Questions on old wiring stapled to bottom of joists

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by skoby, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. skoby

    skoby New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I pulled down existing sheet rock to add a 15 amp and (2) 20 amp wiring and found the existing wiring was stapled to the bottom of the joists. It looks like some type of raceway but I haven't found any information online if this was past practice or not.

    Is this the way some people used to wire in the past? I'm guessing the correct way to add any more wires is to drill. I suppose if I added more wires and put the sheet rock back up it would not be good? Thanks in advance

    IMG_20140416_160454.jpg

    IMG_20140416_160504.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,896
    Location:
    New England
    THere's a limit on how close and how many cable runs can be together, but it looks like you have room to add at least a few more there. The issue is heat buildup, and the possibility of needing to derate the insulation, or load carrying capacity of the cable. For certain, it's not good or acceptable to bundle a bunch of them into a ball, but what you have is, I think, fine. One of the pros can probably quote the code on this for further clarification.
  3. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,244
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    When the house was wired, it was not intended to have drywall installed over those runs.
  4. skoby

    skoby New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    So, should I leave the drywall down and until I change the wiring? I'm updating the kitchen wiring right now. The wiring was so messed up that it was easier to tear most of it out rather try to fix.

    I've got a number of other issues in other rooms but I figured I could take my time and change a few at a time.
  5. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,244
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    The primary danger is when someone unknowingly drives a nail or screw into the unprotected wiring. Wires in a closed wall or ceiling need to be at least 1.5" in from the face of the framing
  6. skoby

    skoby New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I'll have to fix this. Thanks for the info and help
  7. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,531
    Location:
    North Carolina
    nothing to fix. This looks good. Everything in the photo is code complant
  8. skoby

    skoby New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Delete post

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    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  9. skoby

    skoby New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Local electrician agrees
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,488
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The only wires I would move are the ones next to the 2x4s in case the drywaller misses to the side and hits the wire.
  11. skoby

    skoby New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Not a bad idea, thanks
  12. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Colorado
    I agree. While I have not worked there it is my understanding that this is SOP for Mass. wiring.
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