How to Install Armored Cable

Written by chris passas
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Armoured cable consists of a spiral sheath of galvanised steel that houses electrical wires. A wrap of rugged paper bushing covers the wires. An insulation of rubber or thermoplastic holds each wire. A two-wire armoured cable contains one black wire or hot wire and one white wire or neutral wire. The armour acts as ground and each cable also contains an internal ground called a bonding strip. Installing armoured cable requires physical effort and knowledge of electrical components although the installation process is easy to follow. Do-it-yourselfers with electrical experience will enjoy the challenge of installing armoured cable.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Armoured cable
  • Hacksaw or armoured-cable cutter
  • Antishort bushing
  • Armoured cable connector
  • Clamp or setscrew

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  1. 1

    Remove the knockout hole on the side of the outlet box that will receive the armoured cable.

  2. 2

    Use a hacksaw or armoured-cable cutter to cut through enough of the cable that you can bend it back and forth until it snaps. Cut at a 60-degree angle when using a hacksaw to cut through the armoured cable. Allow an additional 8 inches length near the end of the armoured cable to have enough electrical wire to connect to the outlet box.

  3. 3

    Trim away the steel sheathing from the end of the armoured cable. Pull away at least one inch of the bushing paper where the wires of the armoured cable will connect to the wires of the outlet box. Set an antishort bushing onto the end of the armoured cable to protect the wires of the outlet box from the sharp edges of the steel sheathing. Fold back the bonding strip.

  4. 4

    Use an armoured cable connector to attach the cable to the outlet box. Use a clamp or tightening screw to attach the connector to the armoured cable. Connect the neutral white wire of the armoured cable to the neutral white wire of the outlet box. Connect the hot black wire of the armoured cable to the hot black wire of the outlet box. The electrical codes in some areas require the bonding strip to attach to the tightening screw. Check with the electrical codes in your area as to how you should attach the bonding strip.

  5. 5

    Thread the connector and the wires of the armoured cable into the knockout hole of the outlet box and use a locknut to tighten it in place. Use a hammer and screwdriver to further tighten the locknut.

Tips and warnings

  • Use armoured cable only in the interior of the home in areas that are dry and free of acid fumes.

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