Acceptable way(s) to stack/bundle multiple NM cables

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by seattle_steve, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. seattle_steve

    seattle_steve New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Homeowner here, wiring a new addition...

    I feel like there's probably an easy answer to this question, but I haven't had much luck finding it here or on google: if I have multiple cables running up a 2x4, what is the best (inspector-approved) way to attach them and still keep them 1 1/4" from the edge of the stud?

    For individual cables, I've been using the white plastic "staples" (like these: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BQNCIU). But these are only supposed to be used for one cable, right?

    And, for bundling multiple cables where the 1 1/4" inch rule isn't in effect (like in the attic), I've just been using zip ties (and attaching them to joists/studs).

    One recommendation I saw was to staple the first wire and then stack and zip-tie the others to the first one. Is that acceptable?

    I've also seen (and used) the cable "stackers" that accept up to 4 cables, but that seems like overkill (and expensive) for just 2 cables.

    What methods do the pros use?

    I'm in Seattle, so whatever I do will need to pass inspection here.

    Thanks.

    Steve
  2. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    USA
    I'm just a diy'er, but these worked ok for me.

    edit: i skimmed and didn't see that you already knew about these.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  3. seattle_steve

    seattle_steve New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah, that's what I meant by "stacker" (maybe they're called something else?). I've used those when I have 3 or 4 cables to stack, but like I said, it seems overkill and expensive to use those everywhere that you just have 2 cables to stack?
  4. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    351
    Location:
    Colorado
    Zip ties are fine.
  5. Jim Port

    Jim Port Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Maryland
    Many cable staples are listed for use with 2 cables.
  6. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,249
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Like Jim said, look around and you can find the white plastic cable staples that are "taller", as they are approved for 2 wires stacked.
  7. seattle_steve

    seattle_steve New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the responses. Does anyone have a link to an example of these "taller" staples? I've looked at the big box stores and haven't seen them. And, I don't know of any other local "retail" electrical supply shops...

    Also, unless ActionDave was referring to this, I haven't seen a direct response to the idea of zip-tying one or more stacked cables to a stapled cable. Is this acceptable?
  8. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Regarding the staples for NM and holding down two cables with one.

    It is not permitted to stand the two cables on edge.

    Stack them flat one on top of the other.

    Just find staples that are tall enough to hold down two bits of NM and still get a good bite in the lumber.
  9. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Yes this is a good idea or let me say I thought so the many times I have done it. One thing to keep in mind is the ties are not free.

    I have wove the cable in the sheathing removed and stapled between two studs at the top and bottom of panels where there are many cables coming in.

    Remember that the 1 1/4 inch can be somewhere between the stud bay as well as from the edge of the stud when straping to the stud.
  10. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet New Member

    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    Why do you think the 1 1/4 inch rule isn't in effect in attics? FYI, in Seattle, local amendments to the NEC greatly restrict
    the use of NM cable. Basically, with very few exceptions, NM run in attics, unfinished basements and garages, etc., must follow
    the same methods as in finished space wall cavities.

    You can get wire ties with eyes so they can be fastened to framing with your nail/screw of choice. I've used those quite a bit
    to support NM cable, with no objection from Seattle elect. inspectors.
  11. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    351
    Location:
    Colorado
    Yes...............
  12. seattle_steve

    seattle_steve New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks Dave.

    kreemoweet: My word choice was poor. What I should have said was, in the attic, the 1 1/4" rule is less of an issue because you have more space to work with. I think I have followed all rules around wire placement/protection in the attic. Also, yes, I have used the zip-ties with eyelets for attaching to studs -- but getting those to sit right in the middle of a 2x4 seemed unlikely, so I was looking for other options.

    Thanks for all the responses folks.
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,797
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    As a practical matter, since a 2x4 is 3 1/2" wide, 1 1/4" from either side gives you a 1" space so you an run the NM cables next to each other and do NOT have to stack them.

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