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Old 12-21-2012, 05:14 PM   #1
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Wires on bottom of joists.


I was under my house in the crawl space, there are electric lines (MN 12-2) that are just hanging from various things. I know this isn't right. These wire are for off peak electric heat; baseboard heat in each room of the house. Is it to code to use wire staples to fasten them to the bottom of the joists? OR is it required that I drill holes in the 2x8 joists and run the wires though them?

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Old 12-21-2012, 05:28 PM   #2
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Wires on bottom of joists.


There's no reason to run them through the joist.
Only time they would do something like that is in a full basement where there was going to be a ceiling installed.

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Old 12-21-2012, 07:22 PM   #3
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Wires on bottom of joists.


Newer editions of the electric code would require the cables to be run through bored holes or on running boards. Earlier editions allowed the cables to be stapled to the bottom of the framing in a crawlspace.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:42 PM   #4
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Wires on bottom of joists.


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Originally Posted by studhauler View Post
Is it to code to use wire staples to fasten them to the bottom of the joists? OR is it required that I drill holes in the 2x8 joists and run the wires though them?
You can drill holes in the middle third of a joist, but that would require disconnecting the wires and refeeding them. (Never notch joists or drill the top or bottom third, as that destroys the structural integrity.)

When you run parallel (with) the joists, don't staple to the bottom, staple to the side at least 1 1/4" from the top or bottom.

If you go perpendicular (across), sadly, you can't just staple NM to the bottom. It's called "clotheslining", and it's not allowed. The solution is the running boards Jim mentions, you just nail or screw up some 1x2, 1x3, or 2x2 "furring strips" (they're very inexpensive) to protect and support the cable.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:47 PM   #5
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Wires on bottom of joists.


The wires are running mostly perpendicular to the joist. Some places they run at a 45 degree angel. How long ago could you staple MN wire to the bottom of a joist, or clothesline it? I think these were put in over 10 years ago. The wire is white in color not yellow like todays 12 ga.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:49 PM   #6
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Wires on bottom of joists.


You are good to go to staple to the bottom.

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