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  1. #1
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    Aug 2009
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    Default Thermostat wires on attic floor -new construction

    New home and t-stat wiring runs across attic floor near pull-down stair entry. Nails are bent over on floor to hold wire in place. I have a few concerns: 1) nails and wire on floor near entry are a trip hazard, 2) foot traffic will damage wire (bent nails may help cut into wires)

    I skimmed the mechanical code and cannot find mention of protecting t-stat wiring. I'm going to make note of this issue in the report anyway, but would like to learn if code may address this. Thanks!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Osceola, AR
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    Default Re: Thermostat wires on attic floor -new construction

    It is sloppy and careless, it's also a clue to how other details may have been addressed.

    The 2011 revision clarifies that all conductors in all wiring methods must be protected from physical damage [300.4]. From Mike Holt on "Changes to Article 300 in the 2011 NEC". sourced from
    http://ecmweb.com/code-basics/wiring-methods

    Alton Darty
    ATN Services, LLC
    www.arinspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Thermostat wires on attic floor -new construction

    Good answer by Alton.
    I would just like to add that someone tacked the wire down to keep it out of the way until the Hvac guy or Electrician comes in to finish the installation.
    So it would just go on the list of unfinished items, along with paint blemishes and missing parts.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,846

    Default Re: Thermostat wires on attic floor -new construction

    Keep in mind it is low voltage and it is under a different set of rules plus that install is not complete. Could be fine once everything is said and done with.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Central Texas
    Posts
    472

    Default Re: Thermostat wires on attic floor -new construction

    Quote Originally Posted by Randall Clark View Post
    New home and t-stat wiring runs across attic floor near pull-down stair entry. Nails are bent over on floor to hold wire in place. I have a few concerns: 1) nails and wire on floor near entry are a trip hazard, 2) foot traffic will damage wire (bent nails may help cut into wires)

    I skimmed the mechanical code and cannot find mention of protecting t-stat wiring. I'm going to make note of this issue in the report anyway, but would like to learn if code may address this. Thanks!
    It is a code violation in several respects:

    (1) Low voltage cables require protection as per NEC 720.11 Mechanical Execution of Work. Circuits operating at less than 50 volts shall be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner. Cables shall be supported by the building structure in such a manner that the cable will not be damaged by normal building use.

    (2) IRC M1305.1.3 Appliances in attics. Attics containing appliances requiring access shall have with an opening and a clear and unobstructed passageway . . .

    If and when some service person trips on that and falls through the ceiling the homeowner will be responsible due to negligence, which was precipitated by the AHJ approving a non-compliant installation. While the AHJ can, in theory, be sued, it is an expensive task with little possibility of a good outcome. The homeowner, on the other had, has insurance that will pay without much prodding.

    Texas Inspector
    http://www.texasinspector.com
    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Maryland
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    2,763

    Default Re: Thermostat wires on attic floor -new construction

    Some Wiremold ($ 9 )will solve the problem. Installer spent it on lunch instead.

    Area has OSB over it, possibly the entire attic, so ceiling is protected in this case.

    "....shall be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner." That may be what they accept there, matter of opinion? or AHJ never looked down.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    north carolina
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    22

    Default Re: Thermostat cable on heat pump exterior unit

    I have an HVAC question also involving thermostat wires. Saw a Heat Pump Condenser unit today with thermostat cable wrapped around it. Appeared that most of the conductors were unused, but two were joined together. The end of the cable entered an internet box on the side of the house. My guess is this cable has to do with the security system (avoiding theft of exterior unit) not the operation of the heat pump. Anybody familiar with this?

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  8. #8
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Thermostat cable on heat pump exterior unit

    Quote Originally Posted by JOHN PAVAN View Post
    My guess is this cable has to do with the security system (avoiding theft of exterior unit) not the operation of the heat pump. Anybody familiar with this?
    I would like to see the tension strength and cutting resistance ratings for that cable - I've never seen any strong enough to prevent theft of a condenser unit ...

    There would be much easier ways to accomplish what you suspect the intent may be ... so many that I would not pronounce that cable to be anything other than 'wasted cable'.

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

  9. #9
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    Jul 2012
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    north carolina
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    22

    Default Re: Thermostat cable on heat pump exterior unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I would like to see the tension strength and cutting resistance ratings for that cable - I've never seen any strong enough to prevent theft of a condenser unit ...

    There would be much easier ways to accomplish what you suspect the intent may be ... so many that I would not pronounce that cable to be anything other than 'wasted cable'.
    I didn't mean that the cable would physically prevent theft. I thought that since stealing the condenser or parts of it would require cutting the cable, the two conductors that look as if they are joined together would be broken, opening a circuit, thereby triggering the alarm system, just like opening a window would.

    My speculation of course.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Thermostat wires on attic floor -new construction

    John,

    Yes, I understood that ... thus the Big Grin for that part of my reply.

    The smiley face for the second part of my reply was also because I understood that ... and any thief with an ounce of sense could trace the wiring back just as you did and complete the circuit just ahead of where they will cut the cable ... and use the rest of the cable left wrapped through the condenser unit to help drag it away.

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

  11. #11
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    Jul 2012
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    north carolina
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    Default Re: Thermostat wires on attic floor -new construction

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    John,

    Yes, I understood that ... thus the Big Grin for that part of my reply.

    The smiley face for the second part of my reply was also because I understood that ... and any thief with an ounce of sense could trace the wiring back just as you did and complete the circuit just ahead of where they will cut the cable ... and use the rest of the cable left wrapped through the condenser unit to help drag it away.
    Jerry

    Obviously you place to much faith in my sense of humor- I missed the smiley face, and I should have known you were too sharp to make that statement.

    I do suspect you also place too much faith in the intelligence and prudence of the average thief.

    As always, thanks for your prompt response.

    John P


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Thermostat wires on attic floor -new construction

    Quote Originally Posted by JOHN PAVAN View Post
    I do suspect you also place too much faith in the intelligence and prudence of the average thief.
    John,

    I also presumed that stealing a condenser unit was above "the average" thief ... ... and as such would recognized the feeble attempt at whatever was done (I would not, in a report or even verbally, unless doing so in humor, indicate that was an attempt to 'secure' the condenser unit from theft).

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

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