I recently installed 2 pocket door kits together from one room to an adjacent in my house. The building inspector said he saw no problem with me installing a light switch in a shallow electrical box on the pocket door frame as long as I could properly secure the wire per code, within 8" of the box. The frame is 3/4" thick and 14/2 wiring is a little over 3/8" wide.

In the image below, how do I secure the wiring which runs to the switch (just 1 wire) to the edge of the frame? Has anyone come across this before? What can I do to make sure it doesn't come loose and start rattling against the door?

Obviously the purpose is to keep the light switch to the room as close to the entrance as comfortable. In fact I may move the switch down one stud to make room for molding, In either case the question is the same.

Shallow box attached to frame

The wiring will come in just above the frame and below the header in this picture below, and then run down the metal stud to the switch box.

Left pocket door with switch

  • 2
    Typically, you'd simply move the device, but since you can't in this situation (or you can. but would end up with the same problem). You should probably run the wire through conduit (rigid metal (RMC), intermediate metal (IMC), rigid nonmetallic (PVC), or electrical metallic tubing (EMT)).
    – Tester101
    Aug 15, 2013 at 16:05

3 Answers 3


Perhaps cable clips like these.


I would drill a hole through the base and install them with metal screws into the edge of the stud, then insert the cable. The hole into the metal edge of the stud should be pre-drilled.

If they fit, I would use several to ensure that the cable did not stray into the door channel.

There are also cable clips that use zip ties, as suggested by DA01.

zip clip

The illustrated ones are too large (1"). You may be able to find smaller ones or cut these down. Mount as discussed above. After mounting the clip, thread the zip tie through the slots and around the cable.

While nailing into the finished wall in this vicinity is not very likely, you need to be careful since the power carrying cable will be very close to the back of the plasterboard. When installing the casing, be sure that no nails stray beyond the stud (they shouldn't anyway).


My expectation when opening a door (either hinged or pocket) is that the switch is inside on the strike side of the door. Strike side location would avoid the pocket door completely.

You are asking for trouble by routing the cable so near the surface. If you are trying to use NM cable, you would have to armor the cable the whole way up, because its not center stud (I believe within 1.25 inches of stud edge.

National Electrical Code 2011

ARTICLE 300 Wiring Methods

300.4 Protection Against Physical Damage.
(D) Cables and Raceways Parallel to Framing Members and Furring Strips. In both exposed and concealed locations, where a cable- or raceway-type wiring method is installed parallel to framing members, such as joists, rafters, or studs, or is installed parallel to furring strips, the cable or raceway shall be installed and supported so that the nearest outside surface of the cable or raceway is not less than 32 mm (11⁄4 in.) from the nearest edge of the framing member or furring strips where nails or screws are likely to penetrate. Where this distance cannot be maintained, the cable or raceway shall be protected from penetration by nails or screws by a steel plate, sleeve, or equivalent at least 1.6 mm (1⁄16 in.) thick.

  • There are 2 pocket doors installed together to create a french door look. Either side presents the same issue. I agree about the need to armor the cable.
    – John Smith
    Aug 15, 2013 at 15:24
  • +1 That was my reaction as well, hence my warning, but I like your armored cable/metal raceway approach. Interesting that the inspector said it looked OK as long as it was supported.
    – bib
    Aug 15, 2013 at 16:00

I have to use at least 30 characters to suggest: zip-ties.

  • Anything that goes into the cavity between the studs risks interference with the sliding doors. He could try the zips and mount the door to see how close they are.
    – bib
    Aug 15, 2013 at 11:04
  • Or loop the zips through the wiring channels already in the studs.
    – DA01
    Aug 15, 2013 at 14:18

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