Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


09:38AM | 07/16/01
Member Since: 07/15/01
1 lifetime posts
We have a 1926 house with knob and tube wiring. Since other kinds of wiring have been grafted onto this wiring, we're having the whole place rewired. The electrician we've chosen suggests using FLEX wiring. What is this? Is it a quality product? Thanks!


05:29AM | 07/17/01
Member Since: 05/02/01
28 lifetime posts
Not sure of that specific term, could be the flex metal conduit that comes with the wires inside. Have seen it used here in commerical buildings. Was OK unless you needed to pull another circuit later, the conduit was full when installed. He could also be talking about the flex plastic conduit which is also OK.


08:24PM | 07/23/01
Member Since: 07/21/00
76 lifetime posts
If the electrician is talking about metal clad cable, then he/she is suggesting a very good and safe product. It may be necessary to meet your local codes. They may also use "sheathed electrical cable" which is a non-metallic clad cable. The sheathed electrical cable should be considerably cheaper.


08:18AM | 07/24/01
Member Since: 04/05/01
32 lifetime posts
If the wiring is exposed, ie. on the outside of the wall, you will need the metal clad cable. Most people have it from their furnace switch to the furnace, as the wiring is exposed from the basement ceiling to the furnace and most electricians do not install the higher cost emt conduit.

If, however, the wiring is to be routed inside the walls, you probably don't need metal-clad wiring. It can be more difficult to work with, driving up labour costs as time increases and, since it is physically bigger, you may not be able to run 2 circuits through the same holes in the studs. All in all, I would recommend sheathed electrical cable for most re-wiring jobs.

One place where I would use metal-clad wiring is if my walls are quite thin and I don't have 1-1/4" of room between the nailing surface and the wire. You might get this with basement walls that have been strapped or walls with pocket doors. In this case, you would have to install a metal plate over each stud or strap to protect the wiring, but the metal-clad wiring wouldn't need that. You could just drill your holes and pull it through.

Good luck.



05:13PM | 07/27/01
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
Good idea to replace the knob and tube wiring.

I, too, do not know what "flex" means (not a standardized term of art), but suspect that it refers to the non-metallic "sheathed electrical cable" wire to which the others referred. What he meant probably depends on wiring code and practice in your area. Some places prohibit NM cable, some prohibit armored cable, but they are all reasonably safe products.

Regardless of what he means, I feel confident that he will be installing safe wire. Most unsafe electrical wiring products have been weeded out of the common market by now, so much so that it is even tough to find stuff for outdated wiring products that are "grandfathered" into electrical codes (like aluminum wiring). It is all pretty standardized throughout the country, whether they typically use NM cable, flex-metal cable, or plastic or metal conduit. Of course, we might find out in a few years that copper electrical wire is the REAL cause of AIDS or something else unpredictably horrible (for instance, they thought aluminum wire was safe for three or four years before they discovered the hazards, and that rubber was a good insulator until it deteriorated industry-wide after 20 or so years), but if that is the case, we're all in it together.

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