Q: I need to move some electrical lines to make room for built-in bookshelves. Can I get away with tucking the lines beneath one of the shelves with cable staples, or is that against electrical code?
A: You should always check with your local code official to determine what is acceptable in your area. However, a safe rule of thumb, and mandatory requirement in Extreme How-To’s neck of the woods, is that the cables cannot be left exposed because they could potentially be damaged due to accidental impact, which is a safety hazard. The cables must be protected by some sort of partition such as wallboard. If you’d like to route the cables beneath a shelf, then consider using wire molding designed for corner applications, which creates a plastic channel with a small trim profile that can conceal and protect the wires in an orderly manner.