Proper Way To Secure Electrical Wires (How Many Per Staple)

When it comes to staples for electrical wiring, you should consider plastic and metal staples. Each type of staple has different characteristics and recommended uses. I personally use plastic staples in my electrical wires. I found those were the best option for my home. However, you may want to use different metal staples for your home.

Stapling wires is a common practice used to organize wires, prevent them from becoming tangled, and help maintain a neat and professional appearance. It also helps to reduce the risk of electrical shock, as staples will help keep the wires in place and away from any potential hazards.

Knowing the proper number of electrical wires for each staple can help you avoid potential wiring issues and electrical hazards. Let’s discuss the different types of staples and the number of electrical wires per staple that are allowed for each type. We’ll also cover the safety considerations you should keep in mind when installing electrical wiring. 

Why Staple Wires?

Stapling wires are a great way to efficiently and safely secure electrical wires in place. Stapling wire can be for an installation of a new electrical system or repairing an existing one. Staples ensure you have a reliable way to secure wires which is essential for safety. Along with making sure everything is connected properly.

The number of electrical wires that can be secured with a single staple will depend on the size of the staple and the size of the wires being secured. Generally, a single staple should be able to hold up to four wires. However, if the wires are particularly thick or the staple is particularly small, then it may be wise to use two staples for added security.

When it comes to which staple to use, it is important to select the right size for the job. If you use too large of a staple and you could damage the insulation of the wires. If you use too small of a staple could fail to securely hold the wires in place. Selecting the appropriate size of staple wire also ensures that you are meeting safety regulations.

What Does the Code Say?

The National Electrical Code (NEC) does not specify a maximum number of electrical wires per staple. It provides guidance on the types of staples and fasteners that should be used, as well as the spacing between them to ensure safe installations. The NEC also outlines minimum requirements for the type of fasteners used in specific conductors. Such as insulated or non-insulated wires and the spacing between them.

Cordless Electrical Cable Stapler

For non-metallic sheathed cable or armored cable, the NEC recommends the use of staples that are listed and labeled for the type of cable being installed. You should remember that the NEC requires staples to be spaced no more than 4 1/2 inches apart. If you are using more than two wires, the NEC recommends that the wires be grouped in a staggered pattern.

The NEC also outlines the types of staples and fasteners that you should use with other types of conductors, including flexible cords, flexible metal conduits, and individual conductors. 

For flexible cords, the NEC requires the use of staples that are listed and labeled for the type of cord being installed. The NEC also recommends that you use staples that are listed and labeled for the type of conduit being installed.

Can You Stack Wires Under Staples?

The number of electrical wires that can go under a single staple will vary depending on the size and type of staple being used. Staples used for electrical wires are designed to hold a single wire or cable. It is not recommended to stack wires under a single staple. If multiple wires need to be secured, it is best to use multiple staples spaced appropriately along the length of the wire.

Make sure to use the right size and type for the job when you are selecting a staple for electrical wiring. The size of the staple should be the same or slightly larger than the outer diameter of the wire or cable. This ensures that the staple will not become loose after repeated use. The staples should be made of heat-resistant material, such as steel, to reduce the risk of fire.

It is also important to make sure you space out the staples correctly. For indoor electrical wires, use a minimum spacing of 1/4 inch should be used between staples. For outdoor electrical wires, a minimum spacing of 1/2 inch should be used. This will help ensure that the staples do not interfere with the wires’ function or cause any other damage.

Make sure you use the correct tools and techniques to reduce the risk of injury. Do not use a hammer to drive in the staples. This damage the wires. You should get a staple gun or pliers to drive in the staples. Only UL-certified staples should be used to ensure they meet safety standards.

What Do You Need To Know When Stacking Wires?

You should know how many electrical wires per staple are allowed and which type of staple should be used. 

No more than two electrical wires should be placed in one staple. If more than two wires are placed in a single staple, the wires could get nicked. This may result in an electrical short. When stacking wires, it is important to make sure the wires are not crossing each other. Make sure that the staple is properly secured as well.

Try to avoid using too much force, as this could damage the wire insulation and cause a short circuit. Use a light tap from a hammer to secure the staple. Try to also make sure that the staple is not over-tightened. This can cause the wires to become pinched and create a dangerous electrical short. 

Check to make sure that the staple is firmly secured in the wall or ceiling. Otherwise, it can cause the wires to become loose and create a hazardous situation.

You should note that some wires such as thermocouple wires require special staples. They need wires that have a larger gap between the legs, making them more suitable for multiple wires. 

If you have to have multiple wires in a single staple, just remember to check if they are pinched. If they are then you need to take the staple out and try again with fewer wires. Try to make sure that the wires do not touch each other, as this can cause a short circuit.

When stacking wires, take care to ensure that the wires are not crossing each other and that the staples are properly spaced apart. You should also make sure that the wires are bundled together and secured with a tie or tape. This will help to keep the wires organized and reduce the risk of electrical shorts.

Is It Necessary To Even Staple Wires?

Yes, it may be necessary to staple your wires. Although there are several pros and cons to using staples for your wires.

Some pros to stapling wires together is an effective and time-saving way of organizing, managing, and protecting electrical wires. Stapling wires together helps to keep them secure and out of the way, reducing the risk of a person accidentally coming into contact with them. Stapling wires together also helps to keep them from getting tangled or knotted, which can cause them to become damaged. 

Some cons to stapling wires are that if too many wires are stapled together, it can cause them to damage the insulation on the wires. This can create a potential safety hazard, as it can lead to a short circuit. Also if you use the wrong type of staple, it can cause damage to the wires. Such as puncturing the insulation or breaking the wire itself. 

The best practice when stapling wires is to use the right type of staple and to limit the number of wires per staple. It is recommended to use a special type of staple, such as those made specifically for electrical wires. This will ensure that the wires are securely held together, while also preventing any potential damage to the wires. 

Secures connection between wiresDamage to the wires
Reduces the risk of wire damageReduces the flexibility of the wire
Easier organization of wiresReduces the overall lifetime of the wire


The number of electrical wires per staple varies depending on the type of staple used, the type of wire, and the specific application. Try to remember that using one to two wires per staple is recommended. You should use staples specifically designed for electrical wiring and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 
Remember that it is also important to regularly check electrical wiring and connections to ensure they are secure and not damaged by environmental factors. Stapling wires can lead to more organization but it can be dangerous. Be sure that you follow the NEC guidelines when stapling wires.

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