Cables Running Behind Wall Plates

I see this often in garages for some of the wiring to a garage door opener and the photo sensors. Cables run behind a blank cover plate. Do you comment on the situation should you come across it?

I guess they did not have a drill that day…no big deal.

As long as the cable type is listed for concealment (such as CL2 or CL3) then it’s OK, sloppy and ugly but code complaint.

so pinching them like that is okay? like a staple would?

What do YOU think, Simon?

if those are just sensor/control wires, I’m okay with it. Biggest issue is them running across the receptacle. However, since that outlet won’t see much, if any, traffic it’s a none issue.

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They should be installed so that the cables are not damaged, the plate looks loose enough to not damage the conductors but it’s hard to tell from the photo.

Well Yes! Robert , but isn’t that cat5?
Cat 5 has an inner foil sheath which I don’t think that cover plate will harm it very much . Nope! Don’t think so!

Looks like it could be a CAT5 cable but it’s hard to tell. Almost all CAT5 is unshielded. It’s also known as Category 5 UTP or unshielded twisted pair. From the photo I would guess that the cover plate isn’t damaging the cable.

Yep! I see that.

However, It appears they ran enough conductors to do the garage door.

IF it is Cat 5 then for optimum data transfer rates it should not be pinched and has a minimum bend radius, not run closely parallel to electrical wiring, etc.

Doubt that a garage sensor will be impacted, so no worries.

Low voltage wires. Not even part of the SOP. But assuming “above and beyond” for better service and all that, here is no issue here but could have been a little prettier, as others have mentioned.

There’s not enough detail in the picture to know what kind of cable it is but they are not likely to be data cables. They are almost certainly low Voltage control cables.

Cat6 or 5 Ethernet cable. It will work fine for that.

I exclude all low voltage wiring from my inspections per NACHI SOP so no comment. Once you start commenting on any low voltage/non 120/240V wiring, I was trained by NACHI and attorneys, that it might give implication that you inspected all low voltage. If client is with me, I might choose to make recommendation personally (but not in report) to cleanup but this one actually doesnt look like a big deal to me. Too many other fish to fry on my inspections. Peace Steve

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Almost anything would work for a garage door opener’s controls. Doorbell wire can be used.


I would think the wiring (and power cord) could be more likely damaged where it is ran through the holes and wrapped at the sides of the metal angle iron, where it would get some years of vibration against metal rather than damage where plastic meets drywall…But then sometimes I need to stop myself from overthinking the “What Ifs”

Steven, what about intersystem bonding requirements? Also, the code requires all low voltage wiring to be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner, unlike this job.

Neat and workmanlike is too subjective to be enforceable.

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