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NEC 334.30 Securement Requirements for NM Cable Fished through Finished Walls

494 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  hornetd
I know 334.30(B)(1) (quoted below) has been discussed here before, but I haven't seen a satisfying answer to my particular question.

I recently had a discussion with an inspector about the requirement to staple NM cable that has been fished through a finished wall to an existing junction box. My interpretation of 334.30(B)(1) was that it creates an exception for the requirement to staple cables to studs when fishing them through finished walls. The inspector, however, pointed out 334.30(B)(1) provides an exception for support only. Since no explicit exception is made for securement, he contends drywall must be removed to secure the cable with staples.

Although I think most of us would consider his interpretation pedantic and perhaps overzealous, it's hard to argue his interpretation is wrong because that's indeed how it's written. However, requiring securement also creates a de facto requirement for support because all methods of securement also provide support. Thus, creating an exception for support that still requires securement provides no actual exception for support. 334.30(B)(1) would be completely moot under his interpretation.

So, that raises the question why does 334.30(B)(1) exist if it doesn't mean anything?


I think the simplest explanation is the NEC probably intended "unsupported" to mean "unsupported and unsecured" in 334.30(B)(1), but I have no proof of that. If that is the case, it would be nice if they would revise it to be clearer.

What do you guys think?

Section 334.30 from the 2020 NEC follows:

334.30 Securing and Supporting
Nonmetallic-sheathed cable shall be supported and secured by staples, cable ties listed and identified for securement and support, or straps, hangers, or similar fittings designed and installed so as not to damage the cable, at intervals not exceeding 1.4 m (41/2 ft) and within 300 mm (12 in.) of every cable entry into enclosures such as outlet boxes, junction boxes, cabinets, or fittings. The cable length between the cable entry and the closest cable support shall not exceed 450 mm (18 in.). Flat cables shall not be stapled on edge.

Sections of cable protected from physical damage by raceway shall not be required to be secured within the raceway.​

(A) Horizontal Runs Through Holes and Notches
In other than vertical runs, cables installed in accordance with 300.4 shall be considered to be supported and secured where such support does not exceed 1.4-m (41/2-ft) intervals and the nonmetallic-sheathed cable is securely fastened in place by an approved means within 300 mm (12 in.) of each box, cabinet, conduit body, or other nonmetallic-sheathed cable termination.​
Informational Note: See 314.17(B)(1) for support where nonmetallic boxes are used.

(B) Unsupported Cables
Nonmetallic-sheathed cable shall be permitted to be unsupported where the cable:

(1) Is fished between access points through concealed spaces in finished buildings or structures and supporting is impracticable.

(2) Is not more than 1.4 m (41/2 ft) from the last point of cable support to the point of connection to a luminaire or other piece of electrical equipment and the cable and point of
connection are within an accessible ceiling in one-, two-, or multifamily dwellings.​

(C) Wiring Device Without a Separate Outlet Box
A wiring device identified for the use, without a separate outlet box, and incorporating an integral cable clamp shall be permitted where the cable is secured in place at intervals not exceeding 1.4 m (41/2 ft) and within 300 mm (12 in.) from the wiring device wall opening, and there shall be at least a 300 mm (12 in.) loop of unbroken cable or 150 mm (6 in.) of a cable end available on the interior side of the finished wall to permit replacement.
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Notice the wording here.


ENHANCED CONTENT
Draping the cable over air ducts, rafters, timbers, joists, pipes, and ceiling grid members without securing the cable with approved means is not permitted, except where the cable is fished, as allowed in 334.30(B)(1).

The inspector is out to lunch. He needs to be straightened out and quit with the word games. It doesn’t make him look smart, just the opposite.
 

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Drill little 1/8" holes thru the drywall and stick the straw end of expanding foam can in there and shoot expanding foam in. Then tell him to prove it isn't secured now, but don't allow him to disturb the walls , cause he is not authorized to any such mistaken move. Checkmate. NM is allowed to be run thru expanding foam.
 

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Drill little 1/8" holes thru the drywall and stick the straw end of expanding foam can in there and shoot expanding foam in. Then tell him to prove it isn't secured now, but don't allow him to disturb the walls , cause he is not authorized to any such mistaken move. Checkmate. NM is allowed to be run thru expanding foam.
You could probably put a long cable tie with a mounting hole on the cable a little short of snug, screw it into the stud above the box with a long bit or a right angle adapter, then mount the box with the cable tie tail sticking out between the box and the drywall, snug it when you're done, trim the tail flush, and put the cover on. QED.

This would be worth it because he'd be wrong about the code, and wrong about removing drywall.

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Do you guys expect the cable to jump around if not secured in a finished wall? Stapling is for during construction until the walls are closed, or where is remains accessible.
 

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Stapling before the walls are covered does not affect me at all. Drywaller's stacking three or four scaffold planks on horizontal runs of 12-2 cable between studs and then walking around to the other side of the wall to pick them up again and carry on, well that one does affect me , and tends to make me get very angry......
 

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If that’s his interpretation, I bet there are more codes he’s misunderstanding.
 

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I know 334.30(B)(1) (quoted below) has been discussed here before, but I haven't seen a satisfying answer to my particular question.

I recently had a discussion with an inspector about the requirement to staple NM cable that has been fished through a finished wall to an existing junction box. My interpretation of 334.30(B)(1) was that it creates an exception for the requirement to staple cables to studs when fishing them through finished walls. The inspector, however, pointed out 334.30(B)(1) provides an exception for support only. Since no explicit exception is made for securement, he contends drywall must be removed to secure the cable with staples.

Although I think most of us would consider his interpretation pedantic and perhaps overzealous, it's hard to argue his interpretation is wrong because that's indeed how it's written. However, requiring securement also creates a de facto requirement for support because all methods of securement also provide support. Thus, creating an exception for support that still requires securement provides no actual exception for support. 334.30(B)(1) would be completely moot under his interpretation.

So, that raises the question why does 334.30(B)(1) exist if it doesn't mean anything?


I think the simplest explanation is the NEC probably intended "unsupported" to mean "unsupported and unsecured" in 334.30(B)(1), but I have no proof of that. If that is the case, it would be nice if they would revise it to be clearer.

What do you guys think?

Section 334.30 from the 2020 NEC follows:
Sounds like a fool on a power trip.

"(1) Is fished between access points through concealed spaces in finished buildings or structures and supporting is impracticable."

In what situation is supporting impracticable but securing isn't?

If you can't do, teach. If you can't teach, inspect.
 

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Sounds like a fool on a power trip.

"(1) Is fished between access points through concealed spaces in finished buildings or structures and supporting is impracticable."

In what situation is supporting impracticable but securing isn't?

If you can't do, teach. If you can't teach, inspect.
This is really ripe for a request for formal interpretation and a proposal for an interim amendment.

Tom Horne
 

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Absolutely ridiculous but I made a public input to nfpa to change the wording and add unsecured. Of course that won't be till the 2026 NEC. I would fight him tooth and nail.

Why would there be an exception to allow it to be unsupported that would require you to open the walls to secure it. The inspector needs to unplug himself and slow down with his abuse of authority
 

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The inspector needs to unplug himself and slow down with his abuse of authority
You don't want much Dennis. I have only run into this kind of hard head a few times in my 45 years in the craft but brother they do tick me off. I've written about a few of those conflicts and of course I only fought them on something when I was absolutely sure that I was correct. I've been called on mistakes I actually made especially early on. I fixed them without any hostility on my part at all because I was too busy being mad at myself for missing the item in the first place That said "Because I said so" never worked for me.

When I even suspected that one was soliciting a bribe, which happened a lot less in my later years, I would say "Chapter and verse please." I only had to go to their boss once. The others just backed off when I wouldn't back down. In the middle years of my work I kept a picture of my cousin with his FBI badge clipped to his lapel. I said to the only guy that kept staring at me with that hard stare that says you'll give me the money or you'll never pass "Let me introduce you to my cousin Lawrence. He works in the Public Integrity Section at the Washington office of the FBI. How many years do you have in pension?" He got an even nastier look on his face but he signed the green sticker. He must have pulled his nonsense on someone who took the time to go to war over it because the city fired him for cause about 5 years later. He didn't even appeal his firing so they must have had him dead to rights. A friend who was still working in the area told me that once his demise began many of the electricians in the area stepped forward to accuse him of soliciting bribes. Gee. Isn't that too bad.

Tom Horne
 

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You could probably put a long cable tie with a mounting hole on the cable a little short of snug, screw it into the stud above the box with a long bit or a right angle adapter, then mount the box with the cable tie tail sticking out between the box and the drywall, snug it when you're done, trim the tail flush, and put the cover on. QED.

This would be worth it because he'd be wrong about the code, and wrong about removing drywall.

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I like it. But I have to admit that I would like a formal interpretation a lot more. Even better would be an interim amendment. Yes I know I already said this but you already know that I work for the Department of Redundancy Department.

Tom Horne
 
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