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Use of Anti Short Bushings for Terminating Type MC Cable

Dear Mike,

In the past I have emailed you questions on the code and your responses are most respected in the field. I am quite disturbed by the NEC's lack of clarification of the usage of anti-short bushings, AKA "Redheads," in the application of MC cable installations. I have seen that the NEC only addresses its usage in AC cable and does not apply it to MC cable.

Common sense is to use them with all armor cable installations. I have personally had applications blow up in my hand when people do not use them. I am an advocate of its usage and strictly monitor my apprentices.

I do truly wish for some clarification and strict correction in the NEC. I also have argued the fact that the bushings installed in "speed lock" and "push in" connectors is to protect the wire from the connector only and DOES NOT replace the anti-short bushing that protects the wire from the armor cable sheath.

I await your response and do hope that it is addressed in the EC&M magazine as it is regarded as clarification to Code and read for corrections.

Thank you Kindly Sir

Englewood, CO

Mike Holt's Response: Derek, I can understand your frustration, but this issue has been clearly address by the NEMA Engineering Department Bulletin No. 90, titled Use of Anti-Short Bushings for Terminating Type MC Cable.

ROP #7-116 from the May 2001 Report on Proposals (ROP) for the 2002 NEC was a proposal seeking to require anti-short bushings on all MC Cable termination installations. The following is an excerpt from the Panel statement rejecting the proposal:

Anti-short bushings are not required for Type MC cable in accordance with the listing for the product. The termination fittings approved for use with Type MC cables are designed such that the wires will not come in contact with the cut edge of the armor; the throat of the fitting is small enough to prevent contact with the armor. Type MC termination fittings perform the same function for Type MC cable as Type AC terminations plus the anti-short bushing do for Type AC cable.

Click here to download the entire bulletin.

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