Forums Forums - Off Topic Forum FUN





Go Back   Forums Forums - Off Topic Forum FUN > Agriculture & DIY Forums > DIY Forums > DIY Electrical Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-13-2012, 08:17 PM
Doc's Avatar
Doc Doc is offline
Forum Admin

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 30,364
Thanks: 8,383
Thanked 7,027 Times in 3,025 Posts
Doc will become famous soon enoughDoc will become famous soon enough
Default Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

When should you use metal and when is it okay to use plastic electrical boxes?

I think I should use a metal junction box for wiring up 4 switches, but wanted to double check before I do the install. I plan to run one hot wire to the junction box and come out with 4 wires for four switches. Would that be okay and 'up to code' in most places?
__________________
Scott me up Beamy.

Other Fun Forums:

Net Tractor Talk + Net Tractor and RTV Talk + Net Cooking Talk
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-13-2012, 08:27 PM
OhioTC18's Avatar
OhioTC18 OhioTC18 is offline
Member

 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 7,015
Thanks: 91
Thanked 273 Times in 194 Posts
OhioTC18 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

Plastic is always easier to work with. A 4-gang plastic switch box is about the biggest "commonly available" size you'll find.
A typical 4-gang switch box with 5 cables should be okay. Almost all plastic boxes have the number of conductors allowed printed inside the box.

edit to add......... Metal boxes must be used with a metallic wiring method, but if you're using a plastic jacketed cable such as NM-B cable (commonly called Romex) a plastic box is what I would use.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-13-2012, 08:31 PM
AAUTOFAB1's Avatar
AAUTOFAB1 AAUTOFAB1 is offline
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 2,523
Thanks: 1
Thanked 17 Times in 10 Posts
AAUTOFAB1 will become famous soon enoughAAUTOFAB1 will become famous soon enough
Style: VB_Original_Style
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

ummm,what Gage wire is your home run and what amp breaker are you going to use? maybe a 3 wire home run with 12ga wire going to a 20 amp two poll breaker ?
i only use metal boxes for junctions, but local codes may be different .
__________________
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government. George Washington
They can pass all the "laws" they want. I WILL NOT COMPLY.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-13-2012, 08:36 PM
Doc's Avatar
Doc Doc is offline
Forum Admin

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 30,364
Thanks: 8,383
Thanked 7,027 Times in 3,025 Posts
Doc will become famous soon enoughDoc will become famous soon enough
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

12 ga wire throughout the house. I'm using 12/2.

I plan to use two double swith boxes one stud apart from each other, but one junction box for all the power wires before they jump to the switch boxes (sorry I don't know the right terminology for this stuff). I am useing romex wire so I guess I can use plastic all the way around. Thanks guys!!!
__________________
Scott me up Beamy.

Other Fun Forums:

Net Tractor Talk + Net Tractor and RTV Talk + Net Cooking Talk
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-13-2012, 09:08 PM
OhioTC18's Avatar
OhioTC18 OhioTC18 is offline
Member

 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 7,015
Thanks: 91
Thanked 273 Times in 194 Posts
OhioTC18 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

I would forget the junction box, but that's just me. Feed into one 2-gang and feed out to the other. Then two switch legs out of both of the 2-gang boxes.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-13-2012, 09:28 PM
FrancSevin's Avatar
FrancSevin FrancSevin is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 9,199
Thanks: 2,045
Thanked 2,801 Times in 1,164 Posts
FrancSevin has a spectacular aura aboutFrancSevin has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc View Post
12 ga wire throughout the house. I'm using 12/2.

I plan to use two double swith boxes one stud apart from each other, but one junction box for all the power wires before they jump to the switch boxes (sorry I don't know the right terminology for this stuff). I am useing romex wire so I guess I can use plastic all the way around. Thanks guys!!!
Yeah, skip the junction box if you can. One cannot bury a juntion box in the wall. It has to be accessable. So, if you use one you have to have a surface mounted access cover.

Use deeper plastic boxes for the switches and plugs. Do your distribuion connections behind that appliance and then you aren't covering the wire junctions behind drywall.

I'm pretty sure that is code in most places. And it is just good practice.

Plastic boxesare morethan fine. Just be sure you secure the Romex well to the wallstud and within a few inches of the box. (six inches I think)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-13-2012, 09:30 PM
Doc's Avatar
Doc Doc is offline
Forum Admin

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 30,364
Thanks: 8,383
Thanked 7,027 Times in 3,025 Posts
Doc will become famous soon enoughDoc will become famous soon enough
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioTC18 View Post
I would forget the junction box, but that's just me. Feed into one 2-gang and feed out to the other. Then two switch legs out of both of the 2-gang boxes.
Does anyone have diagrams of what you are talking about. Not sure if junction boxes was the right word vs gang box etc.

My power source is about 20 feet away and I wanted to run one wire to right above where I need the switches and then splice off from there to each switch. Good idea or not?
__________________
Scott me up Beamy.

Other Fun Forums:

Net Tractor Talk + Net Tractor and RTV Talk + Net Cooking Talk
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-13-2012, 09:39 PM
FrancSevin's Avatar
FrancSevin FrancSevin is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 9,199
Thanks: 2,045
Thanked 2,801 Times in 1,164 Posts
FrancSevin has a spectacular aura aboutFrancSevin has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc View Post
Does anyone have diagrams of what you are talking about. Not sure if junction boxes was the right word vs gang box etc.

My power source is about 20 feet away and I wanted to run one wire to right above where I need the switches and then splice off from there to each switch. Good idea or not?
Skip the juctin box and just bring the pwoer wire intothe firs switchbox. go ourfrom there to the light fixture and add jumpers over to the next switch & light wire. Run the black thru the switches and the white straight to the appliance (light fixture) White to white, black to black, ground to ground tying them all together.

It may seem simpler to distribute from a junction box but as I said earlier, that is problematic.

Last edited by FrancSevin; 07-13-2012 at 09:53 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-13-2012, 09:50 PM
OhioTC18's Avatar
OhioTC18 OhioTC18 is offline
Member

 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 7,015
Thanks: 91
Thanked 273 Times in 194 Posts
OhioTC18 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

Franc pretty much said what I was was talking about. It's not all that easy to draw it out on here, maybe I can do one in MS Paint tomorrow morning
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-13-2012, 09:57 PM
TiredRetired's Avatar
TiredRetired TiredRetired is offline
Ford4Thought
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Green Mountain State
Posts: 8,699
Thanks: 3,664
Thanked 5,111 Times in 2,218 Posts
TiredRetired has a spectacular aura aboutTiredRetired has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc View Post
When should you use metal and when is it okay to use plastic electrical boxes?

I think I should use a metal junction box for wiring up 4 switches, but wanted to double check before I do the install. I plan to run one hot wire to the junction box and come out with 4 wires for four switches. Would that be okay and 'up to code' in most places?
You can use plastic for 4 gang if you can find one. Electrical Wholesaler should have them. Otherwise just use the gangables. Go with the deep ones.

One hot wire to feed the four switches should be OK.

Metal boxes are required if running MC cable. Maybe they have an approved plastic box for MC that would have metal straps to continue the ground continuity between the KO's but it would prolly be more money than what it is worth.

Plastic boxes and romex are made for each other.

Always, always use a metal box for a ceiling fan.

Don't get bit.
__________________
Annoy a liberal. Use the "W" word. WORK.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-13-2012, 09:59 PM
TiredRetired's Avatar
TiredRetired TiredRetired is offline
Ford4Thought
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Green Mountain State
Posts: 8,699
Thanks: 3,664
Thanked 5,111 Times in 2,218 Posts
TiredRetired has a spectacular aura aboutTiredRetired has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioTC18 View Post
I would forget the junction box, but that's just me. Feed into one 2-gang and feed out to the other. Then two switch legs out of both of the 2-gang boxes.
Yup. What Ohio & Franc said. I just noticed these posts.
__________________
Annoy a liberal. Use the "W" word. WORK.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:01 PM
OhioTC18's Avatar
OhioTC18 OhioTC18 is offline
Member

 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 7,015
Thanks: 91
Thanked 273 Times in 194 Posts
OhioTC18 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredRetired View Post
Always, always use a metal box for a ceiling fan.
There are several plastic boxes listed for use with a ceiling fan and are safe to use for that application.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:05 PM
TiredRetired's Avatar
TiredRetired TiredRetired is offline
Ford4Thought
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Green Mountain State
Posts: 8,699
Thanks: 3,664
Thanked 5,111 Times in 2,218 Posts
TiredRetired has a spectacular aura aboutTiredRetired has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioTC18 View Post
There are several plastic boxes listed for use with a ceiling fan and are safe to use for that application.
Really? Well there you go. All my years in the trade I stayed away from wiring houses like the plague except my own. Now that I retire from the trade I just learned something. My next trip to the wholesalers for my remodeling project I will check it out. Thanx!
__________________
Annoy a liberal. Use the "W" word. WORK.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:08 PM
OhioTC18's Avatar
OhioTC18 OhioTC18 is offline
Member

 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 7,015
Thanks: 91
Thanked 273 Times in 194 Posts
OhioTC18 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

I've used 3 in my house and one in my son's house.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:11 PM
Doc's Avatar
Doc Doc is offline
Forum Admin

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 30,364
Thanks: 8,383
Thanked 7,027 Times in 3,025 Posts
Doc will become famous soon enoughDoc will become famous soon enough
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

Like this:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3switches.JPG (24.1 KB, 30 views)
__________________
Scott me up Beamy.

Other Fun Forums:

Net Tractor Talk + Net Tractor and RTV Talk + Net Cooking Talk
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:14 PM
TiredRetired's Avatar
TiredRetired TiredRetired is offline
Ford4Thought
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Green Mountain State
Posts: 8,699
Thanks: 3,664
Thanked 5,111 Times in 2,218 Posts
TiredRetired has a spectacular aura aboutTiredRetired has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

Yup, you got it.
__________________
Annoy a liberal. Use the "W" word. WORK.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:18 PM
Doc's Avatar
Doc Doc is offline
Forum Admin

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 30,364
Thanks: 8,383
Thanked 7,027 Times in 3,025 Posts
Doc will become famous soon enoughDoc will become famous soon enough
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

I found that diagram elsewhere but it fits.

I would have four switches but from what you all have said four is ok, just as three would be.

Thanks all.
__________________
Scott me up Beamy.

Other Fun Forums:

Net Tractor Talk + Net Tractor and RTV Talk + Net Cooking Talk
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:23 PM
TiredRetired's Avatar
TiredRetired TiredRetired is offline
Ford4Thought
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Green Mountain State
Posts: 8,699
Thanks: 3,664
Thanked 5,111 Times in 2,218 Posts
TiredRetired has a spectacular aura aboutTiredRetired has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc View Post
I found that diagram elsewhere but it fits.

I would have four switches but from what you all have said four is ok, just as three would be.

Thanks all.
From what I can see of your intentions you will not have enough load to even come close to maxing out a 20A branch circuit. 4 switches will be fine on one circuit. A good guideline is not to max a circuit out more than 80% of it's rated capacity. In other words, 16A max on the 20A circuit. This allows a safety margin. It is not in the NEC, however, so it is not the law, just a good common sense practice to keep things kosher.
__________________
Annoy a liberal. Use the "W" word. WORK.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:25 PM
OhioTC18's Avatar
OhioTC18 OhioTC18 is offline
Member

 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 7,015
Thanks: 91
Thanked 273 Times in 194 Posts
OhioTC18 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

Yes that would work but still looks like you use a junction box. If you want to and it's accessible then by all means do that.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:25 PM
muleman's Avatar
muleman muleman is offline
worn out farmer
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: on top of the mountain
Posts: 27,193
Thanks: 584
Thanked 908 Times in 428 Posts
muleman is just really nicemuleman is just really nicemuleman is just really nicemuleman is just really nice
Default Re: Metal vs Plastic Electrical boxes.

If you don't already have the wire you can use 14-2 for all the switched circuits. Run 12 to the first supply. 14 is a hell of a lot easier to work with and will handle anything a single pole switch will unless it is a 20 amp commercial switch. You should Buchannon splice all your grounds so they are tight.
__________________
"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government"
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
metal electrical boxes

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
OC-12 LEAK BETWEEN GEAR BOXES. dennytodd Snowcat Repairs, Parts & Problems Forum 11 10-21-2013 08:31 AM
Why men have big tool boxes Cowboy Junkman's Corner 1 11-17-2010 08:21 AM
Metal Halide, Pulse Start Metal Halide, High Pressure Sodium etc. Dargo Other Projects Forum 12 06-09-2008 02:16 PM
Satellite Reciever boxes on Ebay? Elsewhere? Melensdad Entertainment Forum (TV, Movies, Books, Music & Celebrity gossip) 7 07-30-2006 06:05 PM
Why Condoms Come In Boxes Of 3, 6, AND 12 Big Dog Jokes_Forum 5 10-27-2005 11:18 AM





All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2002 - 2017 www.ForumsForums.com