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Old 12-27-2016, 07:56 PM   #1
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Default Romex in Channel : Wood Cabinet

I've got a contractor who wants to install a cabinet next to a window in the bedroom. It has a small sitting area with 2 sconces for reading area.

He wants to run romex inside the cabinet wood by routing a channel so its buried in the wood. Then he covers it with a 1X4 which is part of the cabinet design. Goes to pancake box for sconce. He doesn't want MC Cable because of custom cabinet.

My understanding is Romex can go in walls but is it ok to embed it inside the wood like this?

My gut feeling is no, for 2 reasons (NEC 334.15(B) Protection from Physical Damage),

1) heating of wire has no way to cool should it heat up in the channel

2) if cabinet gets loose from wall or moves even a small amount, romex has week spot from wall to cabinet.

Has anyone run into this before, is it up code to embed romex in wood?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onilozay View Post

My understanding is Romex can go in walls but is it ok to embed it inside the wood like this?


Has anyone run into this before, is it up code to embed romex in wood?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
Yes, and yes.
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:28 PM   #3
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A built-in cabinet is part of the wall. That said, you protect the wire with steel. In log homes, I buy long strips of steel from Menards and make the groove big enough to lay it in over the romex. Then I will cover it with 1x material.
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:30 PM   #4
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That sounds like an interesting method, thx for the pointer.

So just like a bottom flat peice, then romex then top piece, sandwiched.
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:39 PM   #5
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Try this method

http://www.finehomebuilding.com/2001...-vintage-house



If you use a channel at least 1/16th inch thick you should be OK
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:48 PM   #6
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And don't worry about the heat build up. If it can be encased in spray foam
it'll be ok anywhere.
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:03 PM   #7
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Thank all of you, this answers my questions! Yes, that diagram is sweet, so I'll just have to let the contractor know, he's a very good woodworker, clearly we'll have to protect it with steel casing, just like nail plates protect for screws. Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:11 PM   #8
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You'd love living around where I live. Older houses have cables running in a channel on all the baseboards capped with a little 1/2''x 1/2 '' cover nailed on over top . Then they go up a chase cut in door frames , all the way around any door, and sometimes are run below the aluminum floor jamb of glass sliding doors, and in thousands of houses the lights and many home runs are just run across the top of the roof plywood sheeting with a 2''' wet mop job right on top. At least thats how the older days. We still run lots of wood molding to cover wiring. 7/8'' thick, 1-5/8 '' wide . A U cut out of one side for covering the cables. But all new houses have to be framed by minimum 2''x 4'' construction nowadays. Those get drilled holes. In the middle.....
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:25 PM   #9
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Why not just run it in MC?
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:35 PM   #10
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I initially thought MC cable too, but he doesn't want it showing, aesthetics I guess.
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onilozay View Post
I initially thought MC cable too, but he doesn't want it showing, aesthetics I guess.
I think he means run MC and also have it covered. This would eliminate having to add a protection plate.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:29 AM   #12
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I think he means run MC and also have it covered. This would eliminate having to add a protection plate.
I read 300.4(F) to require a protection plate for any cable or raceway installed in a shallow groove (like the OP is considering).

Also review 300.4(A)(2), the exceptions list some metal conduits but not MC.
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