I am installing new outlets by drilling up from the garage between the wall cavity and fishing romex up. As seen in the picture:

Romex exiting junction box

I had my first inspection and the inspector called out that the junction boxes are just below 8 feet above the floor, by just a few inches. So this romex is considered "exposed" and must be protected.

Romex exposed at 7 foot 8

I'm not sure how to rectify this situation. Do I need two junction boxes at each entry point? The junction box you see existing, and add another one just below the above floor? It sounds silly to me to install so much hardware. Is there a cheaper, easier, code-compliant solution?

Can I put the romex in a flexible metal conduit? But then how would I terminate the FMC with the romex just poking out of it?

What are other code-compliant ways to protect just a few inches of romex like this?

  • Do you own a router? Jun 6, 2019 at 16:48
  • I don't think I'm permitted to notch or cut the spans, am I mistaken? These are in the middle-third of the span.
    – Frambot
    Jun 6, 2019 at 17:03
  • 1
    A single conduit body might get you high enough. Or maybe a short piece of wiremold?
    – Nate S.
    Jun 6, 2019 at 17:32
  • I agree that a conduit body probably would work but the cost compared to a pice of scrap conduit and a bushing on the open end to protect the cable would be legal. +
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 6, 2019 at 18:42
  • @EdBeal, that's true, that's a better solution if OP has scrap conduit on hand. If not, it might be hard to find someone who wants to sell just a few inches of conduit, so in that case a conduit body might be cheaper. Either way, it's only gonna be a few dollars.
    – Nate S.
    Jun 6, 2019 at 20:27

2 Answers 2


Easy. Cut up bits of 1x4 so you can fit them on the wall around the cable, so the cable goes between them. Then cap it off with another scrap of 1x4. The one-by dimension is ample to provide clearance for the cable.

  • He will need to have 1-1/4 clearance to the side and In front or use nail plates.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 6, 2019 at 23:31

A couple of inches of conduit to get you above 8’ will do it if you use emit you will need a bushing on the end of the conduit to protect the cable, my local jurisdiction would allow smurf tube but some will not (smurf if nonmetallic flexible tubing ) it comes in several colors but blue is most common in residential but I have seen orange used where a contractor had extra from a fiber optic pull and the inspector allowed that , call your inspector and ask if they would allow flexible nonmetallic tubing it would be the easiest path forward. And it is cheap worth a call to find out.

  • The Romex would need to be clamped in the junction box then, right? As-is, the Romex enters the junction box though an external clamp. If I replace that with a short section of conduit with a bushing, then I won't be able to clamp the Romex.
    – Frambot
    Jun 8, 2019 at 17:02
  • I don’t have a code book handy but if stapled within 8” of the box clamps are not required, this may be a local rule I can’t remember off the top of my head but the insulation or outer cable sheath must enter the box by 1/4” or more. Many plastic boxes have knock out openings these must be stapled within 8” where if the box has clamps 12” is allowed is what I remember, I will be back in town Monday and can check if no one confirms this by then.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 8, 2019 at 22:50

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