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I understand that when doing new installations (not fishing wire) you need to secure the cable with staples or another approved method, but do I have to secure the cable within 12" of light fixtures in my ceilings since it's not an outlet? The light fixtures are those recessed lights that you just insert into a hole in the drywall. They are not secured to anythings besides the drywall.

The ceiling is a basement ceiling so the wiring is going through some joists.

This is for a new installation. The ceiling drywall isn't installed yet.

This is the fixture I am using. enter image description here

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    Are there clamps or a cable clamp entering the box? Also is the wiring accessible like an attic space? This information could make a diference. – Ed Beal Dec 16 '16 at 19:20
  • @EdBeal There are no clamps entering the box. The wiring is not going to be accessible at all. – Programmer Dec 16 '16 at 19:25
  • @EdBeal This is for a new installation. What determines if it's old work or not? The ceiling drywall isn't installed yet. – Programmer Dec 16 '16 at 19:37
  • @isherwood I posted a link of the fixture. There are no clamps. Just those holes that you punch out. – Programmer Dec 16 '16 at 19:37
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    @Hooplehead24 If there is no drywall on the ceiling, it qualifies as new work regardless of the box type. The main reason cables get stapled in new work is to keep drywall screws (or the now-less-commonly-seen drywall nail) from penetrating the wiring. It's not really a concern in old work where the drywall is already in place -- hence why the cable can be fished behind drywall in old work applications without being secured/supported. – statueuphemism Dec 16 '16 at 20:09
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NEC 334.30(B)(1) allows Nonmetallic-sheathed cable to be unsupported when fished though finished buildings or structures and supporting is impracticable.

Answer provided by @Tester101 here as comment.

  • @isherwood: Ah, I misinterpreted the situation. – wallyk Dec 16 '16 at 20:35
  • We all did. It's strangely written. – isherwood Dec 16 '16 at 20:37
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    Definitely the right answer for the question asked, however the question didn't have all the details for the OPs situation. – statueuphemism Dec 16 '16 at 20:47
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If there is no drywall on the ceiling, it qualifies as new work regardless of the advertised box type. The main reason cables get stapled in new work is to keep drywall screws (or the now-less-commonly-seen drywall nail) from penetrating the wiring. It's not really a concern in old work where the drywall is already in place – hence why the cable can be fished behind drywall in old work applications without being secured/supported.

The linked product advertises "NEW CONSTRUCTION READY: with Globe Electric 90141 Mounting Plate (ASIN B00C6WHN6E)", and you will need to use this for your new work installation of these fixtures. You will need to secure and support the NM cable every 4.5 ft and within 12" of the junction box attached to the recessed lighting fixture per section 334.30 of the NEC.

Per Ed Beal's comment: Where the wire runs through a hole in a joist or other framing member, this contact with the framing member counts as supporting. Otherwise, some form of cable staple, cable strap, or other listed hanger/fitting will be required to secure and support the cable.

Relevant excerpt from 2014 NEC, section 334.30

Securing and Supporting. Nonmetallic-sheathed cable shall be supported and secured by staples, cable ties, straps, hangers, or similar fittings designed and installed so as not to damage the cable, at intervals not exceeding 1.4 m (4 1⁄2 ft) and within 300 mm (12 in.) of every outlet box, junction box, cabinet, or fitting. Flat cables shall not be stapled on edge.

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    The wiring is going through framing members, in this case stapling is not required except the termination. – Ed Beal Oct 28 '18 at 18:26
  • @Ed Beal You are correct. Answer updated per your comment. – statueuphemism Oct 28 '18 at 19:35
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Code allows a non-metallic cable to a lamp fixture (called a luminaire in the code) to be unsupported up to 4.5 feet if the cable is concealed, as in a drywall ceiling. You also need to allow at least 12" of cable slack to allow easy replacement of the fixture. NEC 334.30 (B) and (C)

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Yes. The nonmetallic-sheathed cable should be stapled within 12" (per NEC [334.30] of where the light fixture penetrates the drywall.

However, code does allow one to have up to 18" of a lead, from the secured point, so one can remove the fixture and have about 6" extra nonmetallic-sheathed cable (extending into the room) to allow one to replace the fixture (per NEC [410.67B,C] re: nonmetallic-sheathed cable length req'd. to isolate low-temp nonmetallic-sheathed cable from fixture).

This length also allows a gentle bend in the nonmetallic-sheathed cable from the stapled point to the fixture (min. 5x dia. of cable per NEC [334.24])

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As a homeowner, I would staple for two reasons. If you ever need to replace that light it will be nice to have the wire secured while it dangling from the ceiling and not putting stress at other junctions. Also, if the ceiling is the top floor and abuts the attic stapling the wires prevents trip hazards.

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    As a note, the ceiling is a basement ceiling so where are no issues with an attic. – Programmer Dec 16 '16 at 19:28
  • Thats good. Also good to think about future improvements. If you have to cut a sub-floor out and the cable isn't tied to a beam it would be easy to catch it with the saw. – Z. Latib Dec 16 '16 at 20:00

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