Running Electrical wire in shed

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I built this shed in the backyard, it has a dedicated 20amp GFCI circuit running to it. Once inside the shed (it comes in from the floor) I have it hit a junction box and branch out to the various spots i need it (outlets/lights etc.).
My question is, do I HAVE to run the wire through the studs (drilling a lot of holes because studs are 16 on center)? or can I run it on the surface of the wood, near the top sill? what are my options? I have a work bench, am I allowed to run it under the work surface, and staple it to the underside? any thoughts as to how I can avoid drilling a bunch of holes?
I live in norfolk, va...
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I would do it right. you will quite likely decide later to cover the bare studs with something. Drilling those holes is not a major undertaking. Get a spade bit - 5/8" will pass one romex conductor easily and time to drill each hole is way less than a minute. Put the holes in the _middle_ of the stud.
Harry K
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wrote:

Actually, a 1/2" hole is plenty of room for today's plastic coated Romex. Also, he mentions a work bench, if this is a workshop what is the problem with drilling holes? He should have the equipment, ability and the drive to drill a few holes to do the job right instead of trying to be lazy and skimp on installing his wiring.
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2009 07:49:58 -0800 (PST), Harry K

I hacksawed off part of a spade bit shank to allow my drill to fit between the studs. Since then I bought a 90-Degree drill attachment.
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I don't bother to do that. Using Romex it will run through holes drilled at a bit of a slant with no problem.
Harry K
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Well, if you are using Romex, you have to cover it with a 15 minute fire barrier such as drywall. [See NEC 334.10(3)] That will be a lot easier if you drill the studs. :-)
Cheers, Wayne
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2009 17:02:06 GMT, Wayne Whitney

Most AHJs will consider a shed on residential property to be an accessory to the 1&2 family dwelling. I still believe I would use a stronger wiring method or provide supplemental protection where it was exposed. All that said, in a large part of the country AHJs allow exposed romex in utility areas, garages and sheds.
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That would be code for living space, but I doubt it is needed for a shed. Do you have some other information on that?
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wrote:

The citation Whayne gave us really refers to what most folks call "commercial". (other than dwelling) Whether a shed on residential property is non-dwelling space will be up to the AHJ. "Legal" and what you should do may not be the same thing. A shed is usually a place that gets pretty rough usage and I would invoke the "subject to physical damage" clause for all wiring below the trusses/rafters. He could just sleeve the RX in conduit for the runs along the wall and make me happy as in inspector.
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Actually it is the other way around, in a dwelling there is no overall requirement to cover romex, you only need to cover it as required to protect it from damage, etc. Section 334.10 of the 2008 NEC reads in part:
334.10 Uses Permitted. Type NM, Type NMC, and Type NMS cables shall be permitted to be used in the following: (1) One- and two-family dwellings. (2) Multifamily dwellings permitted to be of Types III, IV, and V construction except as prohibited in 334.12. (3) Other structures permitted to be of Types III, IV, and V construction except as prohibited in 334.12. Cables shall be concealed within walls, floors, or ceilings that provide a thermal barrier of material that has at least a 15-minute finish rating as identified in listings of firerated assemblies.
So unless you are in a dwelling, it needs to be fully covered by a 15-minute finish. While many inspectors would give you a pass on an accessory building to a dwelling (e.g. shed or detached garage), if you read the definition of "Dwelling" in Article 100 of the NEC, it is clear than an accessory building to a dwelling is not a dwelling. Even if an inspector accepts a code violation, your liability for violating the code is still there.
The moral is don't run uncovered romex in an accessory building. :-)
Cheers, Wayne
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2009 23:13:21 GMT, Wayne Whitney

If the AHJ accepts it, it is not a code violation. The NEC itself means nothing, only what the AHJ chooses to adopt and how the AHJ actually interprets the adopted code. That is why the accepted use of Romex is so different in different parts of the country in spite of the fact that these jurisdictions have adopted the NEC. When I was in Md it was a standard practice to staple exposed Romex on running boards in utility spaces. In SW Florida they want it in conduit up to 6'6 although that is not really spelled out anywhere. It is simply how they interpret "subject to physical damage".
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Certainly the AHJ has discretion over alot of things in the NEC that are vague or unclear, like "something to physical damage" or "nearest point of entry". But the inspector is not the AHJ, it is usually the city building department or some state department.
And there's nothing unclear about the Romex issue here, it's just something that enforcement is often very lax on. I'm not sure if the AHJ can modify the NEC on its own, or if it would take action of the state building code committee to amend the state code.
Cheers, Wayne
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2009 06:54:05 -0800 (PST), RedDwarf

You can use surface-mount conduit. The (Romex) wire should be protected from critters and anything else that could cause damage. Ideally, you drill one hole large enough to take 3-4 wires.
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It's your shed. Put the wire where YOU want it.
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I've seen quite a few sheds and garages that are wired that aren't sheetrocked ..In fact I don't think I've ever seen a garden shed sheetrocked so I'm just a little confused...If I run a wire out to the wife's garden shed for a light and an outlet or 2 I have to sheetrock it??? I find that hard to believe based on what I've seen out in the real world....
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If the garage is detached, and you are using Romex, it needs sheetrock or the equivalent to comply with the NEC, unless your state has amended that section. Often the real world and the building codes are in conflict. :-) It would be simplest just to use MC/AC cable instead of Romex.
Cheers, Wayne
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wrote:

, unless your state has amended that section.
That is probably the case Wayne because I have NEVER seen MC/AC Cable in ANY unfinished sheds or garages here in Maine including my dads garage which he wired himself and is just a few years old and the CEO didn't fail it...Gonna look into it though..Wife wants a light in her 10X10 garden shed...Does that apply to attached garages as well??? Next spring I will be wiring my attached garage with my dads help....Thanks....
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i've never seen it in kansas or missouri either. Always just romex on studs. no wallboard.
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More likely, I think, is that nobody enforces that section. It was changed in one of the 90's NEC versions, I think; previously Romex had been prohibited in buildings above a certain height. The wire lobby got that lifted in exchange for the coverage requirement. So inspectors were used to uncovered Romex in residential garages and never started enforcing the change.

No, a "dwelling" is a building with a "dwelling unit", so your attached garage is still part of a dwelling.
Cheers, Wayne
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I suspect you are misreading the code. I have seen new construction recently where it is romex in the basement ceiling with no covering.
Harry K
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