Questioin about old wiring in basement

We are the seller. Our house was built in 1958. We purchased the house in 1994. Most of the wiring in the basement runs under the rafters rather then through the rafters. This wiring was installed between 1958 and around 1980. Will the home inspector consider the wires running under the rafters a defect that must be corrected even if the wiring is 32 - 58 years old?

The prohibition for smaller than 8/3 or 6/2 NM cable running on the underside of the joists in an unfinished basement dates back to at least the 1940 NEC. I would guess that it’s been in the codebook for as long as NM cable has been in the NEC.

Do you have any pictures?

Allowed by code or not, most professional inspectors will base their opinions on factors other than/in addition to the code book.
…What type of conductors are they? NM, K&T, ???
…Are the conductors properly supported???
…Are the conductors in an area where they are prone to physical damage???
…What are the conditions of the unfinished basement, damp, wet, conditioned???

A home inspector may identify it as a defect. A home inspector has no authority to require anyone to repair anything. The inspector is a consultant for the buyer. The decision as to whether the condition is acceptable or not would be up to the person purchasing the home or, in some cases, their lender.

…or the ability of the buyer to obtain insurance, which could be denied with electrical issues.

Also, depending on the situation, drilling a bunch of holes in the floor joists might do more damage than good. In today’s construction the joists come with knockouts for electricians, plumbers, etc. to run their respective utilities through. You never drill holes in trusses and you must be careful on how you drill or cut a floor joist.

I’m curious if any of you guys call out NM wiring fastened to the bottom of floor joists. I must admit that I didn’t know this was a NEC violation. I don’t get any basements in my area, but I see wiring attached to floor joists on crawlspaces all the time. What exactly is the real reason for not allowing this…using it for hanging clothes? Please help me understand, especially on the insurance deniability reference.

I would guess that hanging clothes or other objects is the number on reason why it’s not permitted. AC cable is permitted when stapled to every joist because it’s much stronger and less likely to be damaged. I have stuff hanging from the AC cable all over my basement. :roll:

Except for the small bearing area and greater distance between staples, you can still hang stuff from the NM in drilled holes.