NM wire in closet

Client’s dad was at inspection yesterday. He said there’s no way he is gonna let his daughter buy this house, because the wire in the back closet is dangerous.

The only defect I find is the garage is below, so the wire running through the floor is a firewall breach.

I did say it looks sloppy, and it should be secured to the wall, or boxed in.

I can’t find anything in code books against doing this. Does anybody else think this is a defect worth reporting on?

1218 Paula Rd-Mercer 046.JPG

1218 Paula Rd-Mercer 046.JPG

1218 Paula Rd-Mercer 047.JPG

Conduit .

Does the wiring run thru the firewall in garage, if so then the firewall has been compromised. If the wiring is running thru the floor framing I see no problem with the firewall. I do see a problem with the wiring being subject to damage.

Gary, the wire breaches the firewall (ceiling) in the garage. I also think it could be subject to damage, so it should be boxed in. Dad says he doesn’t think it meets codes, I say there are no codes against this method.

Roy, I can’t find a code that says conduit must be used. These wires run straight down to the MDP. Conduit would have been ideal at installation, but not feasible to re-do it now, that’s why I suggested just boxing it in.

Thats because it is understood to be in the walls. All wiring subject to damage should be protected.

So yes the firewall has been breached and I agree to box-in wiring in order to restore firewall integrity and protect wiring from accidental damage.

I guess it would depend on when the home was built and if permitted. Today’s building practices wouldn’t fly.

Exactly. That’s what I told my client. I would secure it, and box it in, to protect it.

Thanks. Happy Easter Egg! :smiley:

  1. I’m sticking with my original comment. “Wire ran through East Bedroom closet should be boxed in to prevent damage, and floor and ceiling penetrations should be sealed with fire retardant sealant, as this is a breach in the garage firewall (ceiling) below”.

Thanks, Gary, and Happy Easter to ya!

The NEC would require protection for the first 6" above the floor if the rest of the cable was determined to be free from physical damage.

The rule Robert posted above has been in the code for many cycles. It also does not look like the cables are properly secured or follow the building surface closely.

Thanks Robert and Jim.

I must have just overlooked that one in my NEC book. I just saw where they must be protected from damage, so reported it that way.

Now I have a code to reference if needed.

Even if they’re not subject to damage you would still need to protect the 6" portion that extends through the floor.

Regardless of when the house was built, this installation can’t be older than 2000 or 2001. That is when they started making NM with yellow sheath for 12-gauge and orange for 10.
Besides, the date when a particular batch of NM/Romex was manufactured is usually printed right on the sheath.
I couldn’t make it out from the pictures, but I would bet that this sloppy installation is no older than year 2000.
334.15 (b) was in NEC long before that.

All must remember that as Inspectors we don’t inspect to the minimum code. NEC is the minimum so if you feel that 6 inches is all you need in that closet you are nuts. I would suggest complete protection of that by means of a conduit, chase or some form of protection.

My response must have gone missing or disappeared in some other way, but here’s what I was saying:

This installation can’t be any older than 2000 or 2001. That is when they started color-coding NM cable jackets.
Also, the manufacture date is usually printed right on the sheath. I couldn’t make it out on the photo, but if in doubt, you can always find the date there, which should give you an idea of how recent certain wire run is.
334.15(B) is certainly older than the 1999 code cycle, probably much older.

My $0.02: Code issues aside, NM should not run exposed ANYWHERE, especially not in closets. NM offers virtually zero protection to its conductors.
The only acceptable place for it to be exposed, (again, in my very humble opinion) is between the joists in an unfinished basement.

And, not to sidetrack the thread, but I would not use NM in my own house if I could help it… I have very little confidence in it, having seen many issues with rodent damage, long siding nails, pulling damage, etc. etc.

Type NM cable is specifically allowed by the code to be run on the surface under certain conditions. Those conditions were not met in the picture from the OP. As far as the level of protection offered by properly installed NM the code and listing agencies feel the protection is adequate.

Type NM has been installed safely in many millions of homes. As far as pulling damage the same could happen pulling conductors in conduit. Even in conduit land like Chicago a long nail can punch through EMT.

I would be more concerned with the rodents! Than worry about NM cable

I don’t believe anyone suggested that only 6" of protection was needed. The NEC clearly states in Robert’s quote that where necessary, protection should be provided.

My rule for when I call out exposed Romex such as this is simple based on whether or not people will interact with the wiring as they live in the house. You never know when somebody will throw their disappointing Ginsu knife set up onto that top shelf.

Pretty much spot-on, guys, thank you all.

The bottom line is it looks crappy, was installed crappy, and is not safe. Regardless of what the codes says, that’s what went in my report.

I expect to get a call from an angry seller whose brother in law installed that wiring with help from his son and a case of beer.

I think I’m batting 1000 last week for p issed off RE agents :mrgreen:

I think I stated that in post 5.