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And I'm not talking about my danged old back (although that happened the other day doing yard work). No, I'm talking about the inevitable transition from flexible armored conduit to either a circuit panel or rigid conduit. If you've done any commercial or industrial wiring, you know what I mean. Lighting runs are the worst.

Transitioning From Flexible to Rigid

Steve Maurer, IME
And I'm not talking about my danged old back (although that happened the other day doing yard work). No, I'm talking about the inevitable transition from flexible armored conduit to either a circuit panel or rigid conduit.

If you've done any commercial or industrial wiring, you know what I mean. Lighting runs are the worst. I mean, it's great using flex for above the ceiling work, but eventually you need to come down to earth, both figuratively and electrically.

Even running flex to switches and receptacle boxes can be somewhat of a chore. Of course, there are connectors that make it a little easier, with push in connectors and built in anti-short bushings.

But let's face it.

When you finally make your home run back to the breaker panel, the result can look like something out of a B-rated horror or sci-fi flick. Cable running everywhere, protruding like tentacles from some kind of alien monster.

Of course, it's possible to use a transition box to cut down on the tangled web you weave. And most (but not all) will have concentric knockouts in places you might need them.

Even so, you still need to connect the MC cables securely to the transition box with some sort of fitting.

Not too bad … just a little tedious and time consuming if you have a lot of circuits to connect.

But … I saw a product that takes most of the muss and fuss out of making home runs back to the panel.

Oddly enough (or is it), it's called the Dugout transition box, made by Raco. And it scores major points, in my opinion.

Here's how it works.

The Dugout transition box system starts with a roomy rectangular enclosure. One of my pet peeves is a small box that'd hard to wire in. This box peeves me not.

Festooned with ample screwdriver-slotted pry-out knockouts, you can install cables to your heart's desire. Of course, that's kind of standard.

The pry-out knockouts adorn both the top and the backside of the box. But …

It's what lies beneath that makes it so much easier and simpler to use.

Or maybe I should say … inside.

You can almost throw away your locknuts and push connectors … well, almost.

The Dugout transition boxes come with 21 STAB-iT™ cable clamps secured to the back over the knockouts. Each clamp secures two MC cables, for a total of up to 42 cables.

The clamps are secured to the box by screws, so you can reconfigure them, even attaching them to the top of the box.

You simply remove the knockouts you want and stab the armored cable into it. The clamps quickly and securely fasten the cables to the box.

There are concentric 1/2-3/4 knockouts on the sides of the box to accept EMT fittings. On the bottom of the box, you can drill and knockout a hole large enough to accept a rigid conduit running to the circuit panel cabinet.

Before you stab the flex into the Dugout, strip back enough of the flex to allow the conductors to go all the way into the box. Honestly, it makes for a very clean install, a big homerun in my playbook.

Removing a cable is almost as easy as installing it. One screw is loosened and the clamp can be removed, allowing the MC to be taken out. And the clamps are reusable, so you don't lose anything when making the change.

Now, this system may cost a little more than the traditional route. But you definitely save both time and labor on the installation.

And that can "transition" (see what I did there) to savings on the job.

The Dugout is part of a family of enclosures, including it's big brother, the Grand Slam. Take a look and see if this might be your ticket to an easier, more efficient installation.

You just might be able to get to the ballpark in time for the big game.
Photo courtesy of Hubbell Raco
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