '14 at 16:51
  • Should be fine. – Ecnerwal Dec 2 '14 at 17:06

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