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Author Topic: romex or mc for a workshop?  (Read 734 times)

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Offline pinefeller

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romex or mc for a workshop?
« on: September 26, 2017, 11:21:58 am »
just remodeled my workshop now i need some juice! whats legal to use dont really want to call the building inspector to ask  :) you know why  ;D. i was told romex was fine and i have plenty of it. MC would look nicer on the timbers and be more timeless (yup its gotta look good) conduit would definately be ok but expensive and time consuming......thanks guys
we the willing, led by the unknowing,are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. we have done so much for so long with so little, we are now capable of doing anything with nothing.

Offline pinefeller

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2017, 03:14:01 pm »




we the willing, led by the unknowing,are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. we have done so much for so long with so little, we are now capable of doing anything with nothing.

Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2017, 06:15:33 pm »
I'm not an electrician, but I would think all options would be "legal" if wired correctly (Romex, MC, or conduit).  I agree that Romex stapled to the beams probably wouldn't look the best.  The advantage with the conduit is you could run multiple circuits through the same tube depending on your requirements.  You would have to run a separate MC cables for each circuit.  Are you able to come up through the floor?  You might be able to conceal with baseboard or some kind of custom race.  Otherwise, it probably depends on what you want to look at.
e aho laula

Offline pinefeller

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 07:21:23 pm »
i actually like the circuit board look (google OCD electrician)and all my recepticles wont be home runs just two banks, back wall, center and the lights on a third circuit. so there should only be 2-3 wires running along the ledger the beams are sitting on.

code seems like a complete joke. by the book, my house should be lit up like a Christmas tree. if the room was done i could stomach conduit but i need to work on things still and conduit is way too permanent (like the back wall that is 6'' out of plumb in 6 feet (yup you read that right ) and windows and doors that are going to move or appear....

 i really do try to adhere to code for most things unless common sense overrides

 im really not down with going trough the floor. (and hey, i just put that in!)i want ease of maintenance and flexibility for changes later on.i dont want anything in the work shop buried in a wall. i also have a thing about disrupting the integrity of a piece of lumber thats over a century or two old, if i can help it. (drilling walls) besides if theres a hole a mouse will find it and no matter how many generations of mice it takes, chew through the wire to use that hole and start a condo.  ;D
we the willing, led by the unknowing,are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. we have done so much for so long with so little, we are now capable of doing anything with nothing.

Offline jdonovan

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2017, 07:26:48 pm »
Electrical wiring needs to be protected from harm. Romex should be enclosed in a wall. If you want to run wire on the surface, you should be in conduit, or armored cable.


Offline nativewolf

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2017, 07:36:34 pm »
You can also build a "trace" a fake wall to hide conduit or romex.  I will try to attach a picture of my ceiling.  Basically beams have hidden traces to hold cables until they run to the walls, again hidden in walls.

Just wanted to say that I like the workshop.  Very nice and thanks for sharing. 

Offline nativewolf

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2017, 07:38:23 pm »
But if it were me I think I'd just run a line down the center of the floor and have 220/110 outlets in the floor.  They make some really nice brass ones.

Offline loganworks2

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2017, 08:44:30 pm »
I definitely would not put outlets in the floor in a shop. They would be full of sawdust in no time creating a fire hazard. It is bad enough mounted on the wall in a shop. I take the cover plate off regularly and blow them out. It is amazing how much fine wood dust finds it's way inside.

Offline pinefeller

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 08:51:52 pm »
jdonovan when you say armored do you mean armored (AC) or MC they both have metal jackets. but are apparently different. and apparently everyone uses the term BX cable or for all three kinds of them interchangeability sigh, chuckle ... its like learning a new language every time i do anything.  ignorance truly is bliss. hmmm speaker wire is cheap.... j/k

floor
under the floor

what i started with
in hindsight i should have done a build thread. oh well its been a loooong year but not long enough. so theres the short version for anyone interested
we the willing, led by the unknowing,are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. we have done so much for so long with so little, we are now capable of doing anything with nothing.

Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 11:24:09 pm »
Very nice floor.  When I inquired if you had access under the floor, I wasn't suggesting putting the receptacles in the floor since you never know where you might want to place something.  However, running conduit or MC under the floor and bringing it up to mount the receptacles on the posts or walls would be less obtrusive (to me) since there would be less of it to look at.  However, I don't know if you left any access to that crawspace?
e aho laula

Offline jdonovan

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2017, 05:12:16 am »
BX is a brand name, just as Romex is. Romex is called NMB (non metallic is the generic name) in the code. BX is a MC (metal clad) cable. There is also a AC, or armored cable.

AC's cladding can be used as the ground, it also has a bonding strip which helps with using the jacket as a ground, where as MC will have a separate green ground wire.

AC is generally not rated for outdoor, or wet/damp locations. Most MC is usable outdoor/damp. Some types of MC is rated for direct burial.

I would suspect from the photos, your shop is indoors, and not a wet location so most likely the AC is usable there, and AC is less expensive than MC.

Offline Dan Miller

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2017, 07:57:07 pm »
I went with conduit for my workshop- it is a bit incongruous with the empty shop, but barely noticeable now that the shop is done. The right hand side has two duplex outlets per box, each on a separate circuit. The left hand side has a a duplex (120V) and single 220V outlet in each box. The machines are along the left-hand wall.

This photo is from moving-in day a couple years ago.


Offline Briankinley2004

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2017, 09:11:30 pm »
I would go wireless  :D :D :D

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2017, 09:25:21 am »
Romex may be legal, but I won't use it.  The timberframe means too much to me to have romex get penetrated or chewed on by a critter and have a fire.  I want the protection of metal conduit.  It's safer and looks better too.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline pinefeller

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2017, 12:23:13 am »
once im done straightening the walls out and moving windows and doors around it will probably be metal conduit. but here in the real world lol, it is going to be temporarily permanent mc cable for now till i get 'round to finishing it. at least its usable and level!!!   i need to replace my chimney very badly so thats next. in typical me fashion, just throwing a simple three flu chimney simply will not do, so im going to try to recreate the monster that should be there and disappeared at some point in the houses lifetime. (im a big fan of thermal mass) any pointers from a mason out there that has worked on 250 year old chimney would be handy. id like to replicate as much as possible what should have been there with a few covert  changes to make it more usable as i heat only with wood.

mr miller, im jealous of that workshop, very nice!!! did you whittle out your own frame? mine is actually a hybrid i built inside a balloon frame building.... long story ...was just going to throw up a carrying timber and a new post and whoops..... lol  things that happen when you have a skidder a sawmill and lots of tipped over trees lying around ;D the floor is 2x6 hemlock i got from a friend dirt cheap that didnt make the cut for his fence rails.  i planed, edged then grooved it with a router. lots of splinters >:( its finished with linseed oil, good stuff, ill never use poly again.
we the willing, led by the unknowing,are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. we have done so much for so long with so little, we are now capable of doing anything with nothing.

Offline Dan Miller

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2017, 09:22:51 pm »
mr miller, im jealous of that workshop, very nice!!! did you whittle out your own frame?

Yes, glutton for punishment that I am, the shop frame was built entirely with hand tools. Solo, except for three days of raising with community help, and assistance from my kids to install the larger banks of windows I was not able to maneuver by myself.

Lesson learned on this project: if your architect wants to incorporate curved timbers, and you do not have access to a woodlot with the same, just say no.

Offline pinefeller

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Re: romex or mc for a workshop?
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2017, 10:05:38 pm »
hand tools like these?


destruction, engineering (special thanks to FF toolbox),joinery, to wiring all solo (actually all the way back to timber harvesting come to think of it) setting that 19' 8x9 solo was a blast btw. so i ended up with MC cable and it looks pretty nice.

yup, already stuffed and 4 more cords of wood inbound
we the willing, led by the unknowing,are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. we have done so much for so long with so little, we are now capable of doing anything with nothing.