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Thread: New Home Reno - Wiring in Attic

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default New Home Reno - Wiring in Attic


    I'm embarking on a Kitchen renovation and have determined the easiest most direct way of getting wire to my new kitchen is through the attic. The attic is not meant to be generally accessible - it has an entryway in the ceiling of one of the bedrooms that you need a step ladder to enter it. The Attic itself has a mixture of blown insulation (in the flat areas) and Batts with some blown insulation on the vaulted portion (which is over the kitchen on a 14 degree slope)

    I need to run cable for an induction stove - recommended service is 40-50 Amp.
    I have an existing chandelier on a 3 way switch that I would like to convert to 10 or 12 LED Recessed pot lights

    I'm having a really difficult time finding the code for what kind of cable I should use and how it's supposed to be secured in the Attic space. Things like does the cable need to be run at the ceiling level - ie under 18 inches of blown insulation or does it just run across the top - does it need to be in a conduit etc. I'm in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    I've read some good threads here as I have done small improvements over the years - so I'm hoping for some friendly knowledge/advice here


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Kent, WA


    This is probably better answered by our Canadian users, but in general:

    You can run wires in the attic on top of the floor joists and it can be buried in insulation. In a hot climate, some try to keep the cables closer to the conditioned space. In cold Canada, you may be better keeping it above the insulation. You could even run them along the rafter bottoms if you want keeping them out of the insulation completely. The key is not to bundle it -- try to keep a 1/2" minimum spacing between each cable when multiple cables are running together.

    Securing requirements are the same whether it is wall or ceiling -- every 4.5' it must be stapled or otherwise secured and supported (bored holes count as securing and supporting). To make it look nice, I usually staple about every 24 to 32 inches. If there are areas where you can't access to swing a hammer, but can fish the cable, you don't have to secure it in the fished areas -- just right before and right after the inaccessible area.

    You need to prevent the cables from being damaged. In the US this is mandatory 6' around the access hole but no place else in the attic if it has no stair access. That usually means running the cables on running boards and perhaps having a guard board on the sides to prevent the cables from getting walked on or crushed near the access hole. Further in to the attic, you may be on your belly so it is harder to damage the cables. Making them visible is one way to help prevent damage.

    If you have the same rules as the US, most ranges will be fine on a 40A circuit (you'd use 8-3 NM cable with ground -- 4 conductors). If you want a 50A circuit, then you'd need 6-3 cable with ground. In the US, local areas can over ride the national code and some places require conduit and disallow cable wiring methods. Not not sure what exact rules apply to your locality, but NM cable is the most common residential wiring method for just about all circuits.
    Kent, WA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Welland Ontario


    What Mark said should apply.
    No conduit is required in Calgary that I know of.
    Operation Overlord.

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