Q:

How is a BX cable installed?

A:

Quick Answer

A BX cable can be installed by squeezing the cable and clipping the metal sheathing, exposing the electrical wiring inside, sliding back the sheathing and cutting the wire to length before attaching it to an electrical box. BX cables do not have grounding wires, so the use of the cable may be limited according to local codes.

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Full Answer

With a BX wire, a person must first squeeze the cable to allow the metal coils to bend and open. When it opens, the coils may then be cut without damaging the wires that are exposed inside.

After the electrical wires are exposed, the sheathing can be slid back, allowing the installer to see the electrical wires and choose how long the cut needs to be. If there is a metal bonding strip on the BX cable, the person should cut it to approximately 2 inches in length.

Once the wires are exposed, they can be connected to an electrical circuit or other location where necessary. The person working with the BX cable should be sure that local codes allow BX wires, also known as armored cables, to be used. Sometimes, BX cables are limited to 6 feet in length due to the lack of a ground wire; after that length, a grounding wire must be installed.

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