I'm running a 220(240) 8/3 line for a table saw in my garage. I can fish the 8/3 to the box. I need to run the line to the other end of the garage. The other lines are run down the 1.5" side edge of a 2x4 strongback on top of the rafter ties (no ceiling joists) . The ceiling is open all the way up to the rafters. I need to follow the same route, but the other cables take up all the edge space. I was thinking of running the line on top of the strongback.

Do I need to run conduit on top of the strongback to be up to code (local code references IBC)? Can I just run the romex on top of the strongback unprotected? Technically the rafter ties are not meant to be walked on or hold anything. Which to me means they aren't meant to be accessed; however, they are accessible ( because it is an open ceiling).

  • Is this an accessible portion of the attic? Nov 19, 2016 at 15:48
  • It is an open ceiling. That is more or less the point that is making me waiver on my decision.
    – cleahcim
    Nov 19, 2016 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


IMO if it's open it's not an attic, and running along a strongback is FINE.

May I ask, WHY 8/3 for a table saw???

  • maybe it's a serious table saw... Nov 19, 2016 at 17:12
  • I figured if I'm going through the hassle of running the the line, might as well make it up-gradable for anything I might need in the future. We eventually are planning to do an addition. So if we add appliances, it will be in place, and the shop will have to move.
    – cleahcim
    Nov 19, 2016 at 17:15
  • Are you saying you think running on top of the strongback without conduit is fine?
    – cleahcim
    Nov 19, 2016 at 17:22
  • Yes, exactly. ... Nov 19, 2016 at 18:30

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