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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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. :-)
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".
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.
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....
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
, 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....
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.
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