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Old 04-11-2012, 01:59 PM   #1
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Running Romex Through Floor Joists


I need to run power to the opposite wall in my basement. Joists are exposed above and sit on a top plate laid on concrete block. They run perpendicular to where I want to go. There are several cables already running there, they go through holes drilled in the joists. Is this ok to do for the new work? Is it also okay to just run along the perimeter and secure it to the top plate? This is residential work, joists are about 8' above finished floor.
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:09 PM   #2
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look at this guideline:
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:10 PM   #3
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And this:
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:35 PM   #4
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in addition to the hole location/size requirements from a structural standpoint, also note the NEC requirements. you will need to be a minimum 1.25" inches away from the nearest wood edge (i.e. bottom of the joist). you can be closer but then you need steel plates or similar to protect the cable. note being closer would not be good from a structural standpoint.

what size cables are you running? if they are larger than 2/6 or 3/8, they can be run along the bottom of the joists. smaller cables must be through the joists or on running boards. even if you can run on the bottom of the joists, think about if you ever want to finish the basement someday.

when you say 'run along the top plate', do you mean the sill plate? and would this be on the vertical face of the plate? if the plate is flush with the interior concrete wall, i would say it is part of the wall and now needs additional protection (in conduit, etc.) but what if the plate isn't flush with the concrete wall, such that there was 1.25" of space between the cable and the face of the concrete, i would argue it falls under the condition of 'installed in a shallow groove' and could be stapled to the vertical face of the sill, just like being stapled to a stud.
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