Do I need to protect wires in "attic"


Old 10-09-06, 09:31 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arlington
Posts: 181
Do I need to protect wires in "attic"

If I run the wires perpendicular to my rafters way up where they meet the ceiling joists where nobody can really get to, 3/12 pitch roof, do I still need to place them next to a 2x4 for protection?

Also, this is not going to be an easily accessible "attic". I will have an access hole but only for emergencies. No storage or anything. Do I need to protect any of the cables at all?

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Old 10-09-06, 10:02 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,535
They only need protection (2x4) within 6 feet of the scuttle hole. Beyond that, the cable needs to be supported by stapling every 4' to the side of a running board. It can be as little as a 1x2. If the cable is running through bored holes in the rafters or joists, then is it considered supported. Just hanging on the bottom of the rafters, it needs a running board. If the cable contains #8 wire or larger, the running board is not required; but I assume you are using #12 or #14. If any size cable can be stepped on, then 2x4 protection is required.
Old 10-09-06, 05:03 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Harrisonburg
Posts: 744
These articles apply to NM Cable as well as AC Cable...

320.15 Exposed Work. Exposed runs of cable, except as
provided in 300.11(A), shall closely follow the surface of
the building finish or of running boards. Exposed runs shall
also be permitted to be installed on the underside of joists
where supported at each joist and located so as not to be
subject to physical damage.

320.17 Through or Parallel to Framing Members. Type
AC cable shall be protected in accordance with 300.4
where installed through or parallel to framing members.
320.23 In Accessible Attics. Type AC cables in accessible
attics or roof spaces shall be installed as specified in
320.23(A) and (B).

(A) Where Run Across the Top of Floor Joists. Where
run across the top of floor joists, or within 2.1 m (7 ft) of
floor or floor joists across the face of rafters or studding, in
attics and roof spaces that are accessible, the cable shall be
protected by substantial guard strips that are at least as high
as the cable. Where this space is not accessible by permanent
stairs or ladders, protection shall only be required
within 1.8 m (6 ft) of the nearest edge of the scuttle hole or attic entrance.

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