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I'm running new wire for my bathroom remodel (demo'd to the studs) but I'm not sure of the exact locations of the LED ceiling lights (pancakes that do not require a box).

I'd like to leave some excess wire in the cavity at approximate locations. The same is true for the vanity lights. We're not sure yet if we will have just one light above the vanity or sconces as well. I'd like to leave enough wire in the wall so I can add a new work box for the sconces and wire them in if we decide to go that way.

I've read of zigzagging but I'm not sure what that is. I've currently just made a loop and stapled the wire loosely. Would that be acceptable? What's the best way of doing this?

If NM has to be secured within X inches of the box, how do I leave extra?

looped cable in ceiling

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You can continue to do what you are doing or wrap it with tie wire or with zip ties. Just some way of keeping it from damage during the rest of construction.

The main thing is not to connect the circuit inside the panel. Make sure there is no exposed wiring that come into contact in the panel. Do not strip back the outer cover so the ground wire is not exposed. Use wirenuts on the ends of conductors. And always label it well enough so anyone accessing your panel knows what the extra circuit is for.

Or if the circuit is feeding to other devices that need to be hot. Make sure you have a method of locking out either the entire circuit or that part of the circuit that is not being used at the time.

Good luck and stay safe.

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  • Why didn't you want the ground wire exposed? – Matthew Feb 6 at 16:01
  • Thanks for your response. Actually these circuits will eventually be powered since they will have at least one fixture connected. I will not be leaving any exposed bare wire when I am done, all will be terminated in a box or fixture. I just want the extra wire in the wall so I won't have to tear up the drywall later to add additional fixtures to the same circuits. – sriniwass Feb 6 at 17:19
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    @Matthew - You don't want any wiring exposed to avoid accidental contact with any active conductor or bus until it is ready to be used as an active circuit. – Retired Master Electrician Feb 6 at 18:01

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