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Thread: Garage Wiring

  1. #1
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    Default Garage Wiring

    The attached photo is the wiring in a newer garage. Is it code compliant to run the wires along the side of the top plate, or should the wires go through holes in wall studs, or go above the ceiling joists?

    Personally I wouldn't mention it but tag-along client says I should.

    Thanks,
    Joe

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  2. #2
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Generally for the wiring to be as it is in your photo it must not be subject to physical damage and it's location along the top plate puts it out of any real possibility of being exposed to damage. It will pose a problem if you ever want to finish the wall though.

    Other than that as long as it is supported at the proper intervals it is fine.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    It's fine. Tag- along client shouldn't be telling you what to do.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    I kind of go back and forth on the client tag-along asking for me to put things in the report. I used to take a strong stand on only putting things in the report that I felt should be there, but I did piss-off a client and agent one time. Forget the editorials regarding Realtor feelings.

    What I do now is verbally discuss the issue with the client and if he/she persist I will add a narrative to the report and note within the narrative, "per the clients request." This usually makes the client happy and does not violate any standards of practice that I can see.


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    Post Re: Garage Wiring

    That wiring would not pass muster in this neck of the woods. It would be in the report as 'cable subject to damage.' In a garage particularly, this could be hit by a sharp metal object carried by a human standing on a concrete slab. If the insulation is breached, it's grilling time. Do you want that liability?


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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Aldering View Post
    That wiring would not pass muster in this neck of the woods. It would be in the report as 'cable subject to damage.' In a garage particularly, this could be hit by a sharp metal object carried by a human standing on a concrete slab. If the insulation is breached, it's grilling time. Do you want that liability?
    Since subject to damage is not defined in the NEC it is left up to individual judgements. Not everyone agrees that this would be subject to damage.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    So what would "Your neck of the woods" require in order to pass muster in an unfinished garage ??


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    NM-B (Romex) is allowed to be installed exposed. The NEC has finally managed to clarify that NM-B is allowed in garages, attached or not.

    Most (certainly not all) AHJs use the height of wall switches (approx 48") as an arbitrary line that unprotected NM-B in a garage can be used above.

    Face it, a homeowner with a drill makes all NM-B, and in fact wire in conduit, subject to damage. I'd be a lot more concerned here if the NM-B was exposed a foot or 2 above the floor where shovel heads, lawn mowers, axe heads, etc, were constantly being pushed or dropped on to it.


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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    The unammended 2008 NEC does not permit the installation as pictured and described. (Non-Rated - i.e. not one-hour rated - Type V construction), Exposed wiring upon wall (plate), under joist(s) not within wall & concealed with 15-minute finish rating.

    See Definitions, Chapter 1, 334.10 {especially 334.10(3)} and 334.12.

    Check your state and local AHJ's ammended adopted edition.

    A "garage" area, attached or detached, is not included as 334.10(1) use, as a one-family dwelling or a two-family dwelling, is a building which consists solely of what the NEC defines as a "dwelling unit". by the NEC, and is not an otherwise prescribed use; in fact, use of same is prescribed to be concealed, as pictured it is not within a roof space or separated attic -- it is upon a wall plate under the joists pictured.

    Further, in other areas is further violative regards to proximity of the outer edges of the cable within 1-1/4" of the outside edge of framing - where subject to penetration by screws, nails, etc. via roof decking and wall sheathing during normal decoration, maintenance, repair, replacement activities expected during the useful life of both the building structure and the wiring system. These "issues" are covered in Artlcles earlier in Ch. 3 and apply. The presence of the "bicycle" hook suggests the obvious hazards-damage potential/use expected and reasonably anticipated in this installation, as do the nail penetrations in both the sheething and decking.
    I agree completely with your client, and disagree with your "usual" reporting (or lack thereof).



    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 II, IV, and V construction, except as prohibited in 334.12
    (3) Other structures permitted to be of Types II, 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 fire-rated assemblies.
    (4) Cable trays in structures permitted to be Types III, IV, or V where the cables are identified for the use...


    334.12 Uses Not Permitted.
    (A) Types NM, NMC, and NMS. Types NM, NMC, and NMS cables shall not be permitted as follows:
    (1) In any dwelling or structure not specifically permitted in 334.10(1), (2), and (3)
    Exception: Type NM, NMC, and NMS cable shall be permitted in Type I and II construction when installed within raceways permitted to be installed in Type I and II construction...

    Note especially, the following definitions in Chapter 1 of the Unammended 2008 edition of the NEC:

    Accessible (as applied to equipment). Admitting close approach; not guarded by locked doors, elevation, or other effective means.

    Accessible (as applied to wiring methods). Capable of being removed or exposed without damaging the building structure or finish or not permanently closed in by the structure or finish of the building.

    Concealed. Rendered inaccessible by the structure or finish of the building. Wires in concealed raceways are considered concealed, even though they may become accessible by withdrawing them.

    Dwelling, One-Family (one-family dwelling): A building that consists solely of one dwelling unit.

    Dwelling, Two-Family. A building that consists solely of two dwelling units.

    Dwelling unit. A single unit, providing complete and independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, cooking, and sanitation.

    Exposed (as applied to wiring methods). On or attached to the surface or behind panels designed to allow access.


    Garage. A building or portion of a building in which one or more self-propelled vehicles can be kept for use, sale, storage, rental, repair, exhibition, or demonstration purposes.

    Refer to the balance of Art. 334, and selected portions of Art. 320 and Art. 300 & 310 referenced in same; esp. 310.8, etc.



    In conclusion, the answers to your questions are Yes and/or Yes (if there were "ceiling joists", but there aren't in the picture of this garage, there's a single "tie" pictured with a bicycle mounting hook screwed into same, amognst multiple notched rafters upon the wall plate, further note the rafter this tie is attached to is split/damaged at this essential juncture); and in addition, the wall(s) containing same must be finished with at least prescribed minimumly rated thermal barrier (system); your "tag-along client" is correct.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 09-04-2011 at 02:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    The unammended 2008 NEC does not permit the installation as pictured and described. (Non-Rated - i.e. not one-hour rated - Type V construction), Exposed wiring upon wall (plate), under joist(s) not within wall & concealed with 15-minute finish rating.

    See Definitions, Chapter 1, 334.10 {especially 334.10(3)} and 334.12.

    Check your state and local AHJ's ammended adopted edition.

    A "garage" area, attached or detached, is ...
    ... covered by the IRC and NM cable is allowed to be used in the garage per the IRC:
    - R101.2 Scope. The provisions of the International Residential Code for One- and Two-family Dwellings shall apply to the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, removal and demolition of detached one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses not more than three stories above-grade in height with a separate means of egress and their accessory structures.
    - ACCESSORY STRUCTURE. A structure not greater than 3,000 square feet (279 m2) in floor area, and not over two stories in height, the use of which is customarily accessory to and incidental to that of the dwelling(s) and which is located on the same lot.

    Both detached garages and attached garages which are part and parcel of one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses are located on the same lot and the use is incidental to the use of the dwelling unit ... provided the garage is less than 3,000 square feet and is not over two stories in height.


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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    irrelevant since the NEC has its own definitions, and FEW (if any) states utilize the electrical chapters of the IRC, oftentimes ammending language contained therein to refer to the NEC; and ammending so as to delete same, and instead adopt the NEC, with or without ammendments to same.

    The most restrictive code in place "rules" on the subject.

    OP is in MICHIGAN, btw.


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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    irrelevant since the NEC has its own definitions,
    The NEC is not directly relevant to the IRC as the IRC electrical is based NFPA 70A and not NFPA 70, the NEC does not apply to the IRC, although it is a good reference point.

    The most restrictive code in place "rules" on the subject.
    Not when one set of rules does not apply.

    The original poster would need to see if the IRC is being used in his area, and if it was amended, and THAT is what rules. The NEC only comes in if the IRC is so amended or there is another code being used which includes the NEC in its residential code.

    Other than that, with regard to the IRC, which is what I pointed out, the NEC is not directly relevant to the IRC.

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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    irrelevant since the NEC has its own definitions, and FEW (if any) states utilize the electrical chapters of the IRC, oftentimes ammending language contained therein to refer to the NEC; and ammending so as to delete same, and instead adopt the NEC, with or without ammendments to same.

    The most restrictive code in place "rules" on the subject.

    OP is in MICHIGAN, btw.
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    if you were to take these definitions out of context as someone has done, a house with a porch is no longer a dwelling. After all is is not for cooking, sleeping or the other uses.

    Dwelling, One-Family (one-family dwelling): A building that consists solely of one dwelling unit.

    Dwelling, Two-Family. A building that consists solely of two dwelling units.

    Dwelling unit. A single unit, providing complete and independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, cooking, and sanitation.
    This should not be that hard to understand.

    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 and their accessory
    structures.
    Accessory structures would now include the shed in the backyard too.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    This section meant the NM needed to be covered if in an "other structure", not a part of the dwelling. This was also one of the code inconsistencies. You could run NM in the basement with no finish, but install it in a shed and you needed a 15 minute finish over it

    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 II, IV, and V construction, except as prohibited in 334.12
    (3) Other structures permitted to be of Types II, 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 fire-rated assemblies.
    It is important to remember that not all areas of the garage are required to be covered or part of a fire rated assembly. .

    I also seriously doubt that a recently constructed garage has notched joists. That technique has not been used for a long time. I also think the crack/split mentioned is either differences in the woodgrain or stain from the nail and rust next to the joist that has run along the surface.

    Last edited by Jim Port; 09-05-2011 at 08:21 AM.
    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Oh you want to play that game Peck.

    First NFPA 70A hasn't been updated or reviewed since 2005, and has no plans to do so - NFPA and ICC broke ties.

    Next, the Michigan Electric Code applies.

    Finally your "IRC" argument is worthless.

    The IRC unammended is not the law in michigan - but IF IT WERE

    The electrical chapters of the IRC PROHIBIT the installation as pictured.

    You seem to be confused as to what the OP has pictured and described!

    You seem to be futher confused between what the EDGE of a framing member is versus a SIDE of a framing member.

    The pictured and described is not an unfinished basement, nor is it an unfinished attic.

    Exposed work NM in THIS area is limited to running along the BUILDING FINISH or running boards. Otherwise limited to be not within 1-1/4" of the EDGE of framing members run along the SIDES of same, and if bored not within 2", otherwise requiring PROTECTION.

    Therefore regarding exposed work for type NM cable and the tables and subsections of the unammended IRC electrical chapters prohibit THIS installation AS PICTURED AND DESCRIBED.

    However, Michigan has adopted the 2008 NEC with all but one of the annex, and with few ammendments, most notibly regarding elevators, as the Michigan Electrical Code Michigan doesn't use the electrical chapters of the unammended IRC. The unammended IRC electrical chapters DEFER to the National Electrical Code NFPA 70, NOT NFPA 70A.

    The unammended IRC, is in no way MORE PREMISSIVE than the unammended NEC.

    However, regardless of whichever "version" or "code" you want to nit-pick, including a host of references which do not apply to the poster; the bottom line is that NM-B is still NOT ALLOWED to be used in other than DRY locations - not even in basements WHEN THEY ARE DAMP. Not a prescribed ATTIC area installation, NOT an unfinished basement area.

    Pictured is Type V NOT-RATED, and most importantly, this area is UNFINISHED construction. If there is Type NM wiring present it must be concealed at and below the grade level story.

    In this case most especially, the Michigan Electrical Code trumps ALL (which is 2008 NFPA 70 based) - and your "Residential Code" argument falls flat regarding this particular installation (execution of wiring method FAILS).


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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Finally your "IRC" argument is worthless.

    The IRC unammended is not the law in michigan - but IF IT WERE

    The electrical chapters of the IRC PROHIBIT the installation as pictured.
    Yada, yada, yada, that is all you do Watson

    You have yet to post any code from the IRC which allows that installation, and remember, the IRC *IS* the reference I gave.

    You have also not posted any code from the SPECIFICALLY APPLICABLE code which does not allow that either. Post the Michigan residential code and the electrical code which applies - as stated in that code.

    Looking for code sections which back up what you say - something you seldom provide.

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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    By the way, Watson, the IRC incorporates its electrical section within itself, and as I stated, it is based on NFPA 70A.

    Keep in mind that NFPA 70A STILL EXISTS and as THE LATEST EDITION the 2005 NFPA 70A is still in effect as it has not been updated NOR WITHDRAWN.

    From the IRC: (underlining and bold are mine)
    - E3301.1 Applicability. The provisions of Chapters 33 through 42 shall establish the general scope of the electrical system and equipment requirements of this code. Chapters 33 through 42 cover those wiring methods and materials most commonly encountered in the construction of one- and two-family dwellings and structures regulated by this code. Other wiring methods, materials and subject matter covered in the NFPA 70 are also allowed by this code.

    Note that other wiring methods in the NEC (NFPA 70) are ALLOWED ... NOT "required".


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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    I think we can say the garage walls are unfinished. In that case, the wiring installation is temporary, as it needs to be moved in order for the buyer to install drywall properly.
    It is a legitimate beef, but the seller has no obligation, in my mind, to do anything about it.

    Wiring over 7 feet above the floor is not subject to damage. Now back to the code wars

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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Exposed work NM in THIS area is limited to running along the BUILDING FINISH or running boards. Otherwise limited to be not within 1-1/4" of the EDGE of framing members run along the SIDES of same, and if bored not within 2", otherwise requiring PROTECTION.
    Since the area is unfinished the cable is following the building surface which is allowed. The dimension from the face of the stud for a drilled hole is also 1 1/4" , not 2". Less than 1 1/4" would require a nail plate.

    the bottom line is that NM-B is still NOT ALLOWED to be used in other than DRY locations
    Let me get this straight, inside a garage and under a roof is not normally dry?

    Pictured is Type V NOT-RATED, and most importantly, this area is UNFINISHED construction. If there is Type NM wiring present it must be concealed at and below the grade level story.
    The cable only needed to be covered in "other structures", not dwellings. This requirement has also been removed in later editions of the NEC.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    You have yet to post any code from the IRC which allows that installation, and remember, the IRC *IS* the reference I gave.
    BECAUSE Type NM Cable IS NOT ALLOWED to be installed as pictured and described (in/upon edge framing, exposed, uncovered, unprotected, upon unfinished wall plate below roof area in non-rated constructed Type V upon an unfinished garage wall not in an attic space) in the unammended IRC's electrical chapters.

    It is your job to support your agrument (that it would be allowed, in Michigan, or for that matter the unammended code references) in this application (it is not). You ignore the construction type, you ignore what is actually described in and asked by the OP and more importantly what is depicted in the OP's photo.

    I have provided the prohibitory language and references, those specific and current to the State of Michigan.

    Funny when a so-called electrician doesn't recognize common stick conventional framing (denies birdsmouth, or seat/heel cuts are ever made in his "area" - truely funny!) - and doesn't know the difference between a common rafter and another framing member, or for that matter errors therein - that damage most likely from thrust and downward load damage. There is no common intersection at the rafters with "ceiling joists" or any "joists" for that matter. Amongst the host of common rafters pictured in this "garage" photo, there is but a solitary "tie" installed, improperly, well above the wall plate; and the rafter at that point is damaged. There are no joists pictured, let alone "notched" joists, nor for that matter any "notched" studs.

    The OP is in the UP (Iron Mountain area) of Michigan, and pictured are not by any stretch of the imagination, manufactured trusses, in this one-story, poorly constructed, "newer garage".

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 09-05-2011 at 11:15 AM.

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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    BECAUSE Type NM Cable IS NOT ALLOWED to be installed as pictured and described (in/upon edge framing, exposed, uncovered, unprotected, upon unfinished wall plate below roof area in non-rated constructed Type V upon an unfinished garage wall not in an attic space) in the unammended IRC's electrical chapters.
    SHOW US WHERE THE CODE SAYS:
    - "Type NM Cable IS NOT ALLOWED to be installed as pictured and described (in/upon edge framing, exposed, uncovered, unprotected, upon unfinished wall plate below roof area in non-rated constructed Type V upon an unfinished garage wall not in an attic space) in the unammended IRC's electrical chapters."

    The IRC (the code I have referenced and keep referencing) DOES NOT ADDRESS what you claim it addresses - SHOW US where it does if you think it does.

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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Looks like that "single tie" is sitting on the top plate right next to the roof framing member, not well above it.

    PS there are TWO in that pic, but don't let the facts get in the way.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Joe you say newer but I never seen rafters with no tie down brackets on newer construction. I would advise the client on the exposed conductors just for the fact of the hanger hook next to it. Trying to hang something and hitting the cable might be an issue.

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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    So are we to believe that I must conceal the wiring in the wall cavity by boring holes thru studs and am therefore required to cover it with a thermal barrier ie drywall ? I would assume so since I am not allowed to route as shown in the photo. If I don't drywall and run the nm thru bored holes in the studs how does that become magically better as far as physical protection.? Am I supposed to protect it with guards? I don't think the NEC worries too much about an individual that is so stupid that he would lay drywall over the top of the wire and drive screws or nails.

    The mention of this hook in the truss as presenting obvious indication that the cable is subject to damage has had me laughing for 3 days now. Jeeez Louise

    Now my personal opinion is that an electrician did not install that wiring even though it is obvious it is indeed newer construction. I am also assuming this is an attached garage and that the dwelling is of the same newer construction, though it is rather irrelevant as to whether the wiring is allowed as installed.

    I'm not going to join in the code argument here as it is a huge waste of time considering you would be arguing with the self elevated 'authority' of all things electrical.

    I'll just say in my neck of the woods and just looking at what is shown it would likely pass muster though as I said it would surprise me if an electrician that works under permit installed it.


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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    I'm not going to join in the code argument here as it is a huge waste of time considering you would be arguing with the self elevated 'authority' of all things electrical.
    But do you give up and not refute the disinformation and let it eventually become the truth due to repetition? I certainly do not think that helps the industry although it can explain some of the lunacy that comes through on some inspection reports for "correction of a defect" that has no code basis.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Wiring over 7 feet above the floor is not subject to damage. Now back to the code wars
    Yes it is subject to physical damage. Try nailing drywall directly to the framing members with wiring stapled to it.


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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Hey chuckles you just stated that a electrician would not install it that way but you wouldn't flag it....and your just guessing it would pass "muster" as you stated. Go figure. I for one would of noted it to the client so they are aware but not as a repair "if" it wasn't for what was in that picture which is a hook which makes that cable subject to damage.
    Just because you don't think it's important it may be to the client so look at things with an open mind. Jeez , Pfft.......

    Last edited by Mike Schulz; 09-06-2011 at 12:18 PM. Reason: Changed to what I meant, Thanks Jim
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Mike S,

    I think you misread Rogers post. He said he suspected it would pass muster, even tho it did not look like it was installed by someone in the trade.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Hank Spinnler View Post
    Yes it is subject to physical damage. Try nailing drywall directly to the framing members with wiring stapled to it.
    *IF* no drywall was intended to be installed there, then, no, it is not subject to physical damage.

    That said, though, it would not pass my inspection as I suspect that at some point in time someone will want to install drywall on that wall, therefore that would need to be installed through holes in the rafters or down through the top plate and through the studs, and, yes, back 1-1/4" from the nailing surface.

    Like Roger, I know of many areas where that installation would pass muster (code inspection), however, I also know just as many areas, possibly even more areas, where that would not pass muster.

    Yes, an electrician probably did that installation.

    Just like the electrician who installed 6 NM cables bundled together at todays inspection, that makes 12 current carrying conductors, and for much more than 24" (8 feet), which then requires derating - electrician separated the cables and solved the problem.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Just like the electrician who installed 6 NM cables bundled together at todays inspection, that makes 12 current carrying conductors, and for much more than 24" (8 feet), which then requires derating - electrician separated the cables and solved the problem.
    Then again, like that NM cable on the top plate ... how many AHJ even bother look at bundling and lack of maintaining spacing and address derating in dwelling units? Other than the ones I've been in, I mean.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    A Retire Idiot.
    .
    Dang it Billy! Now I got thumb prints all over my screen!

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  33. #33
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Mike S,

    I think you misread Rogers post. He said he suspected it would pass muster, even tho it did not look like it was installed by someone in the trade.
    Yeah he did.. but he read it the way he wanted to so he could elevate himself as someone more knowledgeable than most. He also has never pulled any wire (that's rather obvious). His post is actually just presented here as evidence of a run away ego. So just let it go you get posts like that once in a while. His mother is probably 2 inches tall and plays hockey.

    You asked to to discuss code so what the heck lets do so .....

    I think the first thing you have to do is ask what kind of construction are we looking at and that would appear to to be light wood construction so type V as already determined. Then what is the the structure ... hmmm I guess it's a unfinished garage attached ... detached did we ever determine ??

    At any rate the requirement 334.10(3) of using a thermal barrier and concealing the nm in the wall cavities isn't about physical protection of the cable or the cable being subject to physical protection. 1/2 " drywall is generally accepted as a 20 minute thermal barrier ... it is not a listed means to protect nm cable from physical damage. That section of code is simply saying they want the cable to be protected from fire and certainly not run on the surface of the drywall. So everyone needs to get off their physical protection horse.. if they are referencing 334.10(3) ...

    I'm still laughing about the hook ...

    Now assuming that codes were followed .. how come the walls don't have drywall in the garage pictured ?? Seems everybody but a few here say that cable has to be behind/concealed by a thermal barrier ... yet it is not. So what's the deal ?

    Well it could be a local thing or the only wall (assuming it's an attached garage) needing a thermal barrier is the one wall or walls separating the living quarters from the garage. Your guess is as good as mine ....maybe DIY ....???

    I'm simply saying that assuming this structure or dwelling passed inspection and based on my experience ( yes I have pulled a few miles of wire in my day) it follows the exposed nm rules of art. 300 as shown. It would pass muster IMO for a minimum installation for NM in/on unfinished walls in a garage.

    Now .. 'Mike the Psych" ... He likes name calling .... can take it from here and give us his courtroom answer.


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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Thank you for your explaination Roger. Well said and easy to follow without all the rant of "because I say so".

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    *IF* no drywall was intended to be installed there, then, no, it is not subject to physical damage.

    That said, though, it would not pass my inspection as I suspect that at some point in time someone will want to install drywall on that wall, therefore that would need to be installed through holes in the rafters or down through the top plate and through the studs, and, yes, back 1-1/4" from the nailing surface.

    Like Roger, I know of many areas where that installation would pass muster (code inspection), however, I also know just as many areas, possibly even more areas, where that would not pass muster.

    Yes, an electrician probably did that installation.

    Just like the electrician who installed 6 NM cables bundled together at todays inspection, that makes 12 current carrying conductors, and for much more than 24" (8 feet), which then requires derating - electrician separated the cables and solved the problem.
    Someone should not be failed based on what could be done in the future.
    If they want to sheetrock, than at that time it needs to be redone.
    If someone has a box with blank cover over a tub, they are code compliant at that time. Can not be failed based on what type of fixture, they may install after inspection.


  36. #36
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Sorry Rogeee I won't indulge in your school yard antics but obviously I see why you don't pull wires anymore.
    As a side note a garage only needs sheet rock on the walls to habitable space so open walls is not uncommon.

    Before you reply let me apologize for getting off on the wrong foot so this post can get decent answers instead of name calling. After all you started the "laughing for 3 days" bullcrap indicating you are almighty and knowledgeable....just saying!

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  37. #37
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Sorry Rogeee I won't indulge in your school yard antics but obviously I see why you don't pull wires anymore.
    As a side note a garage only needs sheet rock on the walls to habitable space so open walls is not uncommon.

    Before you reply let me apologize for getting off on the wrong foot so this post can get decent answers instead of name calling. After all you started the "laughing for 3 days" bullcrap indicating you are almighty and knowledgeable....just saying!
    Hmmm doesn't sound like the apology holds much water after the demeaning remarks in your first paragraph ...

    Anyway your right we don't get much mileage throwing names at each other. And I apologize for the laughing comment if it offended anyone. That was not my intention. I simply made that comment because that hook does not in any way make the obvious point that the nm is subject to physical damage. The discussion here is whether or not the nm can be exposed as pictured or is it required to be concealed behind a thermal barrier based on the construction type and occupancy type .Cover the ceiling with drywall ..does that change anything as far as physical protection from damage? Any hook or screw that will penetrate over the 1 1/4 from edge minimums is going to likely damage nm if it happens to be in the way ..even installed correctly.

    The question here is can the nm be exposed as shown and what is shown is not likely to be considered an area where physical damage will occur by many inspectors unless your a blind man shooting screws or swinging a hammer. And BTW there are areas where limited runs of exposed nm are allowed in the parameters of 334.10(3). Care to discuss what those are? After all YOU are the one offering yourself as one who can judge people and their credentials from afar while you just seem to think your avatar must speak for itself.

    So I think it is time for you to make a contribution to this thread as to why and what codes you would site in your report to inform your client that the nm pictured is in violation of the NEC and why did local inspectors obviously approve it.

    Can you substantiate why that jurisdiction was in error approving that installation of nm ? You will have to cover both attached and detached garages for starters since I don't recall if we have determined it ... So since it is obvious that you can understand why I quit pulling wire 'your words not mine' maybe just a little explantion that is relevant to this thread..anything ..that might back up YOUR credentials would be most appreciated.

    You have an interesting history of posts ...

    Last edited by Roger Frazee; 09-07-2011 at 10:37 AM. Reason: spellin

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Roger,

    That was my politician apology. Again your comment (had me laughing for 3 days now. Jeeez Louise) seemed arrogant and self centered and was the reason behind my remarks. I see now that I believe it was not your intention so I retract my smart azz remarks

    Until Joe post more pictures and tells us what year this garage is there is not much more to this post. If you take that picture and only that picture it appears the wiring was done by a homeowner and most likely no permits. I don't see a licensed electrician installing it that way unless he forgot his drill and just don't give a flip. My step father (electrician) would of kicked my butt if I installed something like that. Now on the other hand I agree with John Kogel for it is up and out of the way "except" for that notorius hook which makes it susceptable to accidental damage. What you and I may find laughable may be a safety issue to another. That is my reasoning for mentioning it in "my" report.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
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  39. #39
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Ok Mike that's fair enough and I do see where my comment would sound arrogant and I will try not to make comments like that in the future ...my bad as they say.

    My apologies and I agree an electrician worth his salt would not install the nm in that manner.

    Have a good day I have to go work in my lawn the heat this year took quite a toll on it.

    BTW I'm retired and that's why I don't pull wire anymore....


  40. #40
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy W Opie View Post
    Someone should not be failed based on what could be done in the future.
    They would be failed based on the technical wording of the code: (bold and underlining are mine)
    - 300.4 Protection Against Physical Damage.
    - - (D) Cables and Raceways Parallel to Framing Members and Furring Strips. In both exposed and concealed locations, where a cable- or raceway-type wiring method is installed parallel to framing members, such as joists, rafters, or studs, or is installed parallel to furring strips, the cable or raceway shall be installed and supported so that the nearest outside surface of the cable or raceway is not less than 32 mm (1 in.) from the nearest edge of the framing member or furring strips where nails or screws are likely to penetrate. Where this distance cannot be maintained, the cable or raceway shall be protected from penetration by nails or screws by a steel plate, sleeve, or equivalent at least 1.6 mm (1/16 in.) thick.
    - - - Exception No. 1: Steel plates, sleeves, or the equivalent shall not be required to protect rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, rigid nonmetallic conduit, or electrical metallic tubing.
    - - - Exception No. 2: For concealed work in finished buildings, or finished panels for prefabricated buildings where such supporting is impracticable, it shall be permissible to fish the cables between access points.
    - - - Exception No. 3: A listed and marked steel plate less than 1.6 mm ( in.) thick that provides equal or better protection against nail or screw penetration shall be permitted.

    That installation shows the cable is installed "parallel to the framing member" and as such, it requires protection. There are several ways to provide that protection, one of which would be to relocate the cable, another would be to:
    - "Where this distance cannot be maintained, the cable or raceway shall be protected from penetration by nails or screws by a steel plate, sleeve, or equivalent at least 1.6 mm (1/16 in.) thick."

    If someone has a box with blank cover over a tub, they are code compliant at that time.
    If there is a shower there, then that cover would need to be damp location rated (unless above 8 feet above the tub, up to that 8 foot height above the tub is considered a damp location.

    Can not be failed based on what type of fixture, they may install after inspection.
    That would also apply to a proper lighting fixture installed on the ceiling and then the owner takes it down and hangs a hanging fixture there.

    The height for protection from physical damage is no applicable, as Roger said, but other requirements are applicable.

    - 334.23 In Accessible Attics.
    - - The installation of cable in accessible attics or roof spaces shall also comply with 320.23.
    - - 320.23 In Accessible Attics.
    (B) Cable Installed Parallel to Framing Members. Where the cable is installed parallel to the sides of rafters, studs, or floor joists, neither guard strips nor running boards shall be required, and the installation shall also comply with 300.4(D).

    (300.4(D) takes us back to where I started.)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  41. #41
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    My apologies and I agree an electrician worth his salt would not install the nm in that manner.
    I either have to disagree with that statement or ... I do not see any electricians worth their salt.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  42. #42
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I either have to disagree with that statement or ... I do not see any electricians worth their salt.
    Well I had to go out on a limb so to speak in defense of all those salty electricians that just could not live with installing the nm in such a manner that it would have to be relocated if you finished the walls. Now I suppose one worth his salt could have installed it but I bet he didn't sleep well....


  43. #43
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    The part of the CODE article that says:

    300.4 Protection Against Physical Damage.
    - - (D) Cables and Raceways Parallel to Framing Members and Furring Strips. In both exposed and concealed locations, where a cable- or raceway-type wiring method is installed parallel to framing members, such as joists, rafters, or studs, or is installed parallel to furring strips,
    the cable or raceway shall be installed and supported so that the nearest outside surface of the cable or raceway is not less than 32 mm (1 in.) from the nearest edge of the framing member or furring strips is part of a sentence that also says where nails or screws are likely to penetrate. I don't think the first part applies without the last part being included. And, that also means that there are situations where the spacing doesn't apply. You don't get to pick just a part of the article to apply.

    I could also make the not unreasonable point that a surface mount wiring job is done with the intent that no wall covering is going to be applied. To some folks a garage is nothing more than a place to get a car out of the weather or to store things. Drywall, paint, and texture are the furthest thing from their mind. IF AND WHEN someone decides that the wall covering will be applied then different rules apply to the wiring.

    Just because you don't like the way a job is done doesn't mean you get to pick out bits and pieces of the code to bolster your point.


    .


  44. #44
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    where nails or screws are likely to penetrate.

    Sooo ...

    When you have an 8 foot tall stud, and you know that screw pattern for nailing the drywall is every 12", you therefore know that the screw or nail is NOT LIKELY to penetrate between those areas.

    Yet the code requires that NM cable be protected when within 1-1/4" of NAILING SURFACE of the stud or other framing member (the nailing surface of the top plate in the case of the photo).

    When constructing high rise towers of reinforced concrete, with reinforced concrete floor slabs, and with electrical conduits run across the center of the rooms WHERE NOT NAILS ARE LIKELY to be placed, the conduits ARE STILL required to be up 1-1/4" above the table (form) the concrete is placed on.

    Let me see now ... NAILS ARE NOT LIKELY to be placed over 99% of the slab area, yet the conduits over 100% of the slab area need to be raised up for nail protection ... and that is somehow DIFFERENT than the face of the top plate where it is MORE LIKELY that nails will be placed for some purpose (not just installing drywall) - common guys, that is a GARAGE, people drive NAILS into studs and top plates to hang things from.

    All I can say is that would NOT pass in the areas I've been in - we look at it with an open mind, and that top plate side surface IS a "nailing surface" just like the underside of those high rise concrete decks are.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  45. #45
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    I don't buy the nailing surface argument UNLESS someone is going to put up a wall covering. The ceiling you describe can have any number of things done in the future and the conduit is invisible (but traceable, usually). Without a wall covering and with wire on the surface the probability of the wire being penetrated by a fastener is significantly less than if the wall is covered. The hook in the OP's picture likely has 2-2 1/2 inches of threads and if mounted on the wall rather than where it is presently the possibility of severing the cable completely when installed exists. I find the "norm" with homeowners is 3" deck screws to mount almost anything. The 1 1/4 inch rule ASSUMES wall covering applied with the correct fasteners when it references a nailing surface- nails can't penetrate a cable in a hole drilled too close to the edge if the cable isn't in the hole. And, most folks won't drive a nail or screw into an exposed cable, although I'll admit I've seen more than one cable attached by having nails driven through the middle, but it's certainly the exception. As with any changes to original construction, you change what's existing to allow the new work to become code compliant. If that includes rewiring so be it.

    I'm sure you guys look at this stuff with an open mind but I'm not sure you apply all the common sense you should all the time or read things into a statement that just aren't there. Obviously not all of us think about things the same way. We're going to continue to disagree about this, however a good many places I've been allow what you don't so I'm not alone in my opinion.

    That said, I don't wire like this and have walked away from jobs where that's what someone wanted. The next guy did and had the job passed.


  46. #46
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    Default Re: Garage Wiring

    I'd like to know more about the details of this 'newer' construction in Michigan....

    "Newer construction" doesn't tell us much ... Who was behind the wiring and construction would be nice. And was it permitted and inspected work.

    I still don't know if this was all done as part of the construction of a new dwelling or was it an addition after the fact.


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