CBC Cable Railing Requirements
The California Building Code has very extensive requirements, we are fully compliant, while many companies are not. California is one of the strictest states for railing code and supersedes pretty much every other state. Typically you can take our pre-engineered packet to your local building department and get a building permit over the counter.
Cable Rail: Not the best fit for you?
There are a number of reasons why cable rails may not be the best fit for you; here’s one you may not have considered. According to the California Building Code cable railing requirements, if your cable rail cannot support a 50-lb. weight without bowing, you won’t be up to code.
After years of seeing cable rails that didn’t meet code and deteriorated over time, we developed the Wedge Lock 3000, a cable rail alternative that will pass inspection and stand the test of time.
The California Building Code requires that residential guardrails have openings such that a sphere 4 inches in diameter (4 3/8 inches at stairways) cannot pass through. Various cable rail configurations are often proposed to minimize the rail system’s impact on the view from the deck.
Cable railing systems are often difficult to evaluate because meeting and maintaining the spacing requirement depends on factors other than the distance between the cables, such as the tension of the cables and the anchorage of the cable supports to the deck.
- Cable rail systems shall be listed, manufactured systems or include a design analysis.
- Cable railing requirement: cables shall a minimum of 1/8″ in diameter and shall be spaced a maximum of 3.00″, measured from the inside edges of adjacent cables
- The system shall incorporate a turnbuckle or other device on each cable so that the tension can be adjusted over time. This device shall include a lock nut or other device so that a child cannot easily reduce the tension of the cable.
- At the time of inspection a 50 pound weight must be suspended from the cable strand below the top, at the point where the separation between supports is greatest. With this weight suspended, a 4″ sphere (4 3/8″ at stairways) shall not pass between the cables at any point, and the supports must not deflect.
- The building inspector may require the weight be placed at other points in the cable rail system to verify compliance. When cable rails are shown on the plans, the plan checker shall insure that this standard is made available to the applicant, either by requiring a note on the plans or by attaching a copy of this technical bulletin to the job and office copies of the plans.
- Cable rail systems meeting the above performance standard shall be considered complying with the code and may be approved without an application for alternate methods and materials.