Romex Wire Through Stucco Wall

I inspected a new house that had Romex running through the Stucco wall. The wire was stapled to the eaves and was ran into a j-box mounted on the eaves. (XMAS lights outlet) Usually I see a j-box mounted on the Stucco wall with a section of Romex ran to the eave mounted j-box. I cannot find a code reference for this type installation for Romex. Any help will be appreciated. Tab

It needs to be protected from physical damage IRC 3702.3.2, and no sharp bends IRC 3702.5. Now that being said it is generally accepted here in Phoenix that if the cable is over 8’ off the ground and under the eaves it is considered protected from physical damage.

Brian, Thanks for your reply and the code referrence. I’m mostly concerned about whether or not the insulation on the Romex is okay to be exposed to the various chemicals that could be in the Stucco mix.

Usually the least of your worries.:slight_smile:

Brian I agree with you. My client asked about it so I thought I would bring it to the forum. Thanks

Romex is listed to be fished through concrete block so there is nothing special about stucco. (concrete without the course aggregate). It can’t be buried in <wet> stucco.
The real concern is if it was exposed to the weather. In that case it should be Type UF if it is a non-metalic cable.
I understand “romex” (actually a brand name for a particular type NM) tends to get used for either type NM or <sometimes> UF. I agree it may be hard to tell them apart if you can’t see the writing or terminations. The clue is NM (the dry location stuff) has a loose jacket with a brown paper wrapper in it. UF has a closely molded jacket with no wrapper. NM-C, the damp location stuff has a plastic wrapper but I have never actually seen any.

I believe that “Romex” and “romex” went the same route as “Kleenex” and “kleenex” and “Xerox copy” and “xerox copy.” That is, the stupid companies forgot to trademark their specific brand and it became part of the public lexicon. However, those three companies still make their brand, so it generally is understood that “Romex” is the brand and “romex” is anything similar manufactured by anyone else. Kleenex still makes Kleenex, but kleenex is made by lots of companies. The Xerox Corporation still makes Xerox copying machines, which make Xerox copies, but lots of companies make photocopying or xerox machines.

Information comes from the Jaworski law firm (of Leon Jaworski fame–if you don’t know who Leon Jaworski is, you’re too young) in Houston when I used to have a large word processing contract with them from 1983-1993.

The real confusion comes in when someone calls UF “romex”. It’s like confusing a Xerox with a jet printer. One is waterproof, the other isn’t.

Yuma AZ is not considered a wet location.:slight_smile:

I’m not concerned about the wire getting wet, being exposed to the Sun or accidental exposure due to its location. I was curious about the wire poking through the wall. I have seen this before but its usually on older homes where the homeowner has punched a hole through the Stucco to power a light fixture. (usually without a j-box) This wire was installed before the Stucco was applied. I agree the use of the word Romex is a bad habit. The cable is NM. And you are right it is very dry in Yuma.

If it is less tha 8’ high and/or exposed to the sun I would recommend conduit Tab.

There is nothing in concrete or stucco that will chemically attack Romex.

Greg, I guess your answer is the one I’m looking for. In this particular application all the normal issues were non issues (wire protected where accessible, wire rated for exposure to the Sun, etc…) so the only thing left was the concern my client had. Thanks for the response.