Romex going stud to stud in unfinished basement wall

Dear all,

I apologize if this question has been asked a thousand times already. I did search the group archives, but I didn't a post that seemed to address my question directly.

I am wiring a basement. There are several parts to the basement: a relatively "finished" room, a laundry area, and a workshop.

My question involves the workshop. I want to put wiring in walls that have sheetrock on only one side. The un-sheetrocked side will be the workshop side. Can I just use romex? I realize that I need to staple romex onto the wide faces of joists and studs. But, what about when the cable travels from one stud to another, traveling across air? Is that okay, or does wiring in that situation need to be protected? If so, would BX (armored) cable in that situation be up to code?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Tim F Minneapolis, MN

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Tim F
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You can use Romex in exposed work. The holes in the studs need to be drilled at least 1 1/4" back from the edge. If the Romex might get damaged because it is in an exposed wall in the workshop, it must be protected. Same is true for BX. From the 2005 NEC: "334.15 Exposed Work. In exposed work, except as provided in 300.11(A), cable shall be installed as specified in 334.15(A) through (C). (A) To Follow Surface. Cable shall closely follow the surface of the building finish or of running boards. (B) Protection from Physical Damage. Cable shall be protected from physical damage where necessary by rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule

80 PVC rigid nonmetallic conduit, or other approved means. "

Essentially it means keeping stuff from laying against the Romex. That's about all the protection you'd have if you put up sheetrock or panelling, which would make it finished rather than exposed work. So if you're not going to store stuff in the stud cavities, I would say no protection is necessary. And if you are, then it makes sense to run the Romex high up in the cavities to give yourself maximum storage space. If the Romex is above where the stuff is stored it won't need protection.


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