Trying to make sure I am up to code for securing some the AC/BX wiring coming out of my QO main svc panel (QO142M200PCAFVP). Not a lot of room to work with, the joists run a bit over a foot above the panel. I have secured the main feed wire (red) and the main grounding wire (green) to the joist, 4 of the AC/BX circuit wires to the panel board (purple), and the water pipe bond wire to the panel (lime green).

Question 1) Are those secured ok the way they are? I suppose I could staple the green grounding wire to the panel backboard, is it necessary because of the 12" rule? Not sure what else can be done about the red main service feed wire - it wasn't even secured to the joist when the old box was there.

Question 2) I can’t secure the yellow circled AC/BX wire to the panel backboard without taking up one of the ¾ knockouts, all of which I will need for a bigger 6/3 wire (big black one in the background and others to be installed). But as you can see, the yellow AC/BX is secured up at the joist. Is that enough or do I need to figure out a way to secure it on the panel back board? I feel like the requirement of having to staple it “within 12 in. of boxes with cable clamps” may not be followed here. enter image description here

  • 1
    Is this MC or AC/BX? The securement requirements for the two cable types are not the same! (If you can't tell, a photo of the inside top of the panel will tell us what we're dealing with here) Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 23:08
  • AC, it has a thin bonding strip but no ground wire, jacket can be used as ground, thread updated. you can see the bonding strip wrapped around the jacket on the right most cable.
    – sil80
    Commented Aug 7, 2020 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


Killing two birds with one stone

Dealing with attaching the green and yellow cables to the backboard is simpler than it looks, using stackable MC straps such as the Arlington NM310. Note that the NM310 fastens using a screw instead of being driven in directly or nailed to the surface it's attached to.

And yes, you do need a staple or strap for that SE cable

You do, however, need a staple or stap for the SE Style U cable to meet NEC 230.51(A) securement requirements (aka within 12" of the box). Problem is, generic SE Style U straps and staples are designed to secure the cable flat to a surface, and the 90° twist required to do that in your case makes securing the cable flat to the backerboard impractical without excessively twisting/straining the cable. One could try using a SE Style R staple to attach the cable to the backerboard instead, but sizing may be an issue with that approach.

  • As always, thank you for the clarification and staple suggestion, ThreePhaseEeel. I found the MN310s, however is this kind of thing what you mean by an R staple - homedepot.com/p/…
    – sil80
    Commented Aug 7, 2020 at 14:10
  • @sil80 -- no, you want something like homedepot.com/p/… although you may need something a bit bigger than that depending on the size of your SE cable Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 1:33
  • Hi ThreePhaseEel! I have a follow up using those great NM310 staples you suggested, and would much appreciate your input: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/207680/…
    – sil80
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 13:04

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