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Old 06-01-2011, 04:24 PM   #16
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How to wire multiple lights in attic on same circuit?


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Try 334.30 also. The 314.17(C) exception lists both UF and non-metallic cables into single gang boxes non-metallic boxes. If a metallic box was used it would be clamped.

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NEC 334.30[/b]]
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Securing and Supporting.
Nonmetallic-sheathed cable shall be supported and secured by staples, cable ties, straps, hangers, or similar fittings designed and installed so as not to damage the cable, at intervals not exceeding 1.4 m (412 ft) and within 300 mm (12 in.) of every outlet box, junction box, cabinet, or fitting. Flat cables shall not be stapled on edge.

Sections of cable protected from physical damage by raceway shall not be required to be secured within the raceway.


Thank you, Jim. So, according to this, an NM box (with no clamping device) needs to be secured within 12" (not 8" or 6") of the box, and then every 4-1/2' thereafter?




Last edited by sirsparksalot; 06-02-2011 at 01:34 AM. Reason: changed 4-1/2 inches (") to feet (')
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:27 PM   #17
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How to wire multiple lights in attic on same circuit?


Oh, wait a min. This is cable support. For NM box support, 314.17(C) applies?
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:41 PM   #18
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How to wire multiple lights in attic on same circuit?


Guys, another round of thank yous. This is invaluable to me, and I've realized that I need to more or less start this project over, and rip out the too-small switch boxes, and even re-thread new Romex through the walls, because the wires I mashed into the switch boxes probably won't be in good shape to reuse.

I'm not an electrician, so I feel like I need to follow the letter of the code and not cut ANY corners and risk any issues down the line. Was also not aware that cable needed to be stapled behind walls, but I guess it makes sense -- stapling every four feet, whether its across a joist or down a wall. Any tips for more easily stapling Romex behind a finished plaster/lathe wall? I guess I'll just cut a bigger hole in the plaster so I can squeeze a hammer in there.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:44 AM   #19
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How to wire multiple lights in attic on same circuit?


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Guys, another round of thank yous. This is invaluable to me, and I've realized that I need to more or less start this project over, and rip out the too-small switch boxes, and even re-thread new Romex through the walls, because the wires I mashed into the switch boxes probably won't be in good shape to reuse.

I'm not an electrician, so I feel like I need to follow the letter of the code and not cut ANY corners and risk any issues down the line. Was also not aware that cable needed to be stapled behind walls, but I guess it makes sense -- stapling every four feet, whether its across a joist or down a wall. Any tips for more easily stapling Romex behind a finished plaster/lathe wall? I guess I'll just cut a bigger hole in the plaster so I can squeeze a hammer in there.
Two thumbs up for doing this by Code (especially recognizing that since we don't do this every day like the pros here, we need all the help we can to make things safe). Don't try and cut corners, cause that's when, inevitably, we mess up. The pros here are great, so don't be shy about asking.

If you're working in old work (plaster and drywall is already up), then what you need to do is find some "old work" boxes. These come with ears that are adjusted behind the wall by adjusting a screw. They are plastic PVC boxes, and you should be able to find them at the Big Box stores like Home Depot and Lowes.

As far as securing the cable, again if it's behind walls that are already up, NO, you don't have to secure them. BUT, you do need the boxes that have plastic clamping devices attached. No need to tear up your walls trying to get a hammer in there.

I may have missed the fact that this is old work, assuming that you had open walls. If I did, apologies.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:11 AM   #20
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How to wire multiple lights in attic on same circuit?


The cable needs to be secured within 8" if there is no clamping at the box, otherwise with clamps it goes to 12". Most plastic single gang boxes do not have clamps.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:34 AM   #21
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How to wire multiple lights in attic on same circuit?


When cables are fished thru wall they do not have to secured. No where in the code have a found that you do need the boxes that have plastic clamping devices attached.
If go carefully you may be able to save the wires you already installed.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:34 AM   #22
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How to wire multiple lights in attic on same circuit?


Thanks to Jim for posting the code references. As he mentioned, many plastic single gang boxes don’t have their own clamps. (Clarification...those that are ‘new work’, nail on type don’t, but some do) I’m going to say that most ‘old work’, plastic cut-in boxes do, as I’ve never seen an ‘old-work’ box that didn’t have clamps.

And thanks to NJMarine. NM cable fished in walls doesn’t have to be secured within the wall.

Bottlerockett, there is no need to open the wall to get the wire in. If you have to replace a nailed in box that’s already there, you can usually cut it out with a sawzall and replace it with an ‘old-work’ cut-in box. Check the size of the opening you have versus what the new box needs. Another idea…is there a way to put junction boxes (in the attic for example) and just have one cable entering your existing switch box?
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:41 AM   #23
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How to wire multiple lights in attic on same circuit?


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Oh, wait a min. This is cable support. For NM box support, 314.17(C) applies?
314.17(C) refers to a special type of switch/recepts. I found some of these in a mobile/modular home. There isn’t a normal box in the wall. The box and switch are all incorporated into one. Goofy and cheap.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:30 AM   #24
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How to wire multiple lights in attic on same circuit?


SD515, wow, I can't believe I didn't think of the idea to put junction boxes in the attic, and just run one Romex line down to the light switch. Thanks!!! That solves some the problem of switch box being too small. I guess in that scenario I'd use the white neutral wire from the light fixture as the second hot wire to the light switch, and mark it as hot with black electrical tape.

Four of the other black wires would have to be twisted together in one wire nut -- is that typically done?

As for plastic Old Work boxes, I got some at Home Depot, but none of them have clamps at the back -- only the smaller metal ones do. I couldn't find any plastic box with clamps, but I'm still going to see if I can reach in and attach the Romex to the closet stud, within 6" of the box. Thanks again, everyone.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:15 AM   #25
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How to wire multiple lights in attic on same circuit?


With the right size wirenut, you can put 4 in them.

Heres a pic of a single gang cut-in box with internal clamps. Then you wouldn't have to try and staple inside the wall.
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:27 PM   #26
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How to wire multiple lights in attic on same circuit?


As was already said, If you fish wire it does not need to be secured.

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