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In Reply to: RE: That's not it posted by josh358 on August 04, 2021 at 03:17:23
A cabling like that, we call a rats nest in my country... We need to run our in-wall cables through tubing. It seems you have a rather low ceiling.
The ceiling in the basement, or in the room? They're both pretty low. This house was built in 1695 so the ceilings weren't very high to begin with, and stuff has been added since, making them even lower.
Rats nest, yes, but keep in mind that these breaker panels were installed something like 80 years ago. The house has been rewired since -- most of that cable is new, but there are still some old cables, and these can come from different directions. And it's an incredibly difficult house the wire, the hardest that the electricians have ever worked on.
That said, everything there is according to the national electrical code, e.g., the cables run along and through the beams with proper support.
In general here, houses of fewer than three stories can be wired with plastic NM cable. Larger houses/apartment buildings must be wired with armored cable or conduit (tubes). The cable must generally run within the wall in a finished area, but can be exposed in a basement like this one or an attic crawl space. If the breaker panel were located in a finished area of the house it would be flush and all of the cables would be hidden.
You'd think that metal conduit would reduce fire risk over plastic cable, but it doesn't -- the metal doesn't burn, but it gets as hot as the plastic does and sets structure on fire. Each has its advantages, depending.
I know that we have different standards. It is even different within the EU. In Sweden we may use on-wall and inside cabinets without conduits. The rest is in conduits with a suitable number of wires, nowadays PVC or polypropen (some with shielding), many years ago it was metal. My house is also very old, built long before electricity became common and I have replaced all old electric wiring.
The most common room height over here is 240-250 cm, basement (below ground) a bit less, often 215 cm.
Common room height here is about the same.
Here, standards vary from locality to locality. The National Electrical Code is used as a general guide, but it's typically modified in some respects, and inspectors vary too in their interpretation of it (it can be like the Talmud at times). Sometimes things are allowed but discouraged. Here, for example, the inspector allows unprotected surface wiring, but wants to see a piece of "Smurf tubing" (blue plastic conduit) over it.
It also changed with time. Forex, arc-fault interrupters were first required in bedrooms, and now they're required on most indoor circuits.
metal conduit is to prevent a nail or screw from being driven through wiring and varmints that gnaw from chewing on it
and kinking ... can't forget kinking
it helps with fire prevention by triggering dead shorts and tripping breakers / blowing fuses
you already know this, but maybe some don't
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