The cables are developed with plastic sheathing making them easier to rip. It’s even possible to cut the sheathing using a utility knife and then rip it back with your hand. The individual conductors in the cable are metallic with about 65-percent copper.
The wire is protected by 2 layers of insulation, with each individual conductor being insulated and the entire bundle also being insulated. This makes insulation failure a rare occurrence and reduces the risk of accidental electrocution and arcing. The plastic used is resistant to moisture and microbes and is very durable. The plastic sheathing also has a very high melting point thus is heat and flame resistant. Splices are done in junction boxes, thus protected from the elements and pests.
Working With Armored Cable
Be sure to obtain any necessary electrical permits, even if your jurisdiction allows the work to be done by a non-licensed electrician. Our goal when estimating these jobs is to be as accurate as possible! Throwing out ballpark costs without any information is not our style. The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.
The other day, I was consulting for a new home being built in Old Westbury, Long Island, New York. The home was recently framed and paneled, but the electrical was not yet installed. Or click the button below, tell us a little about bx wiring your project and let our environmental consultants help you create a healthier building. We are anenvironmental consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area, a group of scientists working to make your indoor spaces healthier.
UL4 Standard 6/4 3/4 6/3 BX Cable with UL listed
Romex wiring is mainly employed in residential wiring, although it’s still possible to achieve the task using conduit or metallic sheathed cables. The wire comes with several benefits that make it the most prevalent wiring option for homeowners. BX wire should NOT be used to feed grounded outlets or circuits.
Can you use BX in residential?
Armored Cables (AC)
It was first called “BX” to abbreviate “product B – Experimental,” although AC is far more commonly used today. Like Romex cables, they cannot be used in residences higher than three stories, and the rules for protection and support of AC wiring are essentially the same as the rules for Romex.
So, at least for residential use, it is not clear that there are any cases in which BX/AC is preferable to MC. When purchasing bx cable, there are several factors that you need to consider. They include length, power ratings, and the plug connector.
BX vs. MC cable
Knowing when and where a type of cabling system can and cannot be used is very important in electrical installations and is often a mark that a professional has not done the work. But another very common area I find unprotected wiring during a home inspection is on the exterior of homes. Any wiring that is on the exterior of the home needs to be rated for use in damp or wet locations.
Always add 30 centimeter (11.8 in) for any waste/damageNational Electrical Code has requirements for the minimum amount of conductor that must extend beyond the face of a junction box. Ensure that the local authorities permit the use of BX cable in your application. There are many types of armored cables — not all of them may be acceptable for use in all circumstances.Make sure you have the proper connectors for the selected type of cable. Some types may work for several cables types, others may be prohibited. Electrical cable encased in metal sheathing is often used in basements and other areas where the wire is not encased in a finished wall. It is handled differently than standard Romex® (non-metallic sheathed) cable.
BX Cable and Wire: What to Know Before You Buy
Interestingly, one AFC-brand cable labeled MCI-A (and its healthcare version, MCI-Stat) uses the cable armor as a ground path, previously something that only AC/BX cable did. There are some physical differences aimed at efficient installation, but, functionally, this erases a lot of the distinction between AC and MC cable. You can think of BX cable as a type of metal-clad cable in which a kraft paper wrap protects the conductors from shorting on the armor, and which can, but doesn’t always, contain a separate ground wire . MC cable uses its metal armor only for mechanical protection from damage. BX can carry an additional insulated ground wire inside the sheathing, but this is usually used in applications that require redundancy, as in medical facilities.
Where do you use BX wire?
Electrical cable encased in metal sheathing is often used in basements and other areas where the wire is not encased in a finished wall. It is handled differently than standard Romex® (non-metallic sheathed) cable.