I'm putting in a couple of new electrical circuits in a new room. What
is the accepted practice when you are running two cables in the same
direction? I have drilled a hole in the studs to run one cable, but
with a 3/4 inch hole, I can fit two cables in the same hole. Is this
the right way to go, or is the norm to drill another hole a few inches
up and run the second cable separately?
Same question with respect to stapling cables coming in and out of the
boxes. Is it the norm to staple each cable separately to the stud, or
to secure wires running in the same direction from the box with a
The box will hold the answer on the staples (listed for one or two)
but it will really be a picky inspector who calls it.
The other issue is "bundling" the cables. As long as you are really
only doing 2 (4 current carrying wires) it is not an issue but when
you start getting up around 4-5 (9 current carrying conductors) be
sure you fan them out between support points so they are not bundled
more than 24" at a time. That is one reason why you see those fans of
cables stapled separately near the panel
Code states that the cable must be secure within maximum distances from
a box and every so often, with the exception for fishing cables through
A staple intended for a single cable will not likely be secure enough if
made to hold two cables in the same way that a staple intended for use with
a flat cable (14/2 or 12/2) would not likely be secure enough if used on
a not-so-flat calbe (14/3 or 12/3).
Can you use a larger staple (like ones intended for xx/3 cables for holding
a pair of xx/2 cables? Theoretically, yes. I have done so often enough
without any issues from the inspector. However, I have heard of inspectors
who were picky about such things.
In other words, your mileage may vary.
Don't wait until inspection time, once you have pulled a permit, the
inspector becomes a source of "free" consulting. I quote "free" because
you have to pay for the permit, but inpectors are available (usually for
the first hour each morning) to take calls and answer questions. Ask
the question to the same person who will be doing the inspection and you
cannot go wrong.
"I really think Canada should get over to Iraq as quickly as possible"
I once was in a house where the owner ran all the electrical for an
addition. By trade he was a verizon linesman. Well he ran all the wires
around the room in one hole. All the wires were neatly bundled together
with cable ties every 6" or so. At one point he had about six cables all
bundled together very neatly. I don't know if he passed inspection or not.
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