I need to add a couple of electrical circuits that will run across the floor
joists of an attic. The attic is accessible, but it has a low ceiling
height, so the attic is not (and never will be) a usable living space.
There is no floor in the attic space -- just the open joists which are the
ceiling joists for the rooms below.
Since the new circuits will be running across (perpendicular to) the open
joists, is it okay to just run a nailing board across the top of the joists
and staple the new wiring on top of the nailing board? That would be a lot
easier to do than drilling through the joists and running the wires through
the drilled holes.
Is the nailing board approach okay according to the NEC requirements?
Also, the Nec defines an attic as being "accessible", if it has
permanent stairs or ladders to access it. If you just have a scuttle
hole, it's not considered accessible, and you can staple the cables
perpendicular on top of the joists except for within six feet of the
Okay, thanks. That's good to know.
The access to this attic space has a strange type of access. There's a
small door in the back of a closet on the second floor, and behind that door
is the top of a stairway that runs up from the first floor to the second
floor. The were a couple of boards nailed across the sloped stairway
"ceiling"(?) joists to form a makeshift ladder effect, and I can climb up
those makeshift crossboards into the attic. I nailed better boards across
the stairway ceiling joists to make it easier to climb up and into the
attic. I guess that means it does have an existing makeshift ladder up into
the attic, and I guess that may make it "accessible" for NEC purposes.
I think I'll just use running boards anyway, and I'll also stay away from
the area within 6 feet of the access hole. That should cover me -- meaning
whether the attic is "accessible" or not.
well if you EVER want to store stuff up there, your far better off to
run the wires thru the joists...
when this home was built in 1950 they ran the wires on top of the
joists and when 3 years ater i decided to add a floor it was a big
On Wed, 10 Apr 2013 01:56:29 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
Agreed but if it's a truss, can't you run the wires thru the truss (or
should I say chords) with no drilling involved? That said, I doubt
they used trusses in 1950 home construction but I'll let the OP tell
The trick for decking an attic with wires on top of the framing is to
add 1x2s purlins to space the deck up 3/4" and clear all of the wires.
I had to do this in my attic. It also gets you by that "6' from the
If you have decent insulation up there you may even want to use
thicker stock so you are not crushing your insulation.
I'm sure that I will never want to make this into a storage area of any
kind. And, given the other options that are available (such as using
running boards), I am not going to do any drilling or running of wires
through the joists.
Thanks everyone for all of the replies and suggestions. I just decided last
night that I am going to be doing this, and I am going to be starting the
work this morning. It was great to be able to post the question last night
and then wake up this morning and all of the answers that I needed are right
there waiting for me to read. This is an excellent Usenet group!
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