I would like to run non-metallic cable (Romex) along the sides of the floor joists in my attic. Code (NEC 300.4(D)) says that wires need to be 1.25" from the top or bottom of the framing member. With my 2x4 joists, this gets me one cable on a face. What are my options to run more than one cable on a side (i.e. protect the cable because I cannot maintain the 1.25" requirement)? Code mentions steel plates, sleeves, "or equivalent," but I don't know what I'm supposed to look for. AC cable doesn't seem to provide the adequate protection that Code requires, either (correct?). Are there exceptions for attics? I'm going to fill the attic (eventually) with about 16-18" of blown insulation, and there won't be decking where I'm running my cables.

  • My aversion to rodent-wire-fires and my distrust that any building can ever really be rodent-free is why there's a network of EMT supported about 2" above my eventual insulation height in my attic. But I'm considered a weirdo on that front around here.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 10, 2015 at 18:12
  • Are you going on top of the joists, through the joists, or along the face of the joists?
    – Tester101
    Mar 10, 2015 at 18:41
  • @Tester101 I'm going along the side face of the joists. So, for a 2x4, it would be the 4" side. Mar 10, 2015 at 19:09
  • Is the attic accessible via a fixed ladder or staircase?
    – Tester101
    Mar 10, 2015 at 19:16
  • 1
    @the_meter413 As far as National Electrical Code is concerned, if there's a staircase or a fixed ladder the attic is accessible. It has nothing to do with how much space there is up there, or how comfortably you can move around.
    – Tester101
    Mar 10, 2015 at 22:24

1 Answer 1


You could use cable stackers I think: enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.