What are the requirements for protecting NM 12 AWG wire in an attic run
along the ceiling? The attic has a walk-up stairwell, finished floor and
walls, but exposed rafters. The rafters start at about 4 feet high.
What are the requirements for outlets? How high? GFCI?
I have looked in the NEC but I do not want to misinterpret anything so I am
hoping to get some clarification in this case. I understand that in the end
I must do whatever the local code office wants but first I wanted to
understand what the NEC actually calls for.
Thank you for your time and energy,
All wiring subject to physical damage has to be protected. If you have
children up there then protect the wire. If the area is subject to only
authorized (intelligent) people then no protection is needed. Sorry to be
such a kill joy.
Outlets/lighting are required for equipment only. If you converting his
into an game room or bedroom then you have to follow the those rules.
Basically a outlet within 3 feet of a door and within 12 feet of each other
for all other walls. Your home you get to pick the height. Some local
jurisdictions require an switched light.
GFCI's are only required around water, and outside. Arc fault breakers are
now required for bedrooms.
If this is an unfinished space there are no requirements that I am aware of
for outlets other than for equipment.
The poster may have been referring to a switch box.
Also I think current code requires wall outlets every 6 foot of wall not the
12 as mentioned. Of course this only applies to living areas. This local
code here and NEC is pretty closely followed here.
I think this is one of those great NEC badly writen codes. It says no
point along the floor line further than 6 feet from a receptacle. So
if you pick a point, and you measure 6 feet one way, receptacle so
code met, and 6 feet other way, receptacle so code met again, but the
receptacles are actuallly seperated by 12 feet.
Just a point, it's not 12 feet either, it's exactly as writen, thats
why I wondered by 3" when the code says withing 6 of a typical door.
But thanks for your quick reply, I hope the orginal poster of 3" can
help me understand why.
tom @ www.BookmarkAdmin.com
No, it's <not> badly written, it's written precisely that way because
that's what it means...if all runs were straight and all walls were
multiples of 12 feet, it could be written as you propose, but in the
actual world the way it is applies more generally.
As for the within 3' of a doorway for a switch, I don't have code book
at hand to look it up, but I'd certainly have it much closer than that
simply for convenience, particularly heading up into an attic where it
may be quite dark trying to fumble around and find it...if, of course,
there's a permanent stairwell, it could be on the wall going in...
The 6' (12') rule is designed so that normal appliances, (which generally
have a 6' cord) can be placed anywhere along the wall without needing
an extension cord.
The 3' rule sound like what I remember being required for a switchable
light source being within arms reach of the entry, but I'm pretty sure that
that only applies to spaces which are intended to be "occupiable".
I had interpreted the sloping-ceiling rule to be a description of what
floor-space counts toward the minimum dimension requirements:
Thus, (from memory) there has to be a rectangle that's at least 7' in
each horizontal direction, at least 70 square feet in area, over which
the ceiling must be 7'2" or higher, except that a sloping ceiling that's
no more than half the overhead can come down as low as 5', and/or
beams, pipes, or ductwork no closer together than 4' can come down
as low as 6'8"
I don't *THINK* that there's any requirement that the walls actually
come down from that 5' line, it's just that any space under them beyond
that doesn't count towards meeting the room's minimum dimensions.
But I could easily be wrong.
For code compliance, the sloped ceiling can't get less than 5 feet from the
floor. If you will finish the ceiling some day, put your new wires at the
four-foot level and eventually put the knee wall in front of it. Then you
won't have any wire or conduit on the ceiling at all.
If the wire is 12-2 should it be stapled to the 1x or should it be stapled
to the rafter directly beside the 1x (I assume the rafter--but I don't want
to assume incorrectly)? Is a 1x3 (*nominal) sufficient?
Thank you very much for your help,
You can use conduit or run the wire along exiting ductwork or a board.
The idea is to make it difficult to hook a coat hanger (hook or
anything else) onto the wire. My personal preference is to use metal
Sorry about my reply about 'nail guards' mis-read the question, and
since I didn't see anyone post an answer, I'll try this again.
If you goto 2002NEC34.23 (NM in attic spaces) it referrers you to
320.23(AC in attic spaces). Sure you can read it, but for those that
don't have the code book open, it 320.23 says install per 320.23(A)
and 320.23(B). To paraphrase:
320.23(A)- (seems to be your case), Where cable is run accross the
face of rafter withing 7 feet of the floor, or floor joists, in
attics, the cable shall be protected by guard strips. Where in a
space not accessible by permenant stairs, protection shall only be
required 6 feet of the enterances outside edge.
Now, ofcourse this was for information only, get the code book and
apply it to your situation, but it does appear it is ok to do what you
are doing in the attic if you just take a few more steps to it per
Alway have a qualified person do/inspect your work.
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