Metallic raceway, cutting and fitting

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Hi,
We have 8' of 120v 14/2 household wire which runs horizontally from one live kitchen outlet to a secondary outlet. It was installed by the original house owner, properly connected to the plug inside the first box, going up about 8" inside the wall, and entering the kitchen cupboard through a small hole. It runs along the cupboard interior, has securing insulated staples, but has no protection for the plastic covered wire. The wire then goes back behind the wall through another hole, to the second box and outlet.
Recently a rodent gnawed through the first hole and bared both live wires, so I'm replacing the wire. There's no possibility of fishing the wire horizontally; I've tried.
I want to do the job safely, prevent another rodent from chewing the wire, and to code. My plan is to use metallic raceway to protect the wire inside the cupboard, with raceway elbows so I can cover the wire right up to both outlets. After buying the materials, it seem like a lot more work than I thought, and I've never cut or fitted raceway before. Any suggestions for cutting, measuring and fitting would be appreciated.
Also, would it be easier to fish the wire from the outlet, make a small cut in the drywall when the wire hits each stud, cut a groove for the wire, etc.? And of course I'll cover each groove with a protective metal plate before mudding.
Thanks!
Dugie
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For cutting, a hacksaw with the finest teeth available. Smooth the cut edges as much as possible with a fine file.
For measuring, I'm thinking a ruler.
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fish horizontally, there are these 3 foot long special bits, with a small hole to attach the wire to, makes it easy when pulling bit back out wire comes with it.
you can buy extensions for the 3 foot bits too. I once went nearly 9 feet thru a tough area.
much better job looks pro, value added when you sell the house
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wrote:

They also sell 6 foot (flexible) bits. I used to get them at a wholesale phone store. It closed but now I see them at Home Depot.

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These flex bits sound fantastic! Do you live in Canada? I don't think HD here carries them.
Dugie
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wrote:

It might. It's easy to miss something in a big store. I think it was next to the voltmeters. But I don't know where the voltmeters are. It was clear that they were drills they didn't have in stock, so you may have to order it.
You can get them somewhere. They're used by burglar alarm installers, phone installers, and electricians.
HD's website last I looked was terrible. They won't tell you what they sell, only what the store near you sells. (and it wasn't very good at that.) Even if there are 10 stores one could drive to, they only give the one near you. If you enter another zip code, they give the store in that zipcode, but I don't know what the other zipcodes are.
Why can't they do like Radio Shack does and give you every product they sell, even if NO store stocks it.

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You can also just run a new cable the same way the existing one was run, except use steel cable

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Good idea, would be safe and much easier. Is it up to code?
Thanks, Dugie
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Absolutely, if it's a kitchen circuit, it has to be 12ga

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Dugie wrote:

It would be the most practical solution. Use 12-2 with ground MC cable.
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Why MC rather than AC cable? It will carry one 12/2 CU cable only. And is uncovered cable wire in the back of the cupboard safe and up to code?
Thanks, Dugie
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Is it code to use an unprotected/uncovered steel cable inside the back wall of the cupboard? This is my main concern.
If so, it's my ideal solution: fast, easy, safe. RBM's suggestion to use "12-2 with ground MC cable" seems good.
We plan to renovate the cupboards in the future, and will do a proper wire through-the-studs job then. Now, even using a flex drill bit would be very difficult, since my only accesses are the two outlet openings. == It now may be relevant to mention a few other things I noticed: - the main outlet, located on the right-hand side of the cupboard, has two, separated, screw terminals on the right of the outlet, and two joined screw terminals on the left. The outlet is marked "AL-CU", and "Side wire back." The aluminium feed (the blue fibre-covered cable is marked "nmn - 7 - 12/3 - Aluminium") has three wires, white, red, and black, plus ground. I wrote down where each wire was connected: On the right side of the outlet- to top, black AL and black CU; to bottom, red AL only. On the left side- to top, white CU, to bottom, white AL and white CU. Ground to the box Since I'm dealing with AL & CU wire, I've used Noalux compound as directed on all wires and terminals.
- each plug (upper and lower) from the main outlet is on a separate circuit, each having a 15A fuse.
- the secondary outlet, located on the left-hand side of the cupboard, has connected screw terminals on both sides. Wiring is simpler: black CU on the top right side, and white CU on the bottom left. Ground to the box.
Thank you all for your help, and for providing an excellent solution.
Dugie
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Apologies to volts500. "...ground MC cable" was his suggestion, not RBM's.
Dugie
<snip>

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Dugie wrote:

How are you connecting 2 black wires to one terminal? You don't want them under one screw. Using backstab connections are not recomended by anyone and would have to be the copper wire. With 2 wires they would commonly be connected by wire-nutting the wires together along with a pigtail that connects to the outlet. With aluminum recommended practice is to apply antioxide paste and then abrade the wire to remove the oxide for wire-nuts and screw terminals. More info, if you are interested, in link.
IIRC aluminum rated receptacles are currently marked CO/ALR. Yours may be the 'old technology' which was installed about 1965 to 1972. If the screws are steel (check with magnet) replace it. Might want to check if other outlets are aluminum and steel screws - bad combination.
As you may know, aluminum wire can be problematic. Info on fixes is at: http://www.inspect-ny.com/aluminum/alreduce.htm

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The two black wires were connected under one screw, as installed by the previous house owner. And I've never liked or trusted backstabs. Thanks for the suggestion! I've used your method with the pigtail, and Noalux (an antioxide paste), so that there are now 3 black wires in the wire nut, with only one going to the screw terminal. Having a deep box helps give space, with all the wires. I've used a wire nut made of ceramic with moulded threads for the inside copper connector (with a screw to secure the 3 twisted wires), and no internal metal coil, since they seem more secure. I hope this is ok. If not, I'll redo, using a metal coil type nut.

House was built in 1970 in Canada, but the screws of neither outlet are steel - no response to a magnet. I will check other outlets. Thanks for the idea!

I know aluminum wire has problems, but your link gives details and excellent info.
Seemingly "simple" electrical work can often be very involved, and thus can have potentially dangerous consequences, I'm now learning.
Dugie
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Cut a six inch strip of drywall from stud to stud, as many stud cavities as needed to get between the outlets, and run the wire through drilled holes (NOT notches), like the Electrical Gods intended. Taping and mudding one long patch panel will produce better looking results that an series of holes, be easier, and take less time. If this entire run is backsplash area between counter and upper cabinets, you could just panel the whole thing over with something. It'd be a lot easier to make good suggestions if we could see the work site- can you post pictures somewhere?
aem sends....
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On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 00:19:56 GMT, "ameijers"

Why holes instead of notches? Because they are farther from nails and screws that might go into the sheetrock? Thanks.
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wrote:

a screwed-on nail plate. Not a real big deal like it is when people (plumbers, usually) notch a joist or beam, but still something to be avoided. Probably wouldn't be a problem on a simple partition wall, but kitchen cabinet walls are usually load bearing, and every little bit you take away, takes away some of the load capacity. I doubt it would ever make the house collapse or anything, but it could make it easier for the wall to bow under heavy loads, especially if several in a row were notched.
Standard disclaimer- I'm no engineer, just parroting what my father beat into me all those years of working construction as a kid. I'm sure the Actual Experts will be along shortly to correct me.
aem sends...
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Thanks for suggesting a picture, but my camera is being repaired. I plan to follow RBM's idea and use steel cable.
Dugie
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good idea and probably violates codes. The hazard is that it is difficult to ensure positive ground bonding of the sheath. Any leakage could energize the sheath. I think non-metallic cable, protected by non-metallic conduit or raceway of some sort where exposed in the cabinet, would be code compliant and much preferable.
Don Young
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