A.Master electrician Sean Kenney responds: During the 12 years I worked as a residential electrical contractor, I routinely stapled cable between the strapping. All of the inspectors I encountered in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine accepted the practice.
Unfortunately, though, the National Electrical Code (NEC) is not clear on this issue, and some local inspectors may interpret the NEC differently from the inspectors I encountered. NEC section 300-4 states, "Where subject to physical damage, conductors shall be adequately protected." In a perfect world, the NEC would address the issue...
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