Running new kitchen feeds through attic

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Old 04-15-07, 09:03 AM
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Running new kitchen feeds through attic

We are moving our current kitchen to another room and need to run electrical feeds to that room. The easiest way is through the attic. We have a single floor home and the attic space is small and unfinished. There is a 3' x 6' opening in our closet for access to the attic.

1. Can we run the romex for the new lines across the wood rafters in the attic?
2. How often do we need to secure them down to the rafters?
3. If we instead need to run them through holes in the rafters, I would think this could weaken the rafters. Since we have ten runs to run, how should we run them without weakening the rafters?
4. When we run down to the outlets, how should we secure them to the cement block walls and how often?

Also, the cement block walls in the new kitchen area have 3/4 inch furring strips between them and the sheetrock. this leaves very little room for electrical boxes. how should we put in the electrical box? do we need to embed them in the cement block wall?
 
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Old 04-15-07, 01:45 PM
ddr
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I can answer some of your questions but some are better left to the pros (and they’ll correct or clarify anything below).

While it is permitted to run NM cable such as Romex through attic areas, the National Electric Code (NEC) does place restrictions on how it’s done. Your state/local government may have further restrictions (it would help if you include your location in your profile or at least your posts).

As far as the NEC goes, you may run NM cable parallel or perpendicular to the rafters as follows:

Parallel:
The cables must be attached to the sides of the rafters (not the top) and be run at least 1.25” from the top or bottom of the rafter and secured at least every 4.5’.

Perpendicular (across the top):
If the 3’ x 6’ opening you mention is just an access or “scuttle” opening, that is, there are no fold down stairs or other permanent means of access to the attic, then you may run wires across the rafters provided they are mounted to running boards anywhere within 6’ of the opening. If the access to the attic is permanent, then all top run perpendicular wiring must be protected by running boards. Again, cables must be secured at least every 4.5 feet.

(A running board is basically a plank of 1” x 6” or such with side rails of 1” x 2” or such attached to the sides to create a “U” shaped channel for the cables to run in so they are not stepped on or otherwise damaged. The side rails of the running board must be at least the height of the cable being attached to running board.)

Perpendicular (through the rafter):
Given the number of runs you have, running boards are probably best, but you are allowed run cables through a rafter provided the hole is at least 1.25” inches from the top or bottom of the rafter. (The closer to the center of the rafter the better in terms of structural strength). There are limitations as to how wide a hole may be and how many there may be in a given size rafter. No securing is needed as long as the rafters are no more than 4.5’ from each other. Again, running boards are probable your best bet.

As for running to outlets, the pros can give you better advice on this; you do have a shallow space to work with.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
 
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Old 04-15-07, 01:55 PM
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> Can we run the romex for the new lines across the wood rafters in
> the attic?

Yes, but you need to provide adequate protection. In any attic areas where cables may be stepped on, they must run alongside a substantial running board such as a 2x4 nailed atop the rafters. Any cables within 6' of the attic scuttle hole require protection regardless if you can actually step there or not.

> How often do we need to secure them down to the rafters?

NM cable must be stapled every 4.5 feet.

> If we instead need to run them through holes in the rafters

Don't drill holes in the rafters. Never drill them if you have engineered trusses.

> When we run down to the outlets, how should we secure them to
> the cement block walls and how often?

NM cable cannot be fastened directly to a cement wall.

> 3/4 inch furring strips between them and the sheetrock.

You cannot legally run wiring in a 3/4" deep wall; the cable would be too close to the surface and there are no boxes which can fit inside that wall. My recommendation would be to build out a standard 2x4 stud wall so you can use NM cable and electrical boxes.

The other option is to use a surface mounted wiring method like EMT and steel boxes for an industrial look or Wiremold conduit and boxes. Neither look particularly good in a kitchen in my opinion.
 
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