Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You have questions, we have answers! Here is a list of our most frequently asked questions, grouped by product line. If you don't see an answer to your question below, please contact us at 1-800-888-2418.
Standard CableRail FAQs
Standard CableRail FAQs
- How strong does the frame need to be to support the tension loads of the CableRail infill?
To minimize cable deflection, each cable, when properly installed, will have a tension load of at least 300 lbs. Therefore, it's important that frames are designed and built strong enough to support these loads. Review frame requirements details to help you prepare the railing for cable infill. Give us a call if you need assistance, 1-800-888-2418.
- What happens if the railing frame does not have access for drilling through an end post?
In this case, the installer may not be able to use a Standard CableRail Assembly. However, we do carry a wide variety of Custom Cable fittings that can be used to fabricate assemblies to meet almost any attachment condition. Visit our Custom Cable Hardware web pages to view the hardware options, or simply give us a call for recommendations and assistance, 1-800-888-2418.
- Can the cables be spaced farther apart than 3 inches?
No, we strongly advise against exceeding a 3-inch spacing. The International Building Code states that a 4" sphere cannot pass through any opening in your railing, and since cable is non-rigid, the flex of the cable must be taken into account. Therefore, we recommend spacing the cables no more than 3 inches apart and the posts or vertical members (intermediate pickets) no more than 3 feet apart in order allow for possible cable deflection and meet the intent of the code. Of course, before starting a CableRail project, the installer should always check with their local building department to see if there are any special local requirements for using and installing cable railings.
- What do you recommend for post spacing?
We recommend having a post or vertical member (intermediate picket) at least every 3 feet. With the posts/verticals spaced 3 feet apart and the cables spaced 3 inches apart, you should be able to tension the cables such that they won't open past the 4-inch sphere code requirement when a reasonable force is applied. Please review the CableRail web pages for installation instructions and complete details on frame design requirements.
- Why do you use intermediate pickets?
Intermediate pickets (also referred to as vertical spacers) are used as a frame design option to replace some of the larger, bulkier intermediate posts in order to achieve a more open railing design. They are non-structural members and are only intended to maintain cable spacing and minimize possible cable deflection. Intermediate pickets are typically made from 1"x 2" or 2"x 2" wood strips, 1" copper water tubing, or 1/4" thick metal flat bar, but other slender materials may be used as well.
- What tools are needed to install CableRail?
The beauty of the Standard Cable Assembly is that you don't need special crimpers or tensioning tools. The basic tool list would include: Electric drill and bits, ViseGrip® pliers, 7/16" wrench for tightening washer nuts and a cut-off disk for trimming ends.
- What is the cost per foot for Horizontal CableRail?
The cost per foot varies depending on the length and the quantity of the CableRail assemblies used. The main expense is in the end fittings, so the longer the cable assembly, the less expensive it is per foot since all you're doing is adding additional cable. And, of course, the taller the railing frame the more cables are needed, and this adds to the overall cost of the project, resulting in a higher per-foot cost for the cable infill.
- What is CableRail made of?
All CableRail cables and fittings are made from high grade 316 stainless steel (also referred to as "marine grade"). This high quality stainless steel offers beauty, superior weather durability, high strength, and low-maintenance characteristics that far exceed other traditional railing infill materials.
- Do you do installations?
We don't do installations, however, the CableRail system is designed to be an easy-to-install, do-it-yourself product. Anyone who is comfortable using tools should have no problem installing the assemblies. If the customer is not installing it themselves, then we recommend they find a local carpenter or contractor with whom they feel comfortable, and we can help the installers with any questions. We're available for technical assistance at 1-800-888-2418, M-F 5am-5pm Pacific.
- How accurate do the cable run measurements need to be?
While there certainly is room for fudging, it's always best to measure as accurately as possible. The Standard CableRail Assemblies are sold in pre-fabricated lengths that can be trimmed to exact length in the field, so there is some flexibility. Typically we recommend that you measure from outside face to outside face of the end posts (fitting attachment posts) and then add one foot to that length. Then select an assembly that is at least as long as that augmented dimension. If you're not sure, just give us a call, and we can help you determine what you'll need, 1-800-888-2418
- The installer accidentally slid the Quick-Connect® fitting on the wrong cable (or other similar disastrous incident); can it be released?
We offer a release tool to unlock the jaws on the Quick-Connect® fitting should this occur. Feeney is available for technical assistance at 1-800-888-2418.
- Can fittings and cable be purchased separately for fabricating assemblies in the field?
Yes, it is an option, but one that is typically more expensive and labor intensive. We do offer a wide selection of cables as well as CableCrimp™ and Quick-Connect®SS style end fittings that can be attached to the cable by hand in the field. For more information, see the CableRail Custom Assemblies section or simply give us a call for recommendations and assistance, 1-800-888-2418.
- Can you pass the lacing needle through the Quick-Connect® fitting?
No! The diameter of the lacing needle is too large, and it will become wedged, rendering the Quick-Connect® fitting useless. So be sure to remove the lacing needle and cleanly trim the end of the cable before inserting the bare cable into the Quick-Connect® fitting.
- Can I install DesignRail® myself?
We engineer the DesignRail® aluminum railing system to be user-friendly. Basic carpentry skills and tools will accomplish most tasks. A good quality chop saw with a high quality metal cutting blade is needed for cutting and mitering the aluminum extrusions.
- How durable is the powder coated finish?
Our finishes are applied in a new state-of-the-art powder coating facility that achieves 2604 AAMA specs. In common terms this is a "marine grade" finish that performs well in even some of the harshest conditions. Plus, DesignRail® horizontal cable infill posts are drilled before they are powder coated, ensuring the powder coating is applied to the edge of the drill hole, another Feeney quality benefit!
- Do the posts come pre-drilled for the cables when using horizontal cable infill?
Yes, the posts for railings used in level (non-stair) conditions come pre-drilled. However, we currently do not pre-drill stair posts due to the varying number of stair angles and the fact that placing one of a group of pre-drilled posts even slightly out of position can render the rest of the posts unusable. Stairs are usually a small part of most projects, and stair posts can often be laid out and drilled in the field in a relatively short amount of time. We are working on offering pre-drilled stair posts in the future.
- Do I need a bottom rail with a 42" tall horizontal cable system?
We highly recommend using a bottom rail with a 42" horizontal cable system. We have found that a bottom rail design not only strengthens the framework but also reduces the number of cables needed which reduces the amount of compression on your end posts.
- Can I have single corner posts with the horizontal cable system?
Absolutely. The cables can be laced continuously through holes in a single corner post to create a 90° corner. With this type of corner post condition, we recommend that cable runs do not exceed 30 feet and that no more than 2 corner posts are used per cable run. This will ensure that the cables can be properly tensioned.
- Why do I have to have a vertical picket between my main posts in a horizontal cable system?
The picket is not a structural component. It is simply a railing element that helps minimize cable deflection, making it easier to meet the 4" code requirement.
- Why do I have to keep the cables at 3" on center?
We recommend the cable centers be drilled at 3" to allow for up to an inch of deflection between any two adjacent cables and still meet the 4" building code. See the CableRail FAQs (above) for specifics on Horizontal CableRail Infill solutions.
- Can I get the posts in stainless steel?
No, currently we only provide powder coated aluminum.
- Can I get round posts?
Not at this time. We only provide square posts.
- What kind of mounting methods do you provide?
Fascia mount, fascia bracket mount, surface mount, and stanchion mount.