Securing romex wire to studs - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 06-11-2015, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Securing romex wire to studs

Quick question to whatever electricians we have out there, I've got a bit of a thought experiment going. Now, the NEC requires any accessible wire runs to be fastened to a stud at least once every 4 1/2 feet, a feat usually accomplished with staples. My question is, and I can find nothing in the NEC because it just states "non-metallic cable must be secured" without specifying how, is what can you use to accomplish this task. Those fancy insulated staples seem to be the traditional way, but what would be stopping someone from taking a wide crown stapler, stapling a zip tie to the stud and using the zip tie to secure the cable?

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post #2 of 32 Old 06-11-2015, 05:01 PM
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Romex staples is what is used. Be sure to leave some slack in the wire and don't crush the wire with the stable either. Just hammer them in barely touching. A house shifts and the wire needs some give in it. I've had to replace wiring in houses before that were pulled so tight that when the house shifted the wires broke.
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post #3 of 32 Old 06-11-2015, 05:33 PM
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agree.
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post #4 of 32 Old 06-11-2015, 05:55 PM
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Romex staples are cheap and easy. No reason to reinvent the wheel.

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #5 of 32 Old 06-11-2015, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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No reason to reinvent the wheel.
I've always had an issue with that phrase. Reinventing the wheel gave us tank treads!

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post #6 of 32 Old 06-11-2015, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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On a slightly more serious not, like I said, I realize romex staples are what's normally used, I'm just wondering if something in the zip tie method that would violate electrical code.

This isn't a "how do I do this" question, I know romex staples are the way its done. I just hate pounding the buggers and own a pneumatic staple gun and a lot of zip ties. I don't plan on doing it, I'm just wondering if someone did it would it be a code violation

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post #7 of 32 Old 06-11-2015, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
On a slightly more serious not, like I said, I realize romex staples are what's normally used, I'm just wondering if something in the zip tie method that would violate electrical code.

This isn't a "how do I do this" question, I know romex staples are the way its done. I just hate pounding the buggers and own a pneumatic staple gun and a lot of zip ties. I don't plan on doing it, I'm just wondering if someone did it would it be a code violation

So it probably doesn't violate the code....but what it does is make the inspector think you don't know what you're doing, and potentially flag all the minor stuff that would otherwise not even catch his eye. Or....he is a stickler and refuses to sign off until you use Romex staples....at which point you have to remove all your zip ties...and then still install Romex staples. One thing almost everyone will agree, arguing your point with a stubborn inspector rarely ends well.

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post #8 of 32 Old 06-11-2015, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
I've always had an issue with that phrase. Reinventing the wheel gave us tank treads!

Which aside from serious off road use....are less efficient. Wheels still rule!!!

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post #9 of 32 Old 06-11-2015, 08:40 PM
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Epic
I think you could talk to a local code official to find out if you could use Zip ties and a staple. I think it would secure the wire just fine, but Electrical contractors are looking for ways to increase speed and decrease their cost of a full electrical installation. Zip ties plus the staple will add the cost of the zip tie to their install, making it a hard sell.

Another thought: if you visit a home site under construction and see high quality framing, visit again after the electricians, plumbers and HVAC contractors finish. The beautiful framing has been butchered. Sometimes it's really bad.
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post #10 of 32 Old 06-11-2015, 09:02 PM
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I've always had an issue with that phrase. Reinventing the wheel gave us tank treads!
Re-inventing the wheel also gave us those stupid looking low profile tires too.

If you were having the electrical inspected I don't think you would find an inspector that would sign off on zip ties. They are just not permanent enough for something that is suppose to last decades.
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post #11 of 32 Old 06-12-2015, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Epic
I think you could talk to a local code official to find out if you could use Zip ties and a staple. I think it would secure the wire just fine, but Electrical contractors are looking for ways to increase speed and decrease their cost of a full electrical installation. Zip ties plus the staple will add the cost of the zip tie to their install, making it a hard sell.

Another thought: if you visit a home site under construction and see high quality framing, visit again after the electricians, plumbers and HVAC contractors finish. The beautiful framing has been butchered. Sometimes it's really bad.
Yeah, i realize its not something a contractor would do, just because youre right, pounding in a staple is way, way faster. Im more thinking along the lines of "well, ive already got these staples and these zip ties, and i really dont want to run to the hardware store".

I did consider calling a code official, but honestly, i dont care that much. Makes me wish my father wasnt such a ****, or id call him and ask. This was just one of those things that popped into my mind at work that made sense from one standpoint, and i couldnt find anything that actually forbade it.

http://www.cableorganizer.com/cable-...cable-ties.htm

I also blame those for putting the idea into my head

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post #12 of 32 Old 06-12-2015, 03:31 AM
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So how does a zip tie secure a wire to a stud unless going around the entire stud? If doing that, the cost of the zip ties exceeds vastly that of a wire staple. 200-500+ adds up in cost. Do a few houses and the added cost comes out of your pocket. Also the zip tie doesn't secure the wire to the center of the stud, (which is code so as to not easily run screws and nails through the wire).

Your trying to reinvent the wheel. If there was a cost and time saving method, I'm sure with all of the electrical projects done in past decades, someone would have done so already.

I also agree, the one thing you don't want to do is raise the eyebrow of the code inspector. I used to be one.
I was the Building Commish for a town of 8000 residents. In my case I would bend over backwards to help the homeowner. After all, I worked for them. Their tax dollars paid my salary. On hired contractors I was critical. After all, the homeowner (who was my responsibility) was paying to have things done right.
Still, most inspectors weren't/aren't like I was. Most just go strictly by the book and only understand and approve normal practices. Throw something unique and different at them, they start scrutinizing everything.
So why raise that eyebrow?
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post #13 of 32 Old 06-12-2015, 09:33 AM
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Romex staples are cheap and easy. No reason to reinvent the wheel.
Totally agree. However, if you plan on putting drywall over the studs, I would drill holes in the studs to run the romex. If you already have drywall up and wire will be on the outside, the romex staples are the way to go, or the insulated romex clamps with the two nails can also be used.

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post #14 of 32 Old 06-12-2015, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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So how does a zip tie secure a wire to a stud unless going around the entire stud? If doing that, the cost of the zip ties exceeds vastly that of a wire staple. 200-500+ adds up in cost. Do a few houses and the added cost comes out of your pocket. Also the zip tie doesn't secure the wire to the center of the stud, (which is code so as to not easily run screws and nails through the wire).
Use a normal wide crown staple to staple the zip tie to the wall, use zip tie around the romex. Again, I'm not doing this, I was just curious as to whether or not it would be against code. Just a random thought that popped into my head. Again, I know how to run wire, and I know the proper way, neither of those are the issue. Just an errant thought

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post #15 of 32 Old 06-12-2015, 05:30 PM
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The thing I don't understand is why you would rather use a method that takes longer to do and costs more in materials. I understand you already have your crown staples and zip ties but unless you got them all for free there's still a cost there.

Even if you did get them for free I would still go pick up a box of Romex. The time saving aspect would far out way the small cost for a box of staples.


As far as code goes, I'd be willing to bet the farm that your method would not be accepted.
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post #16 of 32 Old 06-12-2015, 10:16 PM
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The electrical contractor that wired my kitchen used a staple to secure one on the runs of romex and then used zip ties to bundle the wires togther if there were multiple wires next to each other.

Seemed to work well and the inspector actually said it was one of the neatest jobs he had seen in a long time.
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post #17 of 32 Old 06-13-2015, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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The electrical contractor that wired my kitchen used a staple to secure one on the runs of romex and then used zip ties to bundle the wires togther if there were multiple wires next to each other.

Seemed to work well and the inspector actually said it was one of the neatest jobs he had seen in a long time.
Woo, finally, an answer to the actual question instead of instructing me on the "right" way! At least, its close to an answer in that it proves that zip ties securing wire arent directly against code

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post #18 of 32 Old 06-13-2015, 02:41 AM
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But that isn't the answer to your question as I read it. The question was fastening to the studs.
If I'm wrong here, say so.

My main 200A panel has zip ties to bundle clusters of wire together also, for a clean look.
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post #19 of 32 Old 06-13-2015, 07:26 AM
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But that isn't the answer to your question as I read it. The question was fastening to the studs.
If I'm wrong here, say so.

My main 200A panel has zip ties to bundle clusters of wire together also, for a clean look.

It sort of is and isn't. In my case one wire is secured with staples and the other wire is secured to that wire with zip ties. So the zip tie is bundling the wires togther for appearance but also serving to secure the wire per code.

I think the answer still comes down to it just. Depends on what your local inspector would allow. I have found the ones in my community are great to work with and happy to answer homeowner questions about what will and won't meet code.
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post #20 of 32 Old 06-13-2015, 11:43 AM
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I only use staples....

I use Romex staples for vertical runs along the sides of studs, about every 18". They are cheap and secure the wire in the center to prevent nail damage from either side. I would NOT want a floating wire hung from a zip tie on the inside the wall cavity and I don't think it would pass code, but I'm not sure.

For vertical runs I use a long, 18" auger bit for studs, ceiling and floor joists. For confined spaces I have right angle head drills and short augers, 3" or so.

For my shops I use thinwall EMT and have surface boxes for easy access and changes if necessary. My last electrical inspection went very well. I was asked if I had it done professionally. Nope, just did a neat job.


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 06-13-2015 at 02:14 PM.
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