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Thread: Acceptable way(s) to stack/bundle multiple NM cables

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member seattle_steve's Avatar
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    Default Acceptable way(s) to stack/bundle multiple NM cables

    Homeowner here, wiring a new addition...

    I feel like there's probably an easy answer to this question, but I haven't had much luck finding it here or on google: if I have multiple cables running up a 2x4, what is the best (inspector-approved) way to attach them and still keep them 1 1/4" from the edge of the stud?

    For individual cables, I've been using the white plastic "staples" (like these: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BQNCIU). But these are only supposed to be used for one cable, right?

    And, for bundling multiple cables where the 1 1/4" inch rule isn't in effect (like in the attic), I've just been using zip ties (and attaching them to joists/studs).

    One recommendation I saw was to staple the first wire and then stack and zip-tie the others to the first one. Is that acceptable?

    I've also seen (and used) the cable "stackers" that accept up to 4 cables, but that seems like overkill (and expensive) for just 2 cables.

    What methods do the pros use?

    I'm in Seattle, so whatever I do will need to pass inspection here.

    Thanks.

    Steve

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    DIY Senior Member Chad Schloss's Avatar
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    I'm just a diy'er, but these worked ok for me.

    edit: i skimmed and didn't see that you already knew about these.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Chad Schloss; 07-25-2012 at 04:37 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member seattle_steve's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's what I meant by "stacker" (maybe they're called something else?). I've used those when I have 3 or 4 cables to stack, but like I said, it seems overkill and expensive to use those everywhere that you just have 2 cables to stack?

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    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Zip ties are fine.

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    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    Many cable staples are listed for use with 2 cables.

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Like Jim said, look around and you can find the white plastic cable staples that are "taller", as they are approved for 2 wires stacked.

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    DIY Junior Member seattle_steve's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses. Does anyone have a link to an example of these "taller" staples? I've looked at the big box stores and haven't seen them. And, I don't know of any other local "retail" electrical supply shops...

    Also, unless ActionDave was referring to this, I haven't seen a direct response to the idea of zip-tying one or more stacked cables to a stapled cable. Is this acceptable?

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Regarding the staples for NM and holding down two cables with one.

    It is not permitted to stand the two cables on edge.

    Stack them flat one on top of the other.

    Just find staples that are tall enough to hold down two bits of NM and still get a good bite in the lumber.

  9. #9
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seattle_steve View Post
    Also, unless ActionDave was referring to this, I haven't seen a direct response to the idea of zip-tying one or more stacked cables to a stapled cable. Is this acceptable?
    Yes this is a good idea or let me say I thought so the many times I have done it. One thing to keep in mind is the ties are not free.

    I have wove the cable in the sheathing removed and stapled between two studs at the top and bottom of panels where there are many cables coming in.

    Remember that the 1 1/4 inch can be somewhere between the stud bay as well as from the edge of the stud when straping to the stud.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member kreemoweet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seattle_steve View Post
    Homeowner here, wiring a new addition...

    ...And, for bundling multiple cables where the 1 1/4" inch rule isn't in effect (like in the attic) ...
    Why do you think the 1 1/4 inch rule isn't in effect in attics? FYI, in Seattle, local amendments to the NEC greatly restrict
    the use of NM cable. Basically, with very few exceptions, NM run in attics, unfinished basements and garages, etc., must follow
    the same methods as in finished space wall cavities.

    You can get wire ties with eyes so they can be fastened to framing with your nail/screw of choice. I've used those quite a bit
    to support NM cable, with no objection from Seattle elect. inspectors.

  11. #11
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seattle_steve View Post
    Also, unless ActionDave was referring to this, I haven't seen a direct response to the idea of zip-tying one or more stacked cables to a stapled cable. Is this acceptable?
    Yes...............

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    DIY Junior Member seattle_steve's Avatar
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    Thanks Dave.

    kreemoweet: My word choice was poor. What I should have said was, in the attic, the 1 1/4" rule is less of an issue because you have more space to work with. I think I have followed all rules around wire placement/protection in the attic. Also, yes, I have used the zip-ties with eyelets for attaching to studs -- but getting those to sit right in the middle of a 2x4 seemed unlikely, so I was looking for other options.

    Thanks for all the responses folks.

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    As a practical matter, since a 2x4 is 3 1/2" wide, 1 1/4" from either side gives you a 1" space so you an run the NM cables next to each other and do NOT have to stack them.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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