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Can I run exposed electrical wiring on the ceiling of my basement and simply staple every 18 inches?
 

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Is it a finished ceiling? If it is then you are fine. If it is not finished then you need running boards to protect the cable.
 

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Is there a difference between "on" the ceiling, and "in" the ceiling? IOW, if the wires run across the bottom of the joists in an unfinished ceiling is that different than if the wires run through holes in the joists? I can't imagine running boards to protect all the wires running through holes in the joists.
 

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Though holes does not requires running boards. I have been told it is to prevent you from using the cable as a clothes line.
 
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