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Old 04-18-2012, 05:45 PM   #1
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NM in Residential detached garage


Is it a violation of code to run exposed NM in a residential detached garage? The wire is spanning through studs at about 8.5' and then ran closely down the stud to each receptacle and/or switch at 48" from the floor, back up the stud to the 8.5' and on to the next recep. or switch. Is the wire ran through the studs at 8.5' considered unprotected???

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Old 04-18-2012, 06:22 PM   #2
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NM in Residential detached garage


What NEC code is your area using?

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Old 04-18-2012, 06:24 PM   #3
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NM in Residential detached garage


It is considered unprotected but I don't think it is considered subject to damage at that height.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:30 PM   #4
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NM in Residential detached garage


If it was, there would be millions of basements, attics, garages and outbuildings in violation.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:28 PM   #5
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NM in Residential detached garage


When I did my garage I could run run the cables above the truss rafter stringer and drill through the top plate and then follow the studs down to the box. The inspector said I couldn't run stud to stud because invariably something would get hung on the cable.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:06 AM   #6
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NM in Residential detached garage


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Originally Posted by MisterSteve View Post
Is it a violation of code to run exposed NM in a residential detached garage? The wire is spanning through studs at about 8.5' and then ran closely down the stud to each receptacle and/or switch at 48" from the floor, back up the stud to the 8.5' and on to the next recep. or switch. Is the wire ran through the studs at 8.5' considered unprotected???
It depends on which NEC is being enforced in your area, or if it is permiitted my local ordinances.

2008 NEC - NO. Unless walls and ceilings are covered with a material having a 15 min fire rating in order for NM to be permitted.

2011 NEC - Yes. Walls and ceilings not required to be covered.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:49 AM   #7
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NM in Residential detached garage


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If it was, there would be millions of basements, attics, garages and outbuildings in violation.
there probably are millions of outbuildings that are in violation. not being able to run bare NM in a tool shed before 2011 was a little silly, in my opinion. think of it this way: attached garage, okay; detached garage 1" away, totally uncool. doesn't make much sense...
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:18 PM   #8
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NM in Residential detached garage


I made the assumption that my area was using 2011 NEC but it is still on 2008. So, can the inspector make his own judgement call and pass it? It's me and all my crap in there, not an auto shop or wood working shop. I'm also the owner of the home and living in it. It's not like I'm trying to make improvements to sell it or rent it out.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:18 PM   #9
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NM in Residential detached garage


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there probably are millions of outbuildings that are in violation. not being able to run bare NM in a tool shed before 2011 was a little silly, in my opinion. think of it this way: attached garage, okay; detached garage 1" away, totally uncool. doesn't make much sense...
In that case, it would have been in violation for years as I previously stated, due to Bare Romex has been in outbuildings, garages, attic spaces, crawl spaces, basements for years, with nothing covering it, except one face, the other face open to human touch. As long as the romex is not attached to the face of the stud or joist, it is fine.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:32 PM   #10
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NM in Residential detached garage


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In that case, it would have been in violation for years as I previously stated, due to Bare Romex has been in outbuildings, garages, attic spaces, crawl spaces, basements for years, with nothing covering it, except one face, the other face open to human touch. As long as the romex is not attached to the face of the stud or joist, it is fine.
are we talking mounting heights or simply bare NM? bare NM in outbuildings, detached garages, etc. has not been allowed before the 2011 code. attics, basements, etc. of the main home are in general okay and has been for years.

and in attics, cable can run along the top of the joists, as long as there is a guard strip covering the cable at the joists.

and you can run NM under floor joists in unfunished basements/crawlspaces, provided they are larger than 8 AWG (with conditions, of course)
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:02 PM   #11
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NM in Residential detached garage


Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterSteve View Post
I made the assumption that my area was using 2011 NEC but it is still on 2008. So, can the inspector make his own judgement call and pass it? It's me and all my crap in there, not an auto shop or wood working shop. I'm also the owner of the home and living in it. It's not like I'm trying to make improvements to sell it or rent it out.
The 2008 NEC and previous codes state that NM cable is acceptable in detached structures as long as it is covered with a 15 min finish rated covering. Only now under the 2011 NEC is it acceptable to install NM cable in detached sturctures without any covering.
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:09 PM   #12
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NM in Residential detached garage


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The 2008 NEC and previous codes state that NM cable is acceptable in detached structures as long as it is covered with a 15 min finish rated covering. Only now under the 2011 NEC is it acceptable to install NM cable in detached sturctures without any covering.
Just curious if the change is due to a change in the way NM is manufactured or if it is due to the length of time NM has been available (in other words, more statistical data).
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:14 PM   #13
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NM in Residential detached garage


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Just curious if the change is due to a change in the way NM is manufactured or if it is due to the length of time NM has been available (in other words, more statistical data).
it has been discussed in the code panels for a while now. the cable is essentially the same as it has been for years. basically came down to 'why does a detached, uninhabited structure require cable protection greater than that required within an inhabited structure?" it wasn't really intended that these outbuildings needed additional protection but since they are not dwelling units and afforded the exceptions of dwelling units, they were literally interpreted to require additional protection. the 2011 change can almost be thought of as a clarification rather than a new rule.

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Old 04-19-2012, 01:24 PM   #14
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NM in Residential detached garage


The 15 min rated covering did not appear in the NEC until the 2002 NEC. NM installed in detached structures prior to the 2002 NEC is acceptable and now is again in the 2011 NEC. I don't have any of my earlier NEC books back as far as the 1974 NEC with me, but I don't remember this in any of the earlier codes.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:08 PM   #15
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NM in Residential detached garage


Thank you all for your input. So, is the exposed nm being run through the studs still a violation regardless of 2008 or 2011 NEC?

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