May 28, 2024


Technology and Computer

MC Cable 14-2 Electrical Wire With Ground

MC stands for Metal Clad because of the aluminum metal clad sheathing used as a jacket instead of standard PVC insulation on most electrical cables. The aluminum jacket serves as conduit for indoor applications because it was engineered to save time and money for contractors installing it. It will pass inspection as a fully covered group of wires where standard Romex® NMB cable will not.

MC cable 14/2 is the smallest version of the Southwire Armorlite® Type MC which means you cannot get it in 16 AWG. The lightweight aluminum interlocked armor is wrapped around the 14 AWG conductors and easily stripped for installation purposes. There will always be an additional ground wire on top of the amount of conductors stated. Therefore, MC 14/2 cable has 3 total wires which are the black and white wires along with a green insulated grounding wire in the same AWG size.

There is also an MC AP cable which stands for Metal Clad All Purpose which is manufactured with a 12 AWG aluminum bonding wire instead of a 14 AWG green copper wire. It makes it cheaper and still meets the NEC code in order to pass inspection. This is not as readily available as the standard MC cable because it hasn’t gained enough popularity yet.

MC cable is an upgrade from NMB cable because it’s approved for outdoor and conduit use. The aluminum interlocked armor and the fact that the ground wire is insulated both create more protection for the copper than standard NMB cable. This, of course, makes metal clad cable a bit more expensive but you’re paying for the additional approvals to install it in conduit or raceway or install it indoors without buying conduit.

Just because MC cable can be used indoors without additional conduit doesn’t mean the same for outdoor use. When using metal clad cable underground it must be surrounded with conduit or approved raceway. It cannot be installed directly in the ground unless you purchase the much more expensive MC cable with an additional PVC jacket over the aluminum armor. The added PVC jacket keeps the cable water tight and air tight for installations underground and directly in concrete if needed.

Speak to your electrical wire and cable supplier about which type of cable is right for your application. An electrician will help you with the AWG size you need but your supplier will help you with the type of insulation you need based on the environment it’s placed in.