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Thread: Bundling #2

  1. #1
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    Default Bundling #2

    Another Marc M (also from Southern California) with a different bundling inquiry--can the strand conductors within a panel be bundled together? The bundle of neutral conductors here are clinched together with wire ties at three locations for a total length of 18-inches...

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    In most cases that bundling is OK. If it's less than 24" then derating doesn't apply. If it's more than 24" then this type of installation would likely fall under (2008) 310.15(A)(2)Ex.


    310.15(A)(2) Selection of Ampacity. Where more than one calculated
    or tabulated ampacity could apply for a given circuit
    length, the lowest value shall be used.
    Exception: Where two different ampacities apply to adjacent
    portions of a circuit, the higher ampacity shall be
    permitted to be used beyond the point of transition, a distance
    equal to 3.0 m (10 ft) or 10 percent of the circuit
    length figured at the higher ampacity, whichever is less.



  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    That is not good for some of the same reasons that the other Marc's photo was not good.

    It does not matter about the 24" because of the other problems.

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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    The NM connectors look to be a non metallic type. Can't really tell the diameter but look to be inch or larger. There are some NM connectors that look like these from the bottom that are good for up to 10 cables.

    The two cables per connector isn't a hard and fast one. BUT, till there is a requirement that the cable capacity and part number be visible from the panel side there's going to be guessing involved on after-the-installation inspections.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Thanks for the replies about tying. Extending the sheathing within the panel more than 1/2-inch, suspect bushings, etc., already noted. BTW, there's only two cables per opening, it looks like more due to the overlap of near and far openings from this photo angle.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Morin View Post
    Thanks for the replies about tying. Extending the sheathing within the panel more than 1/2-inch, suspect bushings, etc., already noted. BTW, there's only two cables per opening, it looks like more due to the overlap of near and far openings from this photo angle.

    Is there an issue with these two things?


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Morin View Post
    Thanks for the replies about tying. Extending the sheathing within the panel more than 1/2-inch, suspect bushings, etc., already noted. BTW, there's only two cables per opening, it looks like more due to the overlap of near and far openings from this photo angle.

    The rule on the cable sheath is that AT LEAST 1/4 inch must extend past the connecter. There is no "maximum" length although much over an inch starts interfering with dressing the wire so it looks reasonably good.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    The rule on the cable sheath is that AT LEAST 1/4 inch must extend past the connecter.
    Is that a requirement for a squeeze type NM connector?


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Someday the code will address the ty-rapping of conductors in a field assembled panel/enclosure.
    These conductors are not enclosed in a raceway such as conduit, so the heat dissipation issue is not as severe.
    I usually ask to have them cut off, or just one, or just loose. I have used them myself but leave them loose... helps keep the THHN from getting all Wiley coyote when installing breakers and the panel cover.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by bob smit View Post
    Someday the code will address the ty-rapping of conductors in a field assembled panel/enclosure.
    These conductors are not enclosed in a raceway such as conduit, so the heat dissipation issue is not as severe.
    I usually ask to have them cut off, or just one, or just loose. I have used them myself but leave them loose... helps keep the THHN from getting all Wiley coyote when installing breakers and the panel cover.
    What code article would you cite when asking someone to do this?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by bob smit View Post
    I usually ask to have them ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    What code article would you cite when asking someone to do this?
    No code is required when asking of talking about doing stuff, only when one writes it up for failure.

    Every item I write up gets a code section to reference, but, sometimes when standing there taking to the contractor I can point out stuff which is not code, and which I point out as *NOT BEING* code to make sure they understand that is it *NOT CODE REQUIRE*, and then explain the hazards if something were left in the condition being discussed. I make sure that they know that I *AM NOT* writing it up, and that I *KNOW IT IS NOT ADDRESSED IN THE CODE*, but they also can see the common sense reality of the hazard I am describing ... then I leave it to them to either change or not change, because, as I tell them, *THEY* are responsible for whatever happens with that installation *NOT ME*.

    Sometimes they change it, sometimes they don't, and there is nothing that I can, or will, do about it. Code is "minimum" and that is all code inspectors can enforce.

    That does not stop one from their fiduciary duty of making hazards known to whomever is responsible for its condition. It now becomes their responsibility as they now know about it because it was specifically pointed out to them.

    However, with all of the above said, I do not *ASK* them to correct it, I simply point out the hazard (if there is a hazard) and leave it to them to change or not change.

    I suspect that Bob does something similar as it would be outside the scope of his work as a code inspector to "*ask* them to change it".

    I frequently have contractors say "I will change it if you want me to.", to which I reply "It does not matter what *I* want, *I* am only here as a code inspector (go through my minimum code spiel*), it only matters what you want to do." ... then I walk away.

    *minimum code spiel
    "Code is the minimum standard you are legally required to meet. That means that code is the crappiest you are legally allowed to do it."

    Then I add "Some object to the use of the word "crappiest" as that indicates workmanship and code does not address workmanship. They are correct that code does not address workmanship, so I can change the wording for you: 'Code is the most unsafe you are legally allowed to do it, or, code is the least safe you are legally allowed to do it' ... do you prefer 'crappiest', 'most unsafe', or 'least safe' ... I will say it which ever way you want me to say it.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    I hear what you're saying Jerry, just that I'm not so fast to call the NEC minimum standard crappy. It has taken over 100 years of evolution to get to where it is today.

    I was questioning Bob's comment because I've heard inspectors say that cable ties are not permitted in panels because of bundling, which is not true. The same guys have said that you can't put more than two NM cables in a bored hole in wood, which is also untrue. The reason that they say these things is because they simply don't know the code (I'm not implying that any of this applies to Bob).

    So back to the OP, is this bundling that is not permitted by the NEC? The answer is that it is permitted.


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    I hear what you're saying Jerry, just that I'm not so fast to call the NEC minimum standard crappy.
    Robert,

    There is a big difference between saying the code is crappy and saying that meeting it is the crappiest one is legally allowed to do.

    The NEC itself even states that it is not good, just that if you do the electrical work that way then you will have an installation which is essentially free from hazard - now that sounds like a great and positive statement about what you get from following the code ... "essentially free from hazard", but the the NEC goes on and says that the installation installed in accordance with the code is not necessarily efficient, convenient or adequate for good service - another great and positive statement about what you get from following the NEC.

    90.1 Purpose.
    - (B) Adequacy. This Code contains provisions that are considered necessary for safety. Compliance therewith and proper maintenance results in an installation that is essentially free from hazard but not necessarily efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service or future expansion of electrical use.

    So back to the OP, is this bundling that is not permitted by the NEC? The answer is that it is permitted.
    The answer is probably not permitted.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    I hear what you're saying Jerry, just that I'm not so fast to call the NEC minimum standard crappy. It has taken over 100 years of evolution to get to where it is today.

    I was questioning Bob's comment because I've heard inspectors say that cable ties are not permitted in panels because of bundling, which is not true. The same guys have said that you can't put more than two NM cables in a bored hole in wood, which is also untrue. The reason that they say these things is because they simply don't know the code (I'm not implying that any of this applies to Bob).

    So back to the OP, is this bundling that is not permitted by the NEC? The answer is that it is permitted.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The answer is probably not permitted.
    So what code section would you cite to backup that the cable ties are not permitted in the photo?


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    So what code section would you cite to backup that the cable ties are not permitted in the photo?
    I'm not referring to the conductors being tied together, I am referring to the multiple (as in more than 2) NM cables going up into the connectors - looks like there are 2 cables on the left (no problem there, most are listed for 2), 3 cables in the 2nd from the right, and 4 cables in the right connector.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I'm not referring to the conductors being tied together, I am referring to the multiple (as in more than 2) NM cables going up into the connectors - looks like there are 2 cables on the left (no problem there, most are listed for 2), 3 cables in the 2nd from the right, and 4 cables in the right connector.

    I kind of figured it was an apples and oranges thing. Sorry for the confusion.


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    8 cables through 5 openings...all is good.

    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Morin View Post
    8 cables through 5 openings...all is good.
    The right group does not look good, looks like at least 4 cables through that one fitting which is likely rated for 2 cables maximum.

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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Thanks for saving me all that writing J.P., however, I do ask for some things to be done while stating it is not an actual code violation.
    I usually work out deals and exchanges with the contractors and it works to everybody's benefit.
    Fix this existing hazard and I'll let you slide on this non hazard deal (kind of thing).

    As stated, language and terms used in communication is something one learns with time (and trials). I would say "This may not be a code violation but I would cut those ty's off and perhaps use a loose one on the conductors... would help keep the heat from building up and possibly help with potential EMF interference...".


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    I hear what you're saying Jerry, just that I'm not so fast to call the NEC minimum standard crappy. It has taken over 100 years of evolution to get to where it is today.

    I was questioning Bob's comment because I've heard inspectors say that cable ties are not permitted in panels because of bundling, which is not true. The same guys have said that you can't put more than two NM cables in a bored hole in wood, which is also untrue. The reason that they say these things is because they simply don't know the code (I'm not implying that any of this applies to Bob).

    So back to the OP, is this bundling that is not permitted by the NEC? The answer is that it is permitted.

    Au contrare Robert.

    334.80 Ampacity

    2nd Paragraph

    "Where more than two NM cables containing two or more current-carrying conductors are installed, without maintaining spacing between the cables, through the same opening in wood framing that is to be fire- or draft stopped using thermal insulation, caulk, or sealing foam, the allowable ampacity of each conductor shall be adjusted in accordance with Table 310.15(B)(2)(a) and the provisions of 310.15(A)(2). Exception shall not apply."


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Richard, as you posted that only applies if the hole is draft stopped. A non-sealed hole like on an interior wall you could run more than 2 cables.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post
    Au contrare Robert.

    334.80 Ampacity

    2nd Paragraph

    "Where more than two NM cables containing two or more current-carrying conductors are installed, without maintaining spacing between the cables, through the same opening in wood framing that is to be fire- or draft stopped using thermal insulation, caulk, or sealing foam, the allowable ampacity of each conductor shall be adjusted in accordance with Table 310.15(B)(2)(a) and the provisions of 310.15(A)(2). Exception shall not apply."
    What you've posted simply states that in a filled hole you need to apply derating factors not that a hole can only have two cables installed. As Jim stated a non-filled hole can have a unlimited number of NM cables installed.


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Richard, as you posted that only applies if the hole is draft stopped. A non-sealed hole like on an interior wall you could run more than 2 cables.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    What you've posted simply states that in a filled hole you need to apply derating factors not that a hole can only have two cables installed. As Jim stated a non-filled hole can have a unlimited number of NM cables installed.
    Thanks for pointing that out as some members may not have made the distinction.

    I was aware of the difference when I posted it.

    There just wasn't a differentiation in the original post.

    Plus, if you've been following the "bundling" post from the past, I do not support the notion whatsoever that NM cables run consecutively through joists require derating regardless of the length because: 1) I do not believe that was the intent of the code, 2) If applied as many would have you do, many homes would require #6 wire for a 20A circuit after deration.

    In over 30 years, I have NEVER seen a problem with this common practice and have never been admonsished by an inspector for such.

    Because we have discussed this as nauseum in the past, I will not reply to any additional arguments made for derating by the minority who espouse the derating mantra.

    Additionally, I do not see a problem with the use of cable ties in a panel as it has long been a practice of mine to dress wiring in such a manner.

    That might be the result of the fact that I was an Avionics Tech in the Marine Corps and was accustomed to dressing aircraft wiring in that manner.

    I understand that some will disagree with that tenet, however; I established a reputation amongst inspectors when I was performing installations, for the neatness of my panel work. Cable tying panel wiring was never questioned.

    Some would argue that such a practice interferes with adding additional circuits and my response is that I would remove the previous cable ties and redo them to return the appearance to the previous level of neatness.

    As an inspector now, my initial perception of encountering a "spaghetti mess" in a panel is that someone does not pay attention to detail and therefore requires additional scrutiny.

    And lastly, as has been previously posted, it is not unprofessional for an inspector to merely suggest a different manner in which to perform an installation, even if it is not code. (Seems like I was castigated for such remarks in the past by the very same poster.)

    However, one cannot cite "opinion" as a defect.

    As has also been previously stated, "The Code is the minimum, as in least, that you can perform in adherence thereof."

    Sometimes experience affords us the enlightenment that code language does not.

    Last edited by Richard D. Fornataro; 05-24-2012 at 07:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post

    Because we have discussed this as nauseum in the past, I will not reply to any additional arguments made for derating by the minority who espouse the derating mantra.
    ________




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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Richard D. Fornataro puts this one to bed, takes the bottle away, shuts off the lights and saunters down the hallway...many thanks!


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    I see cable ties all the time and have never commented in my report.

    I do notice the guy who usually do that have the neatest panels. And that most of the electrical issues I find happened post that electrician.

    Not always, but is usually is an indication of the work they perform.

    Don Hester
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Don...it's 11:30pm....why'd you wake me up? ZZZZZ. (thanks for the update)


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Then I add "Some object to the use of the word "crappiest" as that indicates workmanship and code does not address workmanship. They are correct that code does not address workmanship, so I can change the wording for you:
    NEC 2011; 110.12 Mechanical Execution of Work. Electrical equipment shall be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner.

    This can be debated ad infinitum, but it does say "shall" and I would like to see it cited by electrical inspectors more often.


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Blankenship View Post
    NEC 2011; 110.12 Mechanical Execution of Work. Electrical equipment shall be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner.

    This can be debated ad infinitum, but it does say "shall" and I would like to see it cited by electrical inspectors more often.
    The problem with neat and workmanlike is it is subjective. What you and I may consider "not neat" may be interpreted differently by someone else.

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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hester View Post
    The problem with neat and workmanlike is it is subjective. What you and I may consider "not neat" may be interpreted differently by someone else.
    Subjective ? Subject to interpretation - Yes. There are referenced construction manual rabbitt holes to follow that I believe cite parrallel or adjecent to building lines & more. However; it is code / a part of the code and it very specifically addressses workmanship. It's effectiveness, enforce-ability, etc. can be debated. The fact that it is in the code cannot. The interpretation problem is the dominion of the AHJ. I personally have never seen this abused by inspectors and I'm happy it exists. Somewhere, somehow a level of craftmanship should be upheld.


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post
    Because we have discussed this as nauseum in the past, I will not reply to any additional arguments made for derating by the minority who espouse the derating mantra.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    ________

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Morin View Post
    Richard D. Fornataro puts this one to bed, takes the bottle away, shuts off the lights and saunters down the hallway...many thanks!
    The above persons, along with unnamed others ... but I will not go there "Because we have discussed this as nauseum in the past, I will not reply to any additional arguments made for derating by the minority who espouse the" NON-derating mantra because those persons are espousing what is in conflict with what the NEC actually says.

    Those people are stating that they know more than the multitude of folks who put the NEC together because they are stating that derating is not applicable and not needed, while the fine folks who put the NEC together and update it are definitely strong on the derating issue, and those fine folks ARE GETTING TOUGHER ON DERATING REQUIREMENTS.

    I, for one, agree with those fine folks who recognize that derating is a problem which is not understood by many and who are trying to teach and explain why derating is important.

    So be it, I will let the non-believers here post their 'it-don't-mean-nothin' posts.

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  32. #32
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The above persons, along with unnamed others ... but I will not go there "Because we have discussed this as nauseum in the past, I will not reply to any additional arguments made for derating by the minority who espouse the" NON-derating mantra because those persons are espousing what is in conflict with what the NEC actually says.

    Those people are stating that they know more than the multitude of folks who put the NEC together because they are stating that derating is not applicable and not needed, while the fine folks who put the NEC together and update it are definitely strong on the derating issue, and those fine folks ARE GETTING TOUGHER ON DERATING REQUIREMENTS.

    I, for one, agree with those fine folks who recognize that derating is a problem which is not understood by many and who are trying to teach and explain why derating is important.

    So be it, I will let the non-believers here post their 'it-don't-mean-nothin' posts.
    Since you quoted me I'm unsure what side of the argument we're on.


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Since you quoted me I'm unsure what side of the argument we're on.
    From your post quoting Richard ...


    ... apparently opposite sides.

    I agree with the NEC that derating is required, in fact, I agree with the NEC in increasing the derating requirements.

    And you ... ?

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  34. #34
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    From your post quoting Richard ...


    ... apparently opposite sides.

    I agree with the NEC that derating is required, in fact, I agree with the NEC in increasing the derating requirements.

    And you ... ?
    Long thread, not sure that I follow.
    You're stating that derating is required for the cable tied conductors in the photo?


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Long thread, not sure that I follow.
    You're stating that derating is required for the cable tied conductors in the photo?
    No.

    I am stating that the derating required by the NEC for the reasons, locations, and uses stated in the NEC are correct. The quote I included was not referencing the panel in the photo, but "Because we have discussed this as nauseum in the past", sorry to have confused you when I quoted that person.

    Some here believe that there is little to no reason for derating anything anywhere, much less in residential.

    With regard to that specific photo and that specific location in any panel, no, once the conductors enter the panel properly (that in and of itself is a separate discussion), then no derating is required as the conductors are terminating within the panel - no harm, no foul.

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  36. #36
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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    No.

    I am stating that the derating required by the NEC for the reasons, locations, and uses stated in the NEC are correct. The quote I included was not referencing the panel in the photo, but "Because we have discussed this as nauseum in the past", sorry to have confused you when I quoted that person.

    Some here believe that there is little to no reason for derating anything anywhere, much less in residential.

    With regard to that specific photo and that specific location in any panel, no, once the conductors enter the panel properly (that in and of itself is a separate discussion), then no derating is required as the conductors are terminating within the panel - no harm, no foul.
    That's what I thought but didn't want to put words in your mouth.
    Therefore we agree.


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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Jerry, I agree with you and have called out issues with wires bundled in a home went much farther than 2 feet. I will let sparky say it is okay or not.

    I find that the wiring by most of the guys who use cable ties in the panel once it left the panel(could not see in the wall from there) and reached the attic area and such had very nice spacing and cable runs.

    So I assume,... (oh oh) that the wiring runs up the wall from the panel are nicely space also.

    But you really can ever know without going Holmes on the wall.

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    Default Re: Bundling #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hester View Post
    I find that the wiring by most of the guys who use cable ties in the panel once it left the panel(could not see in the wall from there) and reached the attic area and such had very nice spacing and cable runs.
    The electricians in Florida are A LOT different than the electricians in your area - it is a rare wiring job worthy of taking a photo of 'how it should be done' down here in Florida when an electrician does it that way. Most electricians here make as few holes as possible and run as many cables as they can stuff into each hole, and, because the cables are stuffed into those few holes, why bother to make any effort to separate the cables ... and staple the cables within the required spacing ... are you crazy, that uses precious and costly staples (that must be what they are thinking because they sure do not like to secure the cables anywhere, maybe within a couple of feet of the box, but not many other places.

    I will admit, though, that the electricians in the area I inspect as the AHJ are now starting to budget for using staples and clips to properly secure NM cables.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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