Running wires in attic

weaseOctober 7, 2007

I'm remodeling the top floor of my home. My breaker panel is on one end of the house and I'll need to run wires all the way across the house to the other end through the attic. I will also be connecting lighting and running daisy chain wiring up there to connect receptacles.

My question is regarding how to run the wire up there. If I need to cross from one joist to another do I just run it across or do I need to protect it with a strip of wood? Is running it along the roof rafters an option if I keep it low against the outside wall.

One more thing. When I run the 30 sets of cables from the panel, I will need to go across my garage space which is about 30 feet. Is there a good way to secure these wires as a group or do I need to run and strap each one?

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Do you have the option of running ONE cable and installing a sub panel? 30 circuits is enough to want to do that.

I can answer your cable question, but it would be from old information and could be wrong, so I hope someone else can chime in. We used to run the cables low in the corners of the attic. We just laid them down on the beams out of the way. If we had to cross the floor, we stapled on the side of the floor joists and back up in the corner. We just made sure to never have cables on the walking surface of the attic floor.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 7:05PM
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No on the subpanel. No good location for it.

I'd like to run the wires across (perpendicular) the rafters toward the edge where the roof comes down. Just not sure what the inspector would think.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 6:22AM
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Can the subpanel be recessed in the wall and have a picture hung over it?.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 9:29AM
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well, around here they are run across the rafters in which ever is the shortest way without any regard to the walking surface. my attic has such a criss cross of wiring that i cannot easily put down a floor. even worse is that the previous owner put in about 6 inches of blown cellulose over the fiberglass and covered most all teh wiring. you see a j-box sticking up and that is the only way you can tell where the wires are without digging!

at my parents house the panel is in the outside storage room. all the romex is run next to the beam above the carport in a bundle. then once it gets over the main part of the house it splits and runs as close over to each edge as possible so that there are no wires in teh middle of the attic floor. this is how i would do it.

in my area if it lays on the floor of the attic it does not have to be secured for the entire run. if it is up on the wall or bottom of the roof, it must be supported continuously.

check with you local inspector if you have any doubts.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 10:28AM
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Regarding your question about hiding the sub panel with a picture, yes the panel should be recessed in the wall so only the access door shows. I would suggest hanging an expensive original oil painting over the panel door to hide it.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 1:01PM
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have you thought about using conduit strapped to the truss members? If this were new construction - then the way to run across the attic is to put down 2x4's or 2x6's and make cable runs that you can staple wires to. However - since you have insulation up there you definately do not want to pull that up. HD & Lowes sell grey conduit in the electrrical dept that is PVC pipe that can be glued to make a long cable run. You could even put T's in (or use grey boxes which they also sell) if you have to drop cables at various points along the way.

Make sure you use pipe that is much large than what you need. Once you start filling it up with cables it will be harder to pull wires though.

If I were doing this I would purchase a very long spool of cheap pull rope - the kind that comes in a box that you can pull out without tangling. Leave the box of rope at one end and pull it through the pipe with a snake. Now for each cable you have - attach it to the end with the box and then pull the rope through the other end. Repeat this for as many cables as you have.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 7:48AM
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I may be wrong here, but I think there are restrictions as to what type of wire you can place in conduit. That should be checked with a pro here prior to doing it that way.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 9:42AM
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