I have just recently purchased a new home and noticed that the attic has the electrical wires run all across the attic joists. It is not following a path or stapled at all. Some of it is run over my Duct work, etc. Is this standard Code or acceptable?
Surface mounted Non-metallic Cable should follow closely to the surface on which it is laid. Code requires staples (or other fasteners) every 54 inches and within 12 inches of a metal box and 8 inches of a plastic one. The cable should either be run through bored holes or protected by furring strips within 6 feet of the access to the attic.
As far as running adjacent or perpendicular to ductwork, as long as the cable doesn't penetrate the duct, then there shouldn't be a problem with code.
-Virgil Residential/Commercial Inspector 5 Star Inspections Member IAEI
As far as securing the cable every 4 1/2 feet, some jurisdictions do not rigidly enforce this in attics feeling that it is better to allow the cable to move when the insulation is jammed in from below or the cable is kicked by someone crawling in the attic.
Your loose cable is a violation, but I personally wouldn't lose sleep aver it. I'd be more concerned about the quality of all splices & connections.
You might want to do something about the cable over the ducts, I have heard of cases where the vibration, slight as it is, wears through the jacket & insulation.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Thanks for the quick responses however most of the Wire is stapled to the studs but when it gets to the attic it's just all over the place and also pretty tight. It seems as if I were running the wire, it may take more but it would be stapled and not just laying on my ceiling joists.
I have also heard concerns like those Tom mentioned. I would tend to think that staples in this area are not necessarily a good thing. I don't really see having them stapled every 4 1/2 ft as being an advantage. I do think that they should be routed out of the way of any future storage space where possible.