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Thread: Romex in Basement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    North Carolina, USA
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    6

    Romex in Basement

    My question is regarding whether or not the romex in the basement of a residence is in compliance with code. At this residence, Romex (10/2, 12/2 & 14/2) can be found stapled to the floor joists in virtually every direction (parallel, perpendicular, and across at angles). Some of the parallel runs are along the bottom edge, some are along the vertical side of a joist. The floor joists are approximately 9' or so above the floor. The floor joists support all fresh water, septic, and LPG piping, as well as AC duct work.

    A home inspector did not note any anomalies with the electrical system (except one missing face plate) or otherwise gross or negligent violations. Dwelling was built in 2003. It has a full size basement which is somewhat unusual in central NC; the property is sloped in such a way that the ceiling at the front of the basement is just above ground level, while the floor of the basement at the rear of the home is at ground level. It shares space with a two car garage, water / AC closet, stairway, and a small finished laundry room where the main panel and SE is located. It has a solid concrete slab floor and cinder block walls along the front and sides, while the rear wall consists of more common materials (wood, siding). The exterior face of the cinder block, the portions below the soil level, are sealed and insulated on the exterior side. There is no water or moisture issues, and it is never damp.

    Since I am new to this forum, I will tell you that most of my experience and knowledge comes from industrial situations where rigid or EMT is virtually always used. Most of it is for production machines and equipment. Occasionally I will run power to switches, receptacles, emergency lights, etc. but again this is always done with conduit and in the industrial setting. I've done many electrical installations for panels, transformers, conduit, etc. over the years and I know code is different for residential, which is why I'm asking here to clear a few things up .

    Thanks is advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
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    I think you'll find that what you described is non-compliant. Where are you in NC. That would never pass in our areas

    334.15(C) In Unfinished Basements and Crawl Spaces. Where
    cable is run at angles with joists in unfinished basements
    and crawl spaces, it shall be permissible to secure cables
    not smaller than two 6 AWG or three 8 AWG conductors
    directly to the lower edges of the joists. Smaller cables
    shall be run either through bored holes in joists or on running
    boards. Nonmetallic-sheathed cable installed on the
    wall of an unfinished basement shall be permitted to be
    installed in a listed conduit or tubing or shall be protected
    in accordance with 300.4. Conduit or tubing shall be provided
    with a suitable insulating bushing or adapter at the
    point the cable enters the raceway. The sheath of the
    nonmetallic-sheathed cable shall extend through the conduit
    or tubing and into the outlet or device box not less than
    6 mm (1⁄4 in.). The cable shall be secured within 300 mm
    (12 in.) of the point where the cable enters the conduit or
    tubing. Metal conduit, tubing, and metal outlet boxes shall
    be connected to an equipment grounding conductor complying
    with the provisions of 250.86 and 250.148.

  3. #3
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    North Carolina, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
    I think you'll find that what you described is non-compliant. Where are you in NC. That would never pass in our areas
    The residence is in Alamance County, Mebane but not within city limits.

  4. #4
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    I am surprised this past in Alamance County

  5. #5
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    Also, this is not the worst thing in the world however, it is a violation.

  6. #6
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    9,700
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
    ...., it is a violation.
    But, was it 'not acceptable' when the home was built, back in 2003?
    Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim dungar View Post
    But, was it 'not acceptable' when the home was built, back in 2003?

    I can't remember how far back but as long as I remember it wasn't code. I may be mistaken

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
    I can't remember how far back but as long as I remember it wasn't code. I may be mistaken
    If they get moved onto running boards they should be OK. How big a chore would that be?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    If they get moved onto running boards they should be OK. How big a chore would that be?
    From what the op stated it would be a mess. I would leave it and be aware of it. Certain size wires are allowed to go diagonally across the joists so it may be compliant

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
    From what the op stated it would be a mess.
    Somewhat, yes. What constitutes as "a lot" of cables to one person may not be equal to "a lot" in another persons mind.

    I think I am going to re-run the existing cables correctly, however many there are. There are 2 critical ones which I will have to do first (AC condenser & well) but the rest are lights and receptacles at various locations along the floor joists so it won't be too terrible of a task. I am looking to expand electrical in the basement area for a work shop and running power to several a receptacles on the walls (EMT down the walls, all GFCI of course) is necessary for shop equipment. There are no wall-mounted receptacles at the moment which is a huge pain with extension cords all over the place and hanging down from the ceiling. Since I'll be running new romex, I might as well re-work the existing violations to bring them into compliance. I'm sure someone would find this much work as unnecessary, but I don't mind taking the time to make it right. Not to mention I posses the sort of luck that some future inspector would nail me on the existing violations

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