I want to install an outlet on my unfinished basement wall. I am assuming that it would fall under NFPA 70 300.4 as needing protection from physical damage.
Is Armored (BX) cable considered to be protected from physical damage in this case?

  • Get a conduit bender and go for EMT. Once you figure out how to bend, you'll never look back. – mjohns Jun 27 '15 at 16:43

Based on NEC 320.12(1), I'd say no.

National Electrical Code 2014

Chapter 3 Wiring Methods and Materials

Article 320 Armored Cable: Type AC

320.12 Uses Not Permitted. Type AC cable shall not be used as follows:

(1) Where subject to physical damage

There have been proposals to change it to say "Where subject to excessive physical damage", and other such wording to show that it offers better protection than say NM cable. So far, however, all such proposals have been shot down.

  • 1
    Thanks. I missed that section. that's pretty clear. That leaves me wondering what the heck AC is good for then, but that is another question. – beater Jun 27 '15 at 17:11
  • 2
    @beater It is good for lighting in a suspended ceiling where you want to protect the wires from abrading against the metal supports. – Brad Gilbert Jun 29 '15 at 15:48

Unfinished is fine as long as there are open studs you can strap the wire to. You could even use romex. But if your unfinished basement has cinder blocks then conduit either PVC or EMT would be the preferred method.

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