Here is the situation; I have a 200 amp breaker box on the north (2
story) side of my home with lots of unused circuits. The 1 story south
end of the home is wired through a 4 circuit sub-panel, this is
inadequate for today's needs. I want to pull 10 ga wires through an
abandoned hvac duct, to add circuits to the one story as that is the
shortest path and it runs completely through the 2 story between the
floors north and south. An electrician told me I can't use romex
because it is not duct rated. I have a couple hundred ft. of 10-3
w/ground direct burial that I used as a temporary to my shop never
really buried, just strung across the field. It appears to be still in
good shape, just dirty. I'm assuming I can't use non duct rated because
I might not be the last person here and someone may actually try to use
the duct for a duct. Not that it ever worked, it was a bad idea in the
first place, the main hvac unit never had enough umph to push air that
far, and before I got here the previous owner had zoned the 2 story
with window units, and I upgraded that to PTACs.
The terminology is "plenum rated" wire. It has to do with the
insulation on the wire, its smoke and fire contribution in a fire.
Plenum rating is most often used on Cat 5, twisted pair, and other
light gauge control/alarm/electronic type wiring. Plenum rated
wire is more expensive.
I do not know if direct bury cable is plenum rated.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
As long as the duct is not in use for environmental air then you can run
any wire you want to use that may be used in that type of building. You
can use type AC or type MC cable in a plenum ceiling. The use of Type
AC or Type MC cable would only be to guard against any return of that
void space to service as an air duct.
What wiring method was used to supply the sub panel? If it is conduit
you could investigate the possibility of a re pull with larger
conductors and replace the existing feeder supplied panel with a larger
"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
Unfortunately, that isn't a good option. The existing sub-panel is
across a hall from the end wall of the addition, so running the circuit
wires would be a bear especially since the peak of the one story roof
is only about 2 ft above the dividing floor of the 2 story and the box
is 10 ' into the structure and to the left of the line-up of the attic
and celing / floor. the wires that are run appear to have been run
during construction. And the feed for the sub panel as well seems to
have been run before the second floor was decked or before the
downstairs was dry walled no conduit. The cleanest seems to run a new
sub panel feed in conduit and put a sub panel on the second floor, then
totally rewire the 1 story splitting the circuits especially the
i suggest you use 6/3 bx. bx because its protected from any mechanical
damage. if you look at the wire feeding your furnace or hot water tank,
it should be bx because its in direct contact with metal. if the duct
is abandoned then "plenom" rated is not needed.
6/3 because it will allow you to install a 60 amp. sub panel.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.