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I'm installing a ceiling fan "outside" patio. The overhead...

<< Back to: Electrical Wiring FAQ (Part 1 of 2)

Question by Sparkie
Submitted on 3/2/2004
Related FAQ: Electrical Wiring FAQ (Part 1 of 2)
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I'm installing a ceiling fan "outside" patio. The overhead patio cover is made of aluminum hollow tubes that simulate 2X2 wooden patio-cover slates.  The patio cover was purchased at a home and garden show, (floor model). The electrical wiring is installed with BX cable (#12 white, black, red, green). The BX-cable is sealed with a silicone at both ends of the cable drop.  My question:  Is BX-cable allowable to be installed  in a outside weather environment location (exposed to rain, sun etc.), even though its in-cased in the aluminum raceway (patio-cover).  If not, can non-metallic sheath (NM) cable be installed in the aluminum raceway and terminated in PVC>

Answer by PaulB
Submitted on 4/13/2004
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Can't answer your specifc question, but I have a question back to you.  How do you plan to mount the fan to the hollow tubes.  My situation is the same except I have what is called a 'fan beam.'  It is hollow but supposedly will hold a fan.


Answer by E-Man
Submitted on 7/15/2004
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Dear Sparkie:
BX or "armored cable (AC)" is not rated for a damp location (as this would be considered, nor is NM-B (romex), even if it is in conduit (in which it should not be run except for very short distances only in dry locations).

Your best bet is to do either of the following: 1. Switch to (MC) metal clad cable (a close relative of AC) by making connections from your romex (from indoor, dry location) to MC cable via a junction box or
2. Switch to PVC conduit (again, via a junction box) and use THHN - THWN (or other single conductors with a "W" designation on them in the conduit to the fixture (which also needs to be rated or listed for outdoor use).Obviously, use three or four wires color coded as you would find in romex (except green ground vs. bare)
See National Electric Code article 330 and thereabouts.
Hope this helps.


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