Spacing Requirements And Issues Regarding Electrical Cable Installation

Spacing Requirements And Issues Regarding Electrical Cable Installation

By Dave Donahue

Imprope Secured Electrical Cables
Improperly Secured Electrical Cables


Whether your a home improvement aficionado or an electrical professional, there will probably come a time when your going to install electrical cable. These cables can be either NMB (or non-metallic, high temperature wire), NM cable or even low voltage cable’s. Proper spacing is something that is often ignored when these installs are being performed, especially when the project itself is moving along too quickly. Typically an electrician will install the electrical cable along a metal or wood stud, fastening with either straps or staples. Sometimes, the strapping may be installed too close to the edge of the stud which could create some major problems when the drywall is installed. After the cable is installed another tradesman will set the drywall securing the wall with nails. A nailgun is typically used and can easily puncture the sheathing on electrical cables. If the cable was fastened too close to the edge, problems can occur. Thankfully the majority of time these cables are fastened according to NEC requirements but often they are ignored by both electricians and homeowners trying to get the job done quickly. Here are a few pointers on how to secure electrical cables correctly.

1) For NM cable,specifically 300.4D a spacer of 1 1/4 inch is required. The cable should be run parallel to the framing member. If these requirements cannot be met then a steel plate commonly referred to as a nail plate can be used to secure the wire. Unfortunately when cables are secured improperly, nails from a drywallers nail gun can nick the wire and cause major issues or worse, a fire from a hot spot created from the nicked cable. It’s always best to follow the 1 1/4 inch rule of thumb when installing electrical cable. Spacing can either make or break a successful electrical installation.

2) Non metallic sheathed cables should be secured within 12 inches of a box (junction box) and every 4 1/2 feet. Now this applies to standard securing methods for the length of the wire, meaning cables should be secured at intervals of 12 inches from the wire carrying junction box and every 4 1/2 feet. These cables should be secured with either staples or nail plates in a fashion so as not to damage the cable. Most of these standards of installation are based on common sense but do follow the NEC article requirements for non metallic sheathed cable installation. If your in question on how to properly fasten your NMB cable feel free to contact Swartz Electric of Southern Colorado. Their electricians will give you tips and suggestions on how to successfully install your electrical wiring. They are also available to help install and troubleshoot any electrical projects you have. Swartz Electric remains the leading electrical contractor in Southern Colorado.

3) While there are a number of different (types) of electrical cables, all of them have set NEC requirements for spacing and installation. Some of the different types of cables are as follows. Armored cables. This type of cable is commonly referred to as “BX” cable. The difference in this cable versus non metallic sheathed cables is obvious. BX cable has a metallic sheathing and non metallic has a rubber type of encasing. Both are required to be supported but have different requirements for support and spacing. There are a multitude of other types of cables that are used for installation however, BX and nonmetallic sheathed cables are some of the more commonly used kinds. For help with spacing requirements and how to properly secure your home improvement electrical projects, contact Swartz Electric to get the job started and finished correctly!

Swartz Electric is Colorado Springs highest rated Electrical Contractor and is licensed and insured to perform electrical work throughout the entire State of Colorado. Please see our website for our licenses, insurance, and links to reviews and testimonials. In addition, Swartz Electric provides a 2 year material warranty and a lifetime workmanship warranty.

Swartz Electric – Your Colorado Springs Electrician performs electrical work throughout Colorado Springs, Monument, Black Forest, Fountain, Falcon, Woodland Park, and everywhere in between. We are the electricians in Colorado Springs to solve your electrical problems and meet your electrical requirements.

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This is an original article written by Dave Donahue for Swartz Electric. This article may not be copied whole or in part without the express permission of Swartz Electric, LLC.

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