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Old 02-09-2007, 01:00 PM   #1
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Multiple cable runs


I am going to be running quite a few NM cables from my fuse breaker box through the attic to the rooms in my home. Wondering what people are using these days to secure a bunch of lines together for the run? I'll have 14/2 12/2 etc wires all running to the same general area and don't want to secure each of them individually every 5 feet in the attic. They will be breaking off anywhere from 35-100 feet down the line to service the rooms.

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Old 02-09-2007, 03:37 PM   #2
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Multiple cable runs


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Wondering what people are using these days to secure a bunch of lines together for the run?
Nm cable is not allowed to be bundled together for lengths exceeding 24". This is to prevent additive heat build-up of the individual cables. So we arent using anything these days to bundle a bunch of cables together in an attic.
In permanently accessible attics that have ladders or stairwell access nm cables must be protected by guard strips if ran across the face of the joists. Guard strips are generally just 1x2's fastened on each side of the exposed cable run. the cables still must be supported every 4 1/2 or every other floor joist.
If the attic is not readily accessible and just a scuttle hole the guard strips are required within 6 feet of the hole if the cable is ran at angles to the joists. You still must fasten every 4 1/2 feet. No getting away from that requirement unless you use conduit and individual wires or are fishing the cable down into concealed wall cavities. Even with conduit you have to secure it at the proper intervals. Do not put nm (romex) in conduit in attics this increases the heat build up from (I)(2rd) losses.

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Old 02-09-2007, 09:19 PM   #3
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Multiple cable runs


Is that some kind of joke? WOW!
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:46 PM   #4
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Multiple cable runs




What Stubbie said was closely paraphrased out of the NEC...what part do you think is a joke?
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Old 02-10-2007, 08:25 AM   #5
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Multiple cable runs


That was my attempt at sarcasm. Sorry.

I was actually looking for a product or technique that I can use to make these runs. Do you guys use stackers?

These runs will be crossing joists in my attic. The attic is easily accessible.

Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:43 AM   #6
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Multiple cable runs


Sorry...it was gettin late. Anyway, they do sell stackers, but I dunno if I'd use 'em in an attic. You'd still have to put runners in, they'd just be higher runners. How many cables do you have? By crossing I assume you mean running perpendicular? You might consider drilling them into the joists. You can drill 3/4" holes and run 2 or 3 per hole.
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:51 AM   #7
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Multiple cable runs


I'll probably have about 12 cables. So you can stuff 2 or 3 in a hole in a 2x but you can't staple them together?

Still not really sure what runners are. Is this something you make or can buy in a store?
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:00 PM   #8
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Multiple cable runs


Runners are 1x2's that are nailed on each side of the cables. If you step on the cable, most of the weight (and damage) is on the 1x2, not the cable.

Yes you can put more than one in a hole and you CAN also staple as many as you have stackers for. However, try walking thru an attic...roofing nails overhead...only a foothold every 16 or 24 inches...AND now ya gotta watch out for the cable runner that is about to trip you up and put you down (through the ceiling, I might add).
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Old 02-10-2007, 08:57 PM   #9
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Multiple cable runs


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Originally Posted by jproffer View Post


What Stubbie said was closely paraphrased out of the NEC...what part do you think is a joke?
I am not denying that the runners maybe the "letter of the law", but in more than 20 years in remodeling trade, I have never seen a job called down for lack of them, but unstapled wires will get the inspector's attention.
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:29 AM   #10
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Multiple cable runs


I cant speak for what local inspectors may or may not require in the fastening of nm perpendicular to joists in a readily accessible attic. The nec requires guard strips. Inspectors also may allow running boards, in place of guard strips. In your case if you ran some 1x8 linearly across the joists the length of the attic then stapled your nm to that you could just branch off a cable run when needed. For example if had 5 cables and I was doing the job I would run two rows of 1x2 the length of the attic with the outside edge width at 8 inches. I would staple the cables between these guard strips. After I completed my wiring upgrades I would get some 4x8 cheapo plywood 11/32nd's or so and rip it to 8 inch.This would give you 48 linear feet. I would then nail that plywood to the 1x2 putting a roof over the cables so to speak. This will be slightly above code and you wont have to worry about your foot placement when in the attic. I also understand that some attics aren't user friendly and you may have to modify this to suit your needs.

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Last edited by Stubbie; 02-12-2007 at 11:59 AM. Reason: clarify # of cables
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:18 AM   #11
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Multiple cable runs


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Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
I cant speak for what local inspectors may or may not require in the fastening of nm perpendicular to joists in a readily accessible attic. The nec requires guard strips. Inspectors also may allow running boards, in place of guard strips. In your case if you ran some 1x8 linearly across the joists the length of the attic then stapled your nm to that you could just branch off a cable run when needed.
If I was doing the job I would run two rows of 1x2 the length of the attic with the outside edge width at 8 inches. I would staple the cables between these guard strips. After I completed my wiring upgrades I would get some 4x8 cheapo plywood 11/32nd's or so and rip it to 8 inch.This would give you 48 linear feet. I would then nail that plywood to the 1x2 putting a roof over the cables so to speak. This will be slightly above code and you wont have to worry about your foot placement when in the attic. I also understand that some attics aren't user friendly and you may have to modify this to suit your needs.

Stubbie
I like that. This would make a channel 8 inches wide where I can secure all 12 or so of the NM cable runs with no stacking. That is doable from my perspective.
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:40 PM   #12
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Multiple cable runs


Sorry I should clarify.... For 12 cables you will need 12" or so between the inside edges of the 1x2 and 15" on the outside measurement. This will allow you to have approx. 1/4" between cables for the staples. Cheap 1x2x8 is about 90 cents a stick here in my area. Sometimes the big box stores will seperate out the ones that nobody wants and they will practically give those to you.

Nm is generally a little less than 1/2" wide in #12 awg with 14 awg around 3/8".

The general rule for this method is to allow 1" for each cable whether 12 or 14 awg or a combination. If you have 8 cables and 4 are #14 awg and 4 are #12 then you need 8 inches to each inside edge of the 1x2.

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Last edited by Stubbie; 02-12-2007 at 12:08 PM.
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