Does the trough make it okay?

18 year old home. Single story. Typical Electrical set up…except…

In an attic where the exposed wires from the service panel travel directly down the center of the attic over the garage (directly below the ridge) into the home. It is much greater than 40" high…and the wires are layed in a 3 sided trough. Never seen this before. There is also no insulation since this attic is over the garage.

Does the trough make it okay for these wires to be run down the center of the attic (versus the sides where it is less than 40 inches)?



What is the 40" reference about?

Jeff, what does 40 inches have to do with anything?

Referring to diagram 0598 (page 97) of The Illustrated Home:

Exposed wires in attics: Wires should not be run on top of exposed attic rafters or joists. Exception: in some jursidictions, this is permitted if headroom is less than 40" (my note: normally along the sides of the attic space).

The theory being that noone will walk in or store items in the areas less than 40" high…

If that was true you wouldn’t call most Foorida attics in normal sized houses accessible. With a 3:12 roof and the depth of the trusses it is hard to find a spot that is 40" high.
The trough is providing adequate protection IMHO Except for the ones going up and over

I’ve never heard of the 40" rule, but I agree with Greg here.

Hey Jeff,

I might also be a little concerned as to how the wire is running through the wall .Also ,if the black sheathed cable in the picture is closer than 6’ from the attic entrance,I might reccomend a shield protecting anyone from stepping on it.

It certainly isn’t the prettiest set-up, but the trough acts as (is) a shield.

The cloth covered NM that is stapled to the top of the 2X is certainly subject to damage, but the 2X’s have been notched for the other black cable (draped from one side to the other).

Yeah…I don’t see a real problem with this…while the old NM Cloth Wire is subject to damage…it is a easy fix…

The wood GUTTER you are refereing to is as acceptable as putting running boards…same difference.

Agreed…But I also notice the BLACK wire runs out of the wooden gutter…lol…I like saying gutter better…plus I can spell it better after a long day…anyway…at the point it comes out it is no longer acceptable…runs right across the plywood floor…then again it is subject to damage…

I was under the understanding, that wires like this were perfectly fine as long as they had 6 ft. of clearance on the outside peramiters of the scuttle hole. Am I missing something?

Greg is correct.

See 334.23, which refers one to 320.23 (NEC).