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Thread: Can I use braided wire in my breaker box?

  1. #1

    Question Can I use braided wire in my breaker box?

    I had a new breaker box installed in my basement (not a subpanel...feeds directly off of the meter) for my shop and for the basement (when I get around to finishing it). The panel is located in my basement shop (next to the original panel). I need a temporary 20-amp, 240v circuit for my tablesaw. Can I just wire the breaker with "extension cord"-type wiring to a 20-amp outlet for temporary use if the wire is braided (and sufficient gauge) or do I have to use "solid" wire inside the breaker box? The receptacle box wouldn't be permanently attached to anything....more like an extension cord and would only be about 10 feet (max) from the breaker box.

    I guess a related question would be whether I could use the braided wire on the receptacle.

  2. #2

    Default 20A, 240V recept

    NO, that's full of violations.

    Here is a somewhat related thread:

    This is the bare minimum I would do:
    It sounds like this basement area is NOT finished.
    This is a basement...I would get a length of 12/3 with ground (CU) romex
    and run it from the top of your panel up to the ceiling and directly
    overhead of your tablesaw. Put jbox and appropriate receptacle at
    the end of the run. Wire up the receptacle with the red, black and
    bare ground; cap off the white wire.
    No, go back to the panel and terminate the cable safely.
    I deenergize panel, connect bare ground first, then connect black
    and red wires to a double pole 20A breaker. Cap off the white wire and
    label where it goes. Reenergize panel.
    Test the circuit. Hopefully, your tablesaw cord will reach the
    receptacle in the overhead. Let us know.

    Perhaps you could get away with a 12/2 with ground and re-identify
    the white wire. I'll let others reply about that.

    To answer your question about braided wire...
    You can use "stranded" wire but it must be approved for your
    use, extension cord is NOT approved to be connected to a CB.
    THWN stranded is a generally approved wire type, I use it sometimes
    for difficult bends/pulls.

  3. #3

    Default Mc

    After thinking about this, you should use MC cable instead of
    NM-B. Then you would have a permanent installation and you
    could come down the wall if you want.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    NY State


    Quote Originally Posted by ggratecc
    Perhaps you could get away with a 12/2 with ground and re-identify the white wire. I'll let others reply about that.
    Absolutely. No reason at all to use 3-wire and waste the white. Why would you want to???

    Also, I would NOT come from the ceiling. If youv'e ever used a table saw you'd know why.

    If it were me, I'd use 12/2NM from the panel to a 4"sq box with an "industrial cover" (raised cover) with a 250v/20 amp single receptacle.
    This SHOULD NOT be used very long. It is a temporary solution. The NM will not take much abuse.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Welland Ontario


    I would just install a receptacle right beside the new panel. Then plug your appropriate extension cord into the receptacle. You will only need 3 feet of cable.

  6. #6



    Thanks for the replies. I'm not sure why I said "braided" wire in my original post. What I really meant was "stranded" wire. Of the ideas floated, I think I like the idea of using 12-2 NM and running it along the ceiling to a 4" square box. That way, it is off of the ground and less susceptible to damage. My shop is under my garage so the ceiling of the shop is metal decking. I only need to run about 10 feet of NM from the breaker box to a 4" box and I can secure it to the (metal) ceiling with a magnet when I don't need to use it. I will probably run an additional 9' of NM so I can lower the box to the floor when I do need to use it. Again, this is only a temporary solution. Thanks again for the replies.

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