Recent Recall of MC Cable Underscores the Value of Steel Conduit
On August 30, 2016, United Copper recalled its metal clad (MC) cable due to fire and shock hazards. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that “a damaged conductor coating can cause the cable to short circuit, posing fire and shock hazards.” In other words, the hazardous cable component isn’t United Copper’s aluminum armor, but the coating on the wire inside. And, unfortunately, the recall applies to date codes ranging from August to November of 2015 — meaning the affected cables have probably already been installed and now must be removed and replaced.
This isn’t the first time that electrical wiring has been recalled. While wiring is manufactured according to strict processes, complete with testing and quality control, problems do sometimes occur — as in any manufacturing process. These problems could affect the wiring used not only in MC cable, but also in non-metallic (NM) sheathed cable and steel conduit. There’s no way to fully prevent problems during wire manufacturing, but there’s ONE easy way to shield yourself and your property from those problems, even after the faulty wiring is installed: Choose steel conduit.
To remove and replace wires encased in metallic or non-metallic cladding, the entire installation must be taken out. This work usually can’t be done without damaging walls and ceilings. Entire rooms sometimes have to be ripped apart and rebuilt, just to replace the wiring behind the walls. But with steel conduit, the wire can be accessed at the outlet or junction box and simply pulled out and replaced — a process that causes no damage to the building.
And, of course, recalls aren’t the only reason for needing to remove and replace wiring. More common reasons include building expansions, floorplan adjustments and electrical system upgrades. Steel conduit makes all of these changes easy.
The future is impossible to predict, but steel conduit provides the flexibility you need to feel futureproof.