Use of Type UF Cable for AC Unit

Is Type UF cable permitted to be used as the supply from an AC disco to the unit without any support when installed outdoors?

I can’t seem to find any sop where this is OK, please let me know.


 Most of the time when we are installing these units we use " liquid tight " for the application and install conductors rated for wet locations. Now I will have to admit many electricians just sleeve 10-2 NM inside the pipe which I am sure could raise a entirly new debate.....

  However, because of the risk of damage we install " liquidtite" and pull UF cable within it......Sure some will say you should pull individual conductors of like THWN and so on.....which is probably the best.....but in the real world I do not believe we have been turned down for a short 2-3' UF sleeved within Liquidtight.....I like it better than people sleeving NM Cable within it because NM is not rated for the wet location existant in conduit.

Ok…can you run UF to the AC unit from the disconnect…hmmm…Is it subject to physical damage?..Probably…another note is UF should be sized based on 60 degree ratings as listed in table 310.16

If you sleeve it…support it 12" from the enclosure.

lol…Sad thing is "Liquid Tight " is not protection from Physical Damage either really…but AHJ’s have never really had a issue with it.

Either way…of the choices…I would write up the UF as being exposed to damage…

I am guessing that means it was a bootleg job. Is this common around your area? May be right or could have more serious problems of an HVAC nature, like a bad charge.

Not sure I follow you Greg…Bootleg Job?

Bootlegged connections and runs abound here out the wahzoo. I routinely find a handyman has installed wiring to an AC unit. They have been known to run NM, UF outside (literally coming out of the soffit down to the unit, no NM clamps) I found one not long ago the fella had run the NM from inside the Air handler closet down through the line set chase out to the outdoor unit. It was bright yellow too for all the world to see. Another time I found someone had used green garden hose for a “sorta” liquidtight FMC to run cable (again NM) out to their shed. Its like anything goes here if you can get away with it.

OHHH…SNAP…you mean the UF to the AC unit as being BOOTLEG…done by a handyman…DANG…I was SLOW on that…

The best case might be an HVAC guy moonlighting who just didn’t have any sealtite on the truck
Worst case would be a stolen unit installed by a handyman working out of his trunk.
I would also be looking at shortcuts they took in the ductwork and other issues

“How to install outdoor wiring”

This article states that the NEC requires #12 for all residential wiring…

When did this change ?


Are you refering to that comment line in the article you posted which I have re-posted below:

“The National Electrical Code now requires No. 12 gauge wire for all residential electrical wiring.”

News to me…We are buying # 14 AWG everyday…and just for the record I am NOT one of those who believe every plug in the house should be 12 AWG…sure it has more capacity…but if you KNOW what you are doing and size it correctly…14 AWG is fine…

I am not aware of any stoppage of # 14 AWG…atleast not in the CODE book I use…thehehehe

That’s one problem I see in all of these “wiring made easy” books. They don’t know what the code says

Agreed…Anyone can write a book…the research is the important part.

That is strange…

But I can say that 90% of Electricians (in Massachusetts) installing wiring in new construction today, utilize 12 AWG.


could be quite possible, however in VA or atleast in the area's I deal with....14 AWG is used with no problems and has been in use since 1928 when NM Cable was introduced.

I do not have a problem wiring 14 AWG for bedrooms and general lighting...and guess what...I have done 1,000's of reports of random tripping yet.....tehehehhe:)

If the client requests 12 AWG we most certainly will run it, they have to also be aware of the additional charge for wire and labor associated with running more 12 AWG wire.

Ok..for those who say that is not a big difference in labor...they obviously have not done alot of houses in 12 AWG....Kitchens are bad enough...but the entire house....murder in mid-winter....:)

I dont have a problem with it either way...Both work fine to me as it ends up being on the shoulders of the electrician to wire the branch circuits correctly and break up the wiring to reduce any potential for Voltage Drop....remember 50' is still a long way...considering all the factors envolved like panel placement and so on....

14 AWG…12 AWG…its all good…:slight_smile:

From the NEC 2005 version, as well as older versions of the NEC.

Table 310.5
Minimum Size of Conductors

0-2000 volts, copper - 14 AWG
This is typical for building wire, there are other types of wiring permitted in the NEC that allows smaller conductors, but that is very specific for particular installation practices.

I myself would never use a DIYer site as a resouce for any electrical information.


First of all this is NOT a DIYer site…These are Home Inspectors and the electricians who COME here have anywhere from 5-20 years experience in the REAL trade.

Second, the HI's here are asking questions based on situations they see in home inspection environments and how to comment on them from their report...NOT to wire their own home or situation.

This is not Mike Holts site........things apply differently here on this site because they are home inspectors doing obervations and they are not trying to become electricians or even understand the NEC more than the basics of understanding the violation to which they report in their reports themselves.

" DIYer site as a resource for any electrical information ".......Between Greg, Bob, Joe T, Jeff and myself I would venture to say we have over 75 years of electrical experience between us.

We do not instruct here how to wire a circuit.........they are instructed on HOW report and comment on things they see and the electricians here simply comment on the things they find....and explain WHY it may have been done a certain way.

I do not believe people come here to learn DIY info, they are here as Home Inspectors to understand some electrical situations and how to report on them.

Relax, I was not infering this site is a DIY site. The information from an earlier post was from a DIY site. I am more than aware of who is generally visiting this site. I visit many different sites myself and my understanding is the sites welcome all types who visit, as it helps round out the vast insight many different people can expose to the different sites. I am here to learn, but when I see something (mostly electrical in nature) that I see I can help with, I will make mention of it. Sometimes I will post to “stir the post”, but I will do that less here. :wink:

P.S. I have met some of these other electricians at other sites…
Thanks for the welcome.


He was referring to Bruce’s post. Note the DIY site Bruce was questioning…

UG…Sorry Pierre…lol…My BAD…

I was not ripping ya my friend…you are 100% welcome and thanks for coming as it is always wonderful to get like minded guys and fellow electricians on the boat…:)…we all are just volunteering FISH in a mirky pond of Knowledge…

Dang…now that was corny…