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#54577 - 08/02/05 10:43 AM Romex - How Tight?
Wolfman56 Offline

Registered: 10/06/04
Posts: 14
Loc: Vancouver, WA USA
I know of some who like to have the romex pulled tight between staples, around corners, and even on home runs in the attic. And have it tight all the way into the box. They run the staple down enough that it won't pull through when the cable is "pulled tight".
I like the staple to make "light" contact, so that the cable is secure, and then sweep it generously at corners etc. My premis is that the conductors will be expanding and contracting from seasonal temp. changes, especially in the attic. Also from some heating at heavy loads. It needs to move. If it's pulled and stapled tight it will someday rub through the cover and short, possibly start a fire.
Am I overboard here? So many guys pull tight that it appears to be ok. Are there any instructions in print by the manufacturers?

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#54578 - 08/02/05 11:22 AM Re: Romex - How Tight?
Edward Offline

Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 309
Loc: California

I am with you on this. I don't pull the very romex tight, do not staple very hard, and do not do sharp bends around corners.



#54579 - 08/02/05 03:12 PM Re: Romex - How Tight?
George Offline

Registered: 02/23/02
Posts: 380
Expansion and constracion are probably not issues, you usually cannot pull the cable that tight.

I believe 5 times the diameter is the minimum bend radius.

#54580 - 08/02/05 03:22 PM Re: Romex - How Tight?
straightedge Offline

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 86
Loc: Mesa, AZ
If I can get away with it I don't like to even use staples. When needing to troubleshoot later on when the attic is insulated you can lift up on the romex and see where it's going.

#54581 - 08/02/05 05:26 PM Re: Romex - How Tight?
Surfinsparky Offline

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 77
Loc: merritt island fl usa
I have never done residential work not a home wiring expert.But I think staples being too tight caused the code to go with AFCI breakers or maybe breakers were just not expensive enough.

#54582 - 08/02/05 06:00 PM Re: Romex - How Tight?
livetoride Offline

Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 109
Loc: san diego ca usa
I agree I do not staple romex "tight" and I try to leave slack around bends and boxes. I do service work now days and hate it when there is no way to get any extra wire without tearing up the walls or pulling new wire or adding/moving boxes. Rod

#54583 - 08/03/05 05:04 PM Re: Romex - How Tight?
foestauf Offline

Registered: 08/01/05
Posts: 51
Loc: Florida
When I first started I made my romex tight and very secure and bleh bleh.
Now I have realized that it is a waste of time to staple any wire that is just running overtop of the trusses. I always leave some slack, not enough to where it is looping in the atic or that I feel somebody could be doing an attic walk and catch it with thier foot. Using spinners also helps this process along.
Wiring should be the fastest process you do in the home.
Boxing and cutting in should take the longest time followed by strapping.
Today it took me from 7am until about noon to box the house, from bout 1 until 3 I had half the house wired:-)
But then still to strap and cut in uggg heh.

#54584 - 08/03/05 07:09 PM Re: Romex - How Tight?
BobH Offline

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 134
Loc: Newfane, N.Y USA
Yeah I've seen some guys actually pound the romex with a hammer to get it at a right angle. I like it loose myself.

[This message has been edited by BobH (edited 08-03-2005).]

#54585 - 08/04/05 06:49 AM Re: Romex - How Tight?
DougW Offline

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
Coming from the land of pipe, the few times I've run NM it's been with generous angles and a little room to move.

Staples were secure, but not cutting into the sheathing.

#54586 - 08/04/05 07:36 AM Re: Romex - How Tight?
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
We use Buckle clips over here in New Zealand to fasten our flat cables to timber.
It allows them to move a tad.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin


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