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Old 02-23-2010, 11:00 AM   #1
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Basement cable location on joists


I have to run a total of 5 NM 12 or 14 gauge cables from outlet & light circuits, in a room I have just build inside my basement garage, to the house electrical box 10-20 feet away on an end cinder block wall. The cables are initially of course within the sheetrock walls of the new room but emerge through the top of one wall to get to the electrical box. At this point they have to cross several floor joists at right angles - so I cannot hide the cables along the side of the joists, as the original house builder has mostly done with his cables.
My question - is it OK to fix my new cables to the bottom horizontal edge of the joists (which are about 8ft above the basement floor) or do I have to drill holes for them through these joists? When the original builder had to run cable at right angles to joists he put the wiring through holes drilled in the joists. I am thinking this was simply done for the convenience of keeping them out of the way of air ducting etc which he ran in the same place. It will be much simpler for me to just fix my new room cables directly to the bottom edge of the joists, since they will never be in my way & as I said earlier they are 8ft away from the basement floor. Iím hoping there is no code requirement to have the cables either pass through the joists or for the cables to be in some conduit or other. (I do believe that when the new cables reach the end wall, they will have to be in a conduit as they run vertically down the cinder block wall to the box.) I would much appreciate help on this!
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:34 AM   #2
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Basement cable location on joists


In exposed basements only cables not smaller than 2 #6 or 3 #8 can be attached to the bottom of the joist. Otherwise bord holes or running boards need to be used.

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Old 02-23-2010, 12:07 PM   #3
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Basement cable location on joists


Thanks Jim!
Not thought about a running board. Are there specs for such boards & how the cables are attached? Another possibility: could I attach a 2 x 3 or 2 x 4 stud horizontally to the bottom of the joists, to make a suitable surface and fix the cables to the side of the horizontal stud? Would that be code? As you might surmise, I really donít want to drill holes in my joists!
Thanks again for any insight.
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:15 PM   #4
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Basement cable location on joists


Given you said 5 cables I would run a 1x4 on the bottoms and staple to the flat bottom. Easier than trying to staple 5 cables in 1 1/2" depth.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:18 PM   #5
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Basement cable location on joists


If you ever decide to put in a ceiling the cable will need to be moved. My preference would be to drill holes. It's not that big a deal.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:49 PM   #6
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Basement cable location on joists


Thanks Jim & joed
SInce I will never be placing a ceiling where these cables run, I will go with the 1x4 idea running at right angles to the joists.
One final question, can I leave the cables, stapled and open for view, or will I have to add sides & and another 1 x 4 to 'box' the cables in? - Not a problem, I just want to do it right.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:53 PM   #7
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Basement cable location on joists


Stapled to the bottom would be fine. No need for sides.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:39 PM   #8
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Basement cable location on joists


Also see this discussion:

Unsupported wire in crawlspace

You may need to drill holes according to what CodeOne told me. I don't have a copy of the 2008 NEC so I'm not sure exactly where it mentions about drilling holes. Maybe he or another inspector on here could clear this up? Or check with your local jurisdiction.

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Old 02-24-2010, 08:20 AM   #9
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Basement cable location on joists


Since the chance of damage was considered lesser in the crawlspace as there would not be clothes hanging from the cables you could staple the cable to the joist bottom in the crawlspace. The NEC has changed this so you now use bored holes or running boards.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:53 AM   #10
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Basement cable location on joists


That makes sense to me, there are plenty of times I bump into joists in my crawlspace and I could never hang clothes there.

To me this sounds like a good argument for running boards in the basement--which is what you were planning anyway--BV.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:13 AM   #11
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Basement cable location on joists


Quick semi-related question. When running wire parallel or perpendicular to floor joists in an unfinished attic - where is the appropriate place to staple them?

On the sides of the joists if running parallel, bored holes if perpendicular?

Thanks.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:52 AM   #12
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Basement cable location on joists


that is correct
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:56 AM   #13
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Basement cable location on joists


Quote:
Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
Quick semi-related question. When running wire parallel or perpendicular to floor joists in an unfinished attic - where is the appropriate place to staple them?

On the sides of the joists if running parallel, bored holes if perpendicular?

Thanks.

Do NOT drill a TRUSS.

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