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Feeder MC armored electrical cable run next to traditional conduit



Why Choose Metal-Clad (MC) Cable Over Electrical Conduit?

Written March 2019 | Katy Martin, Content Marketing Associate at Service Wire Company

Metal-clad (MC) cable constructions are a cost-effective alternative to traditional pipe and wire. These high-performing solutions offer significant cost savings by eliminating the need for electrical conduit and the labor required for installation. Contractors who use MC cable require limited pulling equipment, fewer reels, and less time setting up pulls.

Advantages of MC Armored Cable

  • Armored MC cables provide the protection and durability required without the need for electrical conduit.
  • The armor is made of metal which resists corrosion, making MC cable suitable for areas exposed to moisture.
  • Interlocked armor MC is flexible, unlike conduit or even continuously welded armor, ensuring damage will not affect inner conductors.
  • MC is more easily installed where complex, close-spaced bends would be difficult for conduit.
  • No specialty cutting or bending tools are needed to install MC cable.

These advantages can mean significant savings in material and labor costs.

Labor Cost Savings Example (Versus Conduit and Wire)

Based on Union Electrician Hourly Rate and NECA Recommended Labor Hours for Singles/Conduit Versus MC Feeder Cable

Method Hours per 100'
Galvanized 3" Conduit and Wire 32.9
PVC 3" Conduit and Wire 22.9
Service Wire 4/0 AWG MC 5.8
(For Comparison Purposes Only – Actual Results May Vary)

MC Cable Applications

Type MC cable is primarily used in commercial, industrial, and utility applications. It is permitted for indoor or outdoor service, feeder, or branch circuits and can be exposed or concealed.

Contractors can easily identify opportunities for MC because it can be used in any project using pipe and wire. Industries that typically use Feeder MC include tenant build-outs, large commercial projects, university housing, data centers, and retail space.


Armored MC cables eliminate the need for electrical conduit, provide higher mechancial protection and durability, and require fewer labor hours during installation.

Contractors who use type MC report 50-75% combined labor and material savings versus pipe and wire.

Feeder MC is a cost-effective alternative for any project that calls for traditional pipe and wire.



Service Wire offers Feeder MC in galvanized or aluminum interlocked armor. It is helically wound around the conductors and allows for ease of bending. MC cables are also phase identified for easy installation. PVC, ServiceCPE®, and EnviroPlus® (LSZH) jackets are avaialble.



  • Conduit - A tube or trough for protecting electrical wire and cables. It may be...READ MORE.


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