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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering what is common practice for stapling Romex.



I just pulled the drop ceiling out of my kitchen. The electrician made the Romex runs just long enough to run through the drop, but the wires aren't long enough to push up into the space between the joists where they need to go and reach the outlets and switches.



They disappear back into the plenum space between the ceiling and the 2nd floor in the general direction of the breaker panel.



I would prefer to run a full length of Romex back to panel rather than use wire nuts. If I use nuts, I'm supposed to put them in an empty box with an access panel and I don't want to ugly my kitchen reno with that.


Is there any chance I will I be able to pull the old Romex all the way through the plenum space with new runs attached or is it likely they stapled it all the way and I am SOL?


If it is hopeless, I'll just use a snake and pull the new ones directly.
 

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Usually Confused
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It depends on your local Code but 'stapling' is usually required within 12" of a box and every 4 1/2' between. If the wire is being fished (wall covering already installed) then I believe that is a general exemption for stapling. You are correct that all junction boxes have to remain accessible.



I don't believe it is compliant to run cabling along a stud bay HVAC plenum, only across it. I don't know if there is Code-compliant way to pierce a metl plenum for wiring.



Hopefully a pro or two will drop by.
 

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Is it actually a plenum or just the bulkhead above the cabinets? A picture would help.
 

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I just pulled the drop ceiling out of my kitchen. The electrician made the Romex runs just long enough to run through the drop, but the wires aren't long enough to push up into the space between the joists where they need to go and reach the outlets and switches.


How much too short are they? Usually you can "find" a few inches
somewhere. Just above each box there's often a "courtesy loop".
Of course you won't be able to straighten out that loop without some
openings.
Other possibility is to de-wire the box and re-route the cable so it
takes the straightest route rather than the square route they usually
take.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is it actually a plenum or just the bulkhead above the cabinets? A picture would help.

It is another drop ceiling above our entrance hall. It has a ton of Romex from all over the house heading for the box in the garage and 3 6" HVAC ducts that disappear into the depths. I was able to use a mirror and flashlight and it looks like the Romex going over the hall is not stapled, so I may be in luck.


It mostly runs perpendicular to the 2x4 making up the drop ceiling, so I think that is why they didn't have to staple it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How much too short are they? Usually you can "find" a few inches
somewhere. Just above each box there's often a "courtesy loop".
Of course you won't be able to straighten out that loop without some
openings.
Other possibility is to de-wire the box and re-route the cable so it
takes the straightest route rather than the square route they usually
take.

I got no courtesy loop and no square to straighten. They wired the hypotenuse of the triangle, and tightly at that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I found a few of the /2 splice widgets at Home Depot and a /3 splice widget on Amazon so I'm in business.



In other news, I learned a $35 lesson... I grabbed a 50' roll of Romex while I was there and took it home and started to measure it out. And then realized that the white Romex in my house was NOT 14g, but in fact 12g. I guess I'll try to sell the 14g on Craigs List.
 
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