Electrician Talk banner

Adhesive Cable Mounts for panels

612 24
As Splatz said, "I'm a tool junkie".
So, I'm FINALLY working on panels, and am trying to up my game. Looking at Reddit's Cable **** sub, I'm wondering if adhesive cable mounts are a viable, code-worthy, option to help keep a panel nice, tidy & pretty. And, if y'all honestly believe it's a bad idea, what options are available other than shoving wires to the sides & into corners and making nice 90 degree bends?

What say you boys in the field?

Azure Font Rectangle Gadget Electric blue
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Power distribution and controls
Joined
·
2,581 Posts
I have found in the Arizona heat they do not hold more than a few years. I like putting a screw through them or using Ty wraps that take the screws. I find more vairied uses for these.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Retired
Joined
·
18,505 Posts
I don't like them. I always used Panduit channel. Comes in all sizes.
When I did use bases for tyraps I removed the adhesive pad with my knife and glued them down. Or like @Navyguy used the ones with a hole for a screw. The adhesive pads do not hold well.
But its channel for me. Yes, it takes up more space, but is easy to install and the result is much cleaner than tyraps and bases.
 

·
Chief Flunky
Field Service Engineer
Joined
·
3,939 Posts
Depends on use. If you work on old panels you will notice on some those suckers are so glued on a heat gun won’t do anything until they melt and you scrape the goo up. On others they just dangle off the wire like ornaments. I can say I’ve learned a few trick:

1. Wipe down the area first with denatured alcohol. Any oils or other residue will lead to failures.
2. Do not touch the sticky surface to ANYTHING. Peel and stick, period. If it is not a perfect attempt, toss it. Don’t skimp.
3. Maximum distance of about 4-6” between sticky backs. And bend the wire so they provide support and that’s it.
4. Stick them on way ahead of time. For some reason it seems like it takes a little time to really get stuck on good. I put them on before I run wire then stick the tie wraps in then run wire with the tie wraps in loose loops then come back with the tie wrap gun after the wire is landed in that order.
5. Use a tie wrap gun. It makes a difference.
6. Avoid using them!!

So wire duct looks great in the panel. The big advantage here is honestly your wiring can be total crap. Slap those lids on and all your sins disappear like magic. But there are two areas where this does not work. You don’t really want to run wire duct across a door panel because then you have screw heads (or worse) sticking out on the front. The other area is around bulky large components like contractors and drives. I tie wrap and use terminals as anchors where possible. So with a long row of contactor so will daisy chain the neutrals to the coils then run the longest run first tying it to the neutral with a tie wrap so it makes the wire hold a 90 degree bend. Then repeat for the next closest, and so on. This makes a nice tight and neat bundle. I use the same technique on push buttons. This leaves a couple tie wraps going from one row to another and a row leading up to the jumping off point to the back of the panel.

I don’t like the one hole sticky backs. The screw head always interferes with the tie wraps. If I have to use a screw I use the ones with two holes on either side and just pick one. Also a one hole “strap” anchor works way better than any sticky back once you see screwing things down.

My only downfall is anchoring the other end of the bundle going to the door. Drilling through and using a bolt and nut us a very strong anchor but if I could get rid of the bolt head i would. Maybe I’ll try a rivet nut next time.
 

·
Registered
Ready-Mix Electrician
Joined
·
3,764 Posts
If you build “custom” stuff like I do, the Mag Daddy magnet mounts are great. What I have been doing lately is build, and run your wires using these, then when you have it all dialed in, replace them with sticky backs. I usually use twice the sticky backs as the magnets and they do well.
Automotive tire Camera accessory Rim Gas Circle
 

·
Moderator
Estwing magic
Joined
·
27,883 Posts
There’s rarely any need for sticky backs and tie wraps in a panel. If I’m the poor slob going into that panel after Leonardo DaVinci finished his masterpiece, I’m snipping tie wraps and tugging on wires just to re-arrange things. No thanks. Make it reasonably neat and put the cover on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
While not on anything about sticky pads but just a comment on panel building, avoid have too long of a piece of wire duct cover. Duct covers come in 6 foot pieces. We had many large panels and I would have the panel builder in our shop cut some in half. It made them easier to put back on in the field plus sometimes you didn’t need to expose the entire length of wire duct to get to where you needed.
 

·
Hackenschmidt
Joined
·
13,991 Posts
I like them, the work great, but you have to find a brand with good adhesive, or screw them in as @SWDweller says. With the perforated subpanels screwing them in is easier and comes out nicer.

The magdaddies are fantastic as @460 Delta says but a bit pricey. You can use magdaddies with a velcro loop to wire things then replace them with sticky backs and cable ties when you're done.
 

·
Registered
Water treatment plant maintenance
Joined
·
1,244 Posts
I bought some old school nylon cable lacing tape. I've been known to use it instead of zip ties in control panels. In a breaker box I normally end up cutting any zip ties off and throwing them on the ground before I put the cover back on.
 

·
Registered
C10
Joined
·
73 Posts
I don't like them. I always used Panduit channel. Comes in all sizes.
When I did use bases for tyraps I removed the adhesive pad with my knife and glued them down. Or like @Navyguy used the ones with a hole for a screw. The adhesive pads do not hold well.
But its channel for me. Yes, it takes up more space, but is easy to install and the result is much cleaner than tyraps and bases.

I'd like to see a photo of the Panduit method if you got one laying around in your phone
 

·
Chief Flunky
Field Service Engineer
Joined
·
3,939 Posts
There’s rarely any need for sticky backs and tie wraps in a panel. If I’m the poor slob going into that panel after Leonardo DaVinci finished his masterpiece, I’m snipping tie wraps and tugging on wires just to re-arrange things. No thanks. Make it reasonably neat and put the cover on.
If I put the tie wraps on by hand, you can hand trace my wiring. If I use a tie wrap gun, you have no chance at all. It takes all of 5 minutes to put them all back and retie it. It takes less time to use the gun and it snips off the end so there is no sharp end. So if you attempt to trace my tie wraps, cut them. Just put them back for the next guy.

If done properly there should be an inch or two of slack. In a wire duct I just leave the inch or two in the duct. I cut it so it reaches the back/center of the trough. In tie wrapped wiring if you go into every terminal with a 90 degree turn and leave a gap to the turn or roll it down/back from the terminal you will leave plenty.

“Davinci” panels SHOULD have slack. Wire that is too tight can pull out, stress parts, and is a nightmare for parts replacement. If it’s that tight chances are others are too loose. It’s a sign of an amateur. NEC 300.14 requires a little slack for boxes. Panel wiring is different but the principles don’t change. Old panels used SIS or THHN. Most terminations had a 270 degree “roll”. With MTW or THHN “spaghetti” in a wire duct it should be run as if it’s centered in the duct to create 1-2” slack. Don’t be the jerk that zig-zags an extra foot of wire in every connection or has them so tight you can’t dress up the end after replacing a part. In tie wrapping it should still have an inch or two of slack, for the same reason.

CAN I make it “bus bar” tight? Yes. But chances are I will be working on my own stuff. I want to make it easy for me, too.

Ever seen a panel shop? Wire is “free” as in the cheapest part even at todays prices. There are scraps, usually under a few inches, everywhere. Same with a construction site. Except those guys that estimate 25 feet, pull 35 feet, and leave giant air core inductors piled up in the bottom of the panel. Code says 6-8 inches, not 6-8 feet. Do you really feel safe poking through that mess? I don’t either.
 

·
Hackenschmidt
Joined
·
13,991 Posts
I bought some old school nylon cable lacing tape. I've been known to use it instead of zip ties in control panels. In a breaker box I normally end up cutting any zip ties off and throwing them on the ground before I put the cover back on.
I still occasionally use waxed string, I have a few rolls left, more than I have time left to use. But usually for telecom. Have you seen the NASA PDF (attached)?
 

Attachments

·
Hackenschmidt
Joined
·
13,991 Posts
If I’m the poor slob going into that panel after Leonardo DaVinci finished his masterpiece, I’m snipping tie wraps and tugging on wires just to re-arrange things. No thanks. Make it reasonably neat and put the cover on.
I do the same thing, even if I put the cable ties back on, it's quicker to remove them all. If you want to keep it tidy while you work, put new ones on loose while you work then tighten them and tidy everything when you're done.

With solid wire in residential panels, cable ties are unnecessary. Tight bundles are just making a little more heat in a tight box where nobody can see them.
 

·
Hackenschmidt
Joined
·
13,991 Posts
I like them, the work great, but you have to find a brand with good adhesive, or screw them in as @SWDweller says. With the perforated subpanels screwing them in is easier and comes out nicer.

The magdaddies are fantastic as @460 Delta says but a bit pricey. You can use magdaddies with a velcro loop to wire things then replace them with sticky backs and cable ties when you're done.
BTW, There is one step you can't skip with the sticky backs, you have to have a clean surface, and you have to use something that leaves no residue. Even if it's right out of the box from the factory, you have to wipe it down with paper towels or big microfiber rag or even better magic eraser wet in rubbing alcohol. Do not be stingy with the alcohol and paper towels and don't halfass the cleaning. The 90% alcohol dries faster but the 70% from the $1.25 store works fine. The little alcohol wipes work if you get good ones and they're not dried out and you use enough and if the surface is almost perfect before you start.

The good ones with genuine 3M adhesive or others that are as good stick so well, they're hard to pry off years later, if you pry it off the foam tears in half and you have a square of adhesive and foam on the paint that's not easy to remove. The crappy ones won't stay on long enough to get the door shut.

AND, they don't stick to plastic as well over time. You might think they're working great but in six months, you'll open the panel and they'll all be dangling like you never stuck them on.
 

·
Registered
Ready-Mix Electrician
Joined
·
3,764 Posts
BTW, There is one step you can't skip with the sticky backs, you have to have a clean surface, and you have to use something that leaves no residue. Even if it's right out of the box from the factory, you have to wipe it down with paper towels or big microfiber rag or even better magic eraser wet in rubbing alcohol. Do not be stingy with the alcohol and paper towels and don't halfass the cleaning. The 90% alcohol dries faster but the 70% from the $1.25 store works fine. The little alcohol wipes work if you get good ones and they're not dried out and you use enough and if the surface is almost perfect before you start.

The good ones with genuine 3M adhesive or others that are as good stick so well, they're hard to pry off years later, if you pry it off the foam tears in half and you have a square of adhesive and foam on the paint that's not easy to remove. The crappy ones won't stay on long enough to get the door shut.

AND, they don't stick to plastic as well over time. You might think they're working great but in six months, you'll open the panel and they'll all be dangling like you never stuck them on.
Usually I use brake cleaner as my degreaser before the sticky backs are applied. On some surfaces the acetone will remove the paint gloss and dull it to flat, the stickies adhere well to that.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top