Using "MC Lite" (aluminum jacket) cable connectors

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Theodore, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. Theodore

    Theodore Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    Location:
    New York
    I'm aware that traditional set-screw connetors will crush the aluminum housing of the "MC Lite® Aluminum Armored Cable" that I'm using. So, I've been using "Arlington Industries Snap-2-It 3/8 in. Connectors" for this purpose, at the suggestion of the manufacturer.

    I've two questions:
    1. I'm aware that "3/8 in. Flexible Metal Conduit (FMC) Combination Clamp Connector" (http://www.homedepot.com/p/3-8-in-F...nation-Clamp-Connector-5-Pack-20570/100186543) says it's good for "non-metallic sheathed cable, flexible metal conduit, metal clad cable and armored cable". Is it acceptable to use this type of connector too? After all, it SAYS suitable for "metal clad".
    2. If I use an electrical box with those built-in cable clamps, are those clamps suitable for MC? or must I still use the Arlington snap-2-it connectors?

    In general, I suspect that if it's good enough for something as delicate as NM, its' good enough for MC. But, is there some specific NEC direction on this?

    Thanks
    Theodore.
     
  2. Stuff

    Stuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I personally don't like the snap in connectors as they don't seem to be as secure since when I've tried a couple they just didn't seat/snap in very well for me. I'm sure that they do save time and are UL listed so have their purpose for large installations.

    1. As long as it states MC on the package you are good. I think the description is wrong as that connector could not work with NM since it wouldn't fit through the little hole. The hole is there to let the wires through while keeping the armor behind. Saying that I just looked at what I have and the box lists NM. Go figure!

    2. There are different internal clamps for MC that have a ring to keep back the conduit. They are sometimes hard to find in the big box stores. http://www.homedepot.com/p/3-in-x-2-in-Metal-Switch-Box-Case-of-25-LXOW-25R/202597299 and http://www.lowes.com/pd/Raco-2-Gang...ard-Square-Celing-Wall-Electrical-Box/3128129

    NEC just says to use what is approved so if package says MC you are good to go.

    Also note that the red hat insulator bushings are not technically required for MC (spec'd for AC) but some places want them anyway.
     
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  4. Erico

    Erico Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I just ran across MC box connectors at HD that have a screw type tail that enbeds in to the metallic cable spiral. I hadn't seen them before at HD.

    This seems like a better solution as you don't need the anti- short bushing and you don't have to worry about a jagged edge on the mc nicking the wire.

    Much faster than wrestling with those two screws. Just inset by hand and finish with a pliers. The tail has nubs that grab the spiral in the inside. It goes in about an inch so it protects the wire.

    I'd post a link but can't find on the website. But I have a jug at home.
     
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