Wasn’t able to use the suggestion in this answered thread Securing NM wiring on the electrical panel back board - Multi-cable staple the way I thought “nipples” on top of the panel would work out.

Can it be confirmed that running 12/2 (or any NM) wire out of the panel to the joists in the below pictured way (in an unfinished basement) is not violating any NEC 2017/2020 sections? The cables would come out of the side knockouts, secured by clamps, bend 90deg to go up the panel backboard to the joists, and secured by single or multi cable staples (gray) to the panel backboard (within 12" and then a few more), and then at the joist as well.

My main concern is that somehow 300.4 (Protection against physical damage) is being violated, but if there are any other concerns, please let me know. I did see this answered question but it was for older code and the answer wasn’t quite definitive Must NM cables around panels in unfinished basements be protected?

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  • 2
    NM cable run like that needs to be protected. There's a lot of FMC being used there. Are you sure NM cable is allowed?
    – JACK
    Aug 17, 2020 at 13:09
  • The FMC (flexible metal conduit) is old wiring, the NM is new wiring.
    – sil80
    Aug 17, 2020 at 14:08
  • 1
    You missed my point. Was the FMC installed originally because it was required? There are locations that do not allow NM cable... make sure you're not one of them...
    – JACK
    Aug 17, 2020 at 14:49
  • Ah. Well, I assume there was no NM cable in 1956 when the house was built and BX AC is all they had. I have seen other electrical panels around the neighborhood that have NM cables that passed inspection. This house had some too from less than 10 years ago, I'm just adding some. What would be a typical example that disallows NM cable, or did you mean it like "some states/cities/etc" do not allow NM cable?
    – sil80
    Aug 17, 2020 at 15:23
  • 1
    Chicago,Il doesn't allow NM cable, everything is in conduit. Home stores don't even carry any NM cable
    – JACK
    Aug 17, 2020 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


NM cable requires protection normally below 8’ some jurisdictions allow 7’ it is not specifically listed in code.

Since your feeder also requires protection I would suggest boxing it in code allows 1/2” Sheetrock or plywood to be used for protection.

if the flexible metal above is metal clad it would be ok if armor clad or flexible metal conduit it would also need protection. When I run into this I will attach 2x4’s then screw a piece of plywood to the 2x4 , so it can be removed.

I like plywood in this case an upside L would provide all the protection required. A short piece of 2x4 on the right and a longer one on the left then there would be no problems as the wiring would be protected.

  • Gotcha. I can picture the L you're talking about, and will update the post when it's done for others to reference. Appreciate the response.
    – sil80
    Aug 17, 2020 at 14:05
  • Please see here for a continuation of the cable routing discussion:diy.stackexchange.com/questions/207341/…
    – sil80
    Oct 26, 2020 at 16:36

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