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Electrical Wire and Cable

Electrical Code for BX Cable

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Where in the NEC code book does it show where and how BX can be exposed and what are the restrictions.

BX Cable Electrical Code and Restrictions

Electrical Question: Where in the NEC code book does it show where and how BX can be exposed and what are the restrictions?

This electrical question came from: Robert, a Homeowner from Yonkers, New York.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Robert.

Flexible Metal Conduit (Type FMC)

Electrical Codes about BX Cable may be found in the NEC Code Articles Section  348.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

8 Responses to “Electrical Code for BX Cable”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Ellen,
    Wiring a Sillite Window Sill Outlet
    This is a great question, and I did some research because I have never heard of Sillites.
    First lets address the need to protect the electrical wiring:
    Hardwired electrical wiring installed for permanent use cannot be exposed in an open area unless it is protected by an approved conduit, such as BX. Therefore if the electrical wiring for this cabinet application will be exposed in any way then the wiring must be protected.

    While I was reviewing the information about Sillites most of the examples were showing concealed Type-NM (or Romex Brand) wiring, and the wiring was installed inside a protected wall where Type-NM cable is approved.

    The possible gray area here is installing the Sillite into a cabinet where it may be wired the same as a table lamp or fixture, with a cord and plug which will plug into a wall outlet. In this example the unit is not permanently wired, and it would provide the ability to unplug and disconnect the device, and the ability to be controlled by a wall switch. However this type of installation should be approved by the manufacturer and covered within the UL approval as being acceptable and safe.
    I hope this helps,

  2. ellen says:

    We’re renovating our kitchen. In two locations we planned to use sillites (which are small single outlets that require no junction box)on the front face of decorative posts. Our electrician is saying that the wiring for these must be bx (I think because the wiring will not all be in the wall but rather has to travel to the back of the cabinet to the wall. But sillites are not made to work with bx and we have already drilled the openings for the sillites? Does the code really require bx whenever wiring is not in the wall?

  3. Joseph L. says:


    I’m getting quotes for a major apartment renovation in NYC and getting conflicting statements regarding electric code.

    I’ll be replacing all wiring and one contractor says it’s just fine to bury BX in the wall (some new frame walls, some cement block wall that will be channeled and then plastered over). The other contractor says BX buried in walls and covered in plaster is not up to NYC code.

    Another conflict is the breaker box. I have a box with 6 full size slots for breakers. One contractor says we can only replace 2 of the full breakers with double breakers for a total of 8 circuits, thereby necessitating replacing the panel box. The other says we can replace all of them with double breakers to have 12 circuits.

    Does anyone know the truth about these issues?

    Thank you,


  4. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Mike – Very Sorry to hear of this damage to your home, hurricane Sandy has really cause a lot of problems.
    My first inclination would be to replace the wiring that has become saturated with the salt water, however I would contact the local building department and request more information, and after all they should be involved and making inspections as repairs are taking place. The problem is that salt water is corrosive and over time may end up causing deterioration and other problems. While the walls are open and being repaired it would be the right time to replace anything that may be damaged rather then deal with problems after the walls are closed up and finished.

  5. Mike says:

    With saltwater flooding (Rockaway, Queens, NY) NYC code is for #12 Bx cable.. My home is to code, but flooded up 4’2″‘ incompassing all switches and outlets.. Switches and outlets must be replaced.. Question is, does the Bx cable under 4’2″ , level need to be replaced.?

  6. Ron E Dee says:

    Hi, I have a friend who had a major contractor install a panel and replace much of the wiring in her house. Problem is that the contractor kept 2 runs of older, metal BX/2 on 2 circiuts. The run going thru the basement supplies a D/W and 3 kitchen outlets (non GFI). The D/W and O/L’s stopped working last week. I checked the panel and found cloth insulation falling off the wires in the old BX, and a broken wire! The run going to the other location cannot be identified but seems to go to a second floor location! Is the contractor liable in anyway to repair/replace (what should’ve been done originally)the old BX? Whether code or not for my state, this is still old, 2 wire bx going to “new” junctions and appliances! It’s been over 2 years now. And it originally cost her $8k for the job. Thanks, Ron

  7. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Mark – Yes the ground wire should be attached to the light fixture as well.
    Whenever there is a ground wire present it should be bonded to the device and the junction box if the box or enclosure is metallic and there is a terminal to attach it. If the enclosure is metal and it does not provide an attachment I will install one by drilling and tapping for a ground screw. It is a BIG mistake for a ground wire to be cut off because it may be though of as redundant, when in fact it is the sure way of bonding the system ground and provides integrity throughout.

  8. Mark says:

    I am installing new florescent light fixture. There is BX wire with a green ground wire in it. Does the ground wire need to be attached or is the metal casing of the BX enough?


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