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US Army Engineer course - Electricity III (Install Electrical Boxes)

US Army Engineer course - Electricity III (Install Electrical Boxes)

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US Army Engineer course - Electricity III (Install Electrical Boxes)
US Army Engineer course - Electricity III (Install Electrical Boxes)

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SUBCOURSE EN5142

EDITION B

US ARMY ENGINEER SCHOOL
INSTALL ELECTRICAL BOXES

INSTALL ELECTRICAL BOXES Subcourse EN 5142 EDITION B United States Army Engineer School Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri 65473 1 Credit Hour Edition Date: August 1999

SUBCOURSE OVERVIEW This subcourse is part of the Electrician, Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 51R, Skill Levels 1 and 2 course. It is designed to provide the knowledge necessary to identify and install various common types of electrical boxes, cover plates, and special devices. It also addresses how to calculate the number of conductors allowable in an electrical box. This subcourse is presented in one lesson that corresponds to the terminal learning objective as indicated below. Work must be accomplished in a manner consistent with environmental laws and regulations. There are no prerequisites for this subcourse. This subcourse reflects the doctrine that was current when this subcourse was prepared. In your work, always refer to the latest official publications. Unless otherwise stated, the masculine gender of singular pronouns is used to refer to both men and women. TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE: ACTION: You will learn to identify and install various common types of electrical boxes, cover plates, and special devices. You will also learn how to calculate the number of conductors allowable in an electrical box. You will be given the material in this subcourse and an Army Correspondence Course Program (ACCP) examination response sheet. To demonstrate competency of this task, you must achieve a minimum of 70 percent on the subcourse examination.

CONDITION: STANDARD:

i

EN5142

TABLE OF CONTENTS Section Page

Subcourse Overview....................................................................................................................................i Lesson: Electrical-Box Installation ............................................................................................................1 Part A - Electrical Boxes................................................................................................................2 Part B - Electrical-Box Uses and Electrical Connectors ...............................................................6 Part C - Electrical-Box Conductors ............................................................................................11 Part D - Electrical-Box Covers ...................................................................................................15 Practice Exercise .....................................................................................................................................17 Answer Key and Feedback......................................................................................................................22 Appendix A: List of Common Acronyms.............................................................................................A-1 Appendix B: Recommended Reading List ............................................................................................B-1 Appendix C: Metric Conversion Chart ................................................................................................C-1

EN5142

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conductors are installed in the boxes. You will also learn how to calculate the number of conductors allowable in an electrical box. and special devices. and the NEC Handbook. Electrical boxes are constructed of various types of materials and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. 1 EN5142 . Electrical boxes can be installed in many different ways and places for a variety of uses. All electrical boxes must be covered when the work is completed. You will also learn how to calculate the number of conductors allowable in an electrical box. CONDITION: STANDARD: REFERENCES: INTRODUCTION When an electrical circuit is installed. cover plates. You will be given the material contained in this lesson. FM 5424. After the boxes are installed. You will correctly answer all practice-exercise questions at the end of this lesson. and special devices. you will learn to identify and install various electrical boxes. The material contained in this lesson was derived from STP 5-51R12-SM-TG. cover plates.LESSON ELECTRICAL-BOX INSTALLATION Critical Task: 051-246-1111 OVERVIEW LESSON DESCRIPTION: In this lesson. it will begin and end in an electrical box. TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE: ACTION: You will learn to identify and install electrical boxes. You will learn their installation procedures according to the NEC.

When required. 2 . common metallic boxes can be ganged together to make the box wider (Figure 3). The metallic box is widely used by the Army. Extension rings are attached to a box by tightening the screws. two-gang box. Electrical boxes come in many shapes. sizes. Common metallic boxes c. Types.PART A . Boxes of a special size and depth can be ordered. Nonmetallic. extension rings can be added to increase the cubic-inch capacity as needed (Figure 4. Box depths range from 1/2 inch to 6 inches. Figure 1 shows a NM. The NM box is becoming more popular because it is less expensive and the installation of conductors is easier and faster than with the metallic box. If a box is not deep enough. a. two-gang box b. and depths (Figure 2). They are made of either metallic or nonmetallic (NM) material. Boxes to be ganged must be of the same type and have a removable side. Figure 1. Figure 2.ELECTRICAL BOXES 1. There are many types of electrical boxes.

page 4). Extension ring 2. Mounting. The front-mounting box is attached to a stud by hammering the spikes of the mounting bracket into the stud (Figure 6. The side-mounting box is attached to a stud with nails or screws (Figure 5). This procedure is known as setting the box. Box ganging Figure 4. Electrical boxes are mounted in several different ways. Some boxes come with the mounting brackets attached.Figure 3. Side-mounting boxes b. Figure 5. 3 EN5142 . a. Nails and screws are also driven through the mounting bracket to ensure that the box is securely mounted to the stud to prevent movement.

Move the box in or out. Front-mounting boxes c. Electrical boxes must be mounted so that the outer edge of the box will be flush with the finished surface of the wall. Adjustable bar hanger d. Some boxes come with thickness gauges stamped on them (Figures 8 and 9). depending on the thickness of the proposed finished surface.Figure 6. for example. do not use a bar hanger for a ceiling fan. The bar hanger is nailed or screwed to studs or joists. ceiling joists. NOTE: Do not use a bar hanger if anything heavier than a light fixture is to be applied. EN5142 4 . then a box is mounted to the bar hanger (Figure 7). Nail or screw the box to the stud. or floor joists. Align the gauge against the side of the stud (Figure 9). An adjustable bar hanger is designed for installation between wall studs. Figure 7.

Gauge alignment e. Outlet boxes may be mounted 12 to 18 inches from the bottom of the box to the finished surface of the floor. g. Wall covering should never cover boxes. Electrical switch boxes may be mounted 46 to 52 inches from the top of the box to the finished surface of the floor. 5 EN5142 . f. Gauged boxes Figure 9. All electrical boxes (including junction boxes) should be mounted so that the conductors are accessible. Electrical boxes mounted in walls containing combustible materials must be mounted flush with the finished surface.Figure 8. Electrical boxes installed in walls constructed of noncombustible material can be mounted up to 1/4 inch back from the finished surface.

PART B .ELECTRICAL-BOX USES AND ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS 3. Uses. Figure 10. Special-purpose rings (Figure 11) can be added to a box to give it additional volume and versatility as to what type of device can be installed inside the box. light fixtures. Special-purpose rings EN5142 6 . Devices Figure 11. and receptacle outlets (Figure 10). Electrical boxes are used to mount a variety of devices such as switches. A junction box is used when a circuit splits into two or more directions and when splicing of wires is necessary. Electrical boxes are also used as junction boxes (Figure 12).

pages 7 and 8). Connectors. These limits are explained in Part C. Connectors come in different sizes and shapes and are used to secure all types of cable or conduit to the box (Figures 13 through 15. page 11.Figure 12. a. Electrical conductors/wires are connected to a box with connectors. Nonmetallic-sheathed cable connectors 7 EN5142 . Junction box 4. Figure 13. NOTE: All boxes have a limit to the number of conductors that can be installed in them.

EN5142 8 . Conduit connectors b. Always use the appropriate connector for the type of cable or conduit being used. When using a round ceiling pan (round electrical box). Flexible metal conduit and armored cable connectors Figure 15. The design of the box also dictates the type of connector to be used. never use conduit or connectors that require a locknut or bushing on the round surface of the box (Figure 16).Figure 14.

seal them with a knockout plug (Figure 18). not on the round sides of the box.Figure 16. The item marked A is pushed into the hole. Never leave knockout holes open in an electrical box. Figure 18. The item marked B is installed by placing it half inside the box and half outside the box and then securing the two pieces together with a screw through the middle of the fixture. Use connectors on the flat back part of the box. Knockout plugs 9 EN5142 . tight connection between the bushing and the box or between the locknut and the box (Figure 17). Figure 17. Round ceiling pans c. Conduit and connectors are not used on the round surface because there would not be a good. Incorrect conduit connection d.

If the box is too deep. Lighting outlet box EN5142 10 . Figure 19.e. you may have to use a fixture extension. Box-hanging straps are mounted to building studs to support electrical boxes that accommodate lighting devices (Figure 19).

ELECTRICAL-BOX CONDUCTORS 5. Locknuts and bushings do not count. The number of conductors permitted is reduced by one for each fixture stud. based on the American Wire Gauge (AWG) classification of the wire. Table 1. This free space is measured in cubic inches. page 12). This table shows the number of conductors that can be installed in a box.PART C . or clamp (Figure 20. installation of conductors can begin. Other factors also affect the number of conductors that can be mounted in a box. Sample NEC table showing the volume required per conductor 11 EN5142 . Reduce the number of conductors by two for each switch or receptacle. Sample NEC table b. Different size conductors require different amounts of free space. A common problem that arises is how to determine the number of conductors that can be installed in a box. internal connector. Conductor Count a. based on the largest size conductor in the box. Table 2 is a sample NEC table showing the amount of free space required per conductor. A sample NEC table is shown in Table 1. No allowance is required for a connector with a connecting device outside of the box. This problem is easily solved by consulting the NEC Handbook. fixture extension. Table 2. When all boxes are installed.

Figure 20. Step 3. If no devices are present. Step 6. Total all remaining conductors (by size). use the sample NEC table in Table 2. Determine the cubic-inch capacity of the box being used by consulting the appropriate table in the NEC. more than one size of conductor will terminate in the box. and add two for each switch or receptacle. Under normal conditions. Step 5. especially in a junction box. Determine the amount of free space needed for the largest conductor entering the box. Multiply the number from step 3 by the free space needed for the largest conductor. calculating how many conductors can fit into the box is accomplished by consulting the NEC Handbook. Step 2. Step 4. Quite often. EN5142 12 . Two conductors are subtracted for each device. Add the answer from step 4 to the answer from step 5. Add one for all internal clamps. The following steps show how to determine which size of conductor will be subtracted when various sizes are present in the box: Step 1. Total the number of the largest conductors. page 11. there will be some type of cable or internal connector or clamp and possibly a device in the box. For this course. Box devices c. and multiply each individual total by the free space required for its size.

If the final answer to step 7 is a positive number. Figure 21. Determining conductor size 13 EN5142 . If the answer is a negative number. a larger box is needed. Subtract the answer to step 6 from the answer to step 1. the conductors and device(s) will fit.Step 7. See the example shown in Figure 21.

the total will be counted as one conductor (Figure 22). Figure 22. extension rings and/or additional boxes can be added to provide the additional space required. Conductors that terminate inside the box without being connected to a device count as one each. Grounding conductors are counted differently. Conductors that pass through the box also count as one each. If more free space is needed. Conductors that originate in the box and never leave the box do not count. Conductor count EN5142 14 . An example of this would be fixture wires. Grounding Conductor Count a.6. b. three 14-AWG and one 12-AWG grounding conductors will be counted as one 12-AWG conductor. The largest grounding conductor determines how much free space is required. Regardless of how many grounding conductors are coming into a box. For example.

.

shapes. When an electrical box is located outdoors or where it is subject to moisture. and styles (Figure 23). a Waterproof metal cover should be used. Standard plastic box covers are the most common for indoor use. Electrical-box covers 15 EN5142 . The type of device and the location of the box dictate what type cover to use. Electrical-box covers come in different sizes. Figure 23. Blank box covers are used to cover junction boxes.PART D . the box must be covered.ELECTRICAL-BOX COVERS After a device has been installed in a box or the work is completed in a box.

THIS PAGE IS INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK. EN5142 16 .

LESSON PRACTICE EXERCISE The following items will test your grasp of the material covered in this lesson. 2. A. B. study again that part of the lesson which contains the portion involved. There is only one correct answer for each item. B. C. Electrical boxes range in depth from _________. A. If you answered any item incorrectly. 1/2 inch to 4 inches 1/2 inch to 6 inches 1 inch to 4 inches 1 inch to 6 inches Which box can be ganged with a box of the same design? 3. True False 4. D. 1. When you complete the exercise. An extension ring can be added to a box to increase the cubic-inch capacity of the box. check your answers with the answer key that follows. Which box is used as a side-mounting box? 17 EN5142 .

B. B. Electrical boxes do not have to be accessible. D. D.5. True False 8. True False 9. B. The device shown below is designed for installation between wall studs. B. B. C. 40 to 46 46 to 52 52 to 58 58 to 64 10. B. C. How many inches from the finished floor may outlet boxes be installed? A. True False 7. A. A. How many inches from the finished floor may electrical switch boxes be installed? A. A box may be recessed 1/4 inch in a wall constructed of combustible material. some boxes have thickness gauges stamped on them. True False For quicker and easier installation. A. 6 to 12 9 to 15 12 to 18 15 to 21 EN5142 18 . A. 6.

D. A. B. B. A. A. True False 19 EN5142 . The device shown below is used to plug unused knockout holes in boxes. C. 14. Electrical boxes should never be used to mount light fixtures. B. What type connector is shown below? A. B. Electrical boxes must always have a device mounted in them. Round or oval cable EMT Armored cable NM cable Which of the following connectors is used with armored cable? 15. True False 13.11. True False 12.

A junction box should be covered with which type of cover plate? 19. D. Refer to Table 1. A. True False 20. B.16. The device shown below is a/an __________. A box installed outdoors does not need a special weatherproof cover. D. C. B. 6 14 16 18 EN5142 20 . True False 18. B. How many 12-AWG conductors can be placed in a box that is 2 1/8 x 4 11/16 inches square? A. 17. A. B. a box cover should be installed. C. A. Conduit bushing Fixture extension Fixture stud Internal clamp After a device is installed and all work is completed. page 11.

Refer to Table 2. What is the total conductor count in the box shown below if an of the box connectors are internal? A. 7 8 9 10 21 EN5142 . B. C. page 11. A box that has 42 cubic inches of free space can hold twenty 14AWG conductors. True False A fixture extension does not reduce the number of conductors permitted in a box. Conductors that terminate inside the box without being connected to a device count as only one conductor. True False 24. B. B. A. A. D. True False 23. A. B.21. 22.

B. 15. 13. D. 10. B. 4. 16. A. 3. 1/2 inch to 6 inches (page 2 (page 2) True (page 2) (page 3) True (page 4) True (page 4) False (page 5) False (page 5) 46 to 52 (page 5) 12 to 18 (page 5) False (page 6) False (page 6) EMT (page 8) (page 8) True (page 9) Fixture stud (page 10) True (page 15) (page 15) EN5142 22 . 7. C. B. A. B. A. C. 12. B. 18. A. 9. A. 5.LESSON PRACTICE EXERCISE ANSWER KEY AND FEEDBACK Item 1. Correct Answer and Feedback B. A. 8. 17. C. B. 11. 2. 14. 6. B.

21. A. 24. B. 22. D. Correct Answer and Feedback B. 23. B. 20. False (page 15) 18 (page 11) True (page 11) False (page 11) False (page 13) 10 (page 12) 23 EN5142 .Item 19. D.

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