Well, so far, one cruel lesson I've learned about electrical supplies is that at least 10-20% of any manufacturer's official catalog is pure fantasy/bull$hit (take your pick), and doesn't actually exist for purchase anywhere... not even online. Just *try* finding a double-gang old-work box with 1/2"+3/4" punchouts for sale somewhere. Their unavailability at Home Depot & Lowes is a forgone conclusion, but even REAL electric supply stores don't actually sell them... at least, not in South Florida. It seems that down here, their inventories are so overwhelmingly biased towards new construction, and retrofit items aren't even on their radar, let alone on their shelves. They'll scratch their heads and admit they vaguely remember seeing them in the Carlon, T&B, or some other catalog, but that's as far as it goes.
Actually, that's been my single biggest frustration to date. I'll spend a day or two meticulously planning my wiring, agonize over different items until I find *exactly* the right ones to do the job effortlessly and flawlessly... then go on a 3-county holy quest to find someone who's even heard of half the items on the list. Then tear up the list in frustrated rage and try again the next weekend. Stir, rinse, and repeat.
I've officially abandoned all hope of EVER finding shielded cat5 cable anywhere besides online. Two weekends ago, I was in Orlando and made an afternoon pilgrimage to Skycraft. That store has wire and cable in sizes, styles, and colors I never even knew existed. They have something like 40 varieties of cat6/5/e... AWG24, 26, 28... stranded or solid... pick your insulation color. But forget about shielding, because that's the one variety they don't have. Sigh.
Oh, I also had another nasty shock this afternoon. I decided that since I've done all my low-voltage conduit with blue ENT, it would be nice to use Carlon's RED conduit for the high-voltage stuff. Good God... ~$200 for a 200 foot roll (including shipping), at the 3 or 4 places I managed to find selling it online (the two local electrical supply stores I hit at lunch didn't have it, though the second WAS nice enough to warn me that red and yellow are several orders of magnitude more expensive than Smurf Blue, so I wasn't *quite* as blown away as I would have otherwise been). Needless to say, I'm probably not going to be pulling red ENT anytime soon...
While I'm on the topic of ENT... does anybody make an "old work" open bracket that has mounting rings for 3/4" ENT connectors? You know, so you can pull the ENT conduit an inch or so beyond the wall, snap it in, then tilt the whole thing back into position and secure it to the hole cut through the drywall? Or an open-back bracket that has mounting holes for TWO 3/4" conduits? I could *swear* I remember seeing something like that at Home Depot or Lowes ~4-6 years ago, but there isn't even anything vaguely resembling that in Carlon's 2009 catalog... and it looks like the OnQ/Legrand/P&S and Leviton varieties are OEM'ed by Carlon for them and just differ with regard to the plastic color. My problem is that I have full access to the wall from BEHIND, but all the "new work" ENT brackets I've seen have a tab that has to go between the metal stud and drywall... and in this case, the drywall on THAT side is quite firmly attached.
Edited by miamicanes, 10 August 2009 - 08:15 PM.