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Old 03-17-2010, 12:29 PM   #1
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Concern about Current Wiring in Basement


I was looking at the wiring in the basement of my house the other day and had some concerns. It looks like the previous owner wired all of the electrical NM cables (14/2 and 12/2) running down the center of the basement directly adjacent to the main beam of the house. This started at the electrical panel, ran down the main beam and each cable branched out in between the floor joist and up to the first floor as needed.

As they ran along the main beam they were stapled to the floor joists using 1-1/8" metal staples. Closest to the electrical panel there were probably 20 cables fixed each floor joist with 3 of these staples - 7 or so cables in each staple. I did notice the wires were loose and you could move them within the staples.

Is this OK? Are these staples OK to use in this manner? How does derating play into all this?

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Old 03-17-2010, 01:16 PM   #2
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Concern about Current Wiring in Basement


The staples should be loose so that no conductor will get crushed or nicked. It sounds like the previous home owner tried to lay out the home with as many individual branch circuits as he could. This is also good as long as he hasn't overloaded the panel. The part about putting multiple cables under one staple again is all right so long as all the cables are loose. As far as delaminating goes hopefully he didn't put all the staples in a row on a microlamb joist??

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Old 03-17-2010, 01:18 PM   #3
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Concern about Current Wiring in Basement


Hard call without seeing this personally. There are rules for stapling cables. If you can take a couple pictures we could go over them. I would not get concerned as the rules for stapling are for protection from physical damage and there is really no safety issue involve IMO.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:10 AM   #4
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Concern about Current Wiring in Basement


Here is a picture...

Concern about Current Wiring in Basement-photo-2.jpg
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:13 AM   #5
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Concern about Current Wiring in Basement


If this is running across all the joists usually you install a 1x4 etc as a "running board"
Wires are not supposed to be run in such a manner that they could be used like a clothes line
Other problem is that if they are too tight then if there are 4 or more cables the current carrying capacity of each circuit needs to be reduced
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:25 PM   #6
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Concern about Current Wiring in Basement


They are running across all the joists. Should I correct this and install a 1x4? I plan on boxing this in when I finish the basement. Would this be ok?

They are not tight at all, I can move the wires in all the staples. Is it then ok if there are more than 4 wires in each staple? And if I boxed this in would heat then be a problem?
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:28 PM   #7
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Concern about Current Wiring in Basement


The photo you show would not need derating as there is air circulation throughout those cables.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:34 PM   #8
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As long as it is not a tight box should not be a problem
Once its boxed in the "clothes line" possibility is gone

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