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Old 08-28-2012, 03:45 AM   #1
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Drilling through ceiling from attic


Hi,

I have been wiring my condo with CAT6 and while its been smooth by using the existing coaxial drops, i have reached the point in a few rooms where i have to drill some holes for new drops.

I am not sure if its called the joists, but i want to drill thru that piece of wood that lays horizontal / perpendicular to the vertical studs, so i can drop the cables between walls. The picture shows what i want to do.



The thing i am worried about is i read somewhere that electrical cables might be stapled on the underside and i don't want to drill through it. There is an electrical drop ( light switches) between the studs.

Is that common practice? or there is code that prohibits that. My condo was built in 2006. Any way easy to way to find out / make sure?

Thanks!

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Old 08-28-2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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Drilling through ceiling from attic


Quote:
Originally Posted by dvazriel View Post
Hi,

I have been wiring my condo with CAT6 and while its been smooth by using the existing coaxial drops, i have reached the point in a few rooms where i have to drill some holes for new drops.

I am not sure if its called the joists, but i want to drill thru that piece of wood that lays horizontal / perpendicular to the vertical studs, so i can drop the cables between walls. The picture shows what i want to do.



The thing i am worried about is i read somewhere that electrical cables might be stapled on the underside and i don't want to drill through it. There is an electrical drop ( light switches) between the studs.

Is that common practice? or there is code that prohibits that. My condo was built in 2006. Any way easy to way to find out / make sure?

Thanks!
They are called plates, top plate, bottom plate... and I would just take my chances of drilling the hole, someone would be not so smart to actually staple to a plate... or use the existing hole that the light switch is using...

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Old 08-28-2012, 09:14 AM   #3
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Drilling through ceiling from attic


You can either drill down from the attic or up from the wall box. Up from a box is pretty easy if you use a flexible, long auger bit designed for the purpose. You use an L-shaped handled to bend the bit at the wall box. They work pretty well. The trick is taking care to get the auger centered up to so you don't drill out the top corner of the wall. But it's not that hard to do.

As for the stud bays, if the bay you want to use for the drop has wires coming up out of it already then you might want to drill two holes up top. Then put a bright flashlight on one hole and peer down through the other to get a look at what's in there. It's very unlikely someone would've been stupid enough to anchor a wire on the underside of the plate. So if you don't already have wires coming out you'd be fine. And if you had wires they'd be likely run like the ones in the picture you posted.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:28 AM   #4
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Drilling through ceiling from attic


Zircon makes a stud finder that scans for electrical wires inside walls, we use these before cutting/drilling blindly into walls. If you have an existing box or hole in the wall Ryobi has an inspection camera (with a 36" flexible camera cable) in their Tek4 line of tools. Most Home Depots near us carry those. All worthwhile tools if you do much of this type of work. Good luck!
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:39 AM   #5
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Drilling through ceiling from attic


I have drilled almost all the way through a plate and then taken a screwdriver to break out the remaining wood so the drill bit does not go into a hidden cable.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:13 PM   #6
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Drilling through ceiling from attic


Awesome, thanks for all the help!
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:55 AM   #7
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Drilling through ceiling from attic


One thing I forgot to mention about the Ryobi inspection camera. The led lights on the end of it only have usable light for about 8" in front of the camera. When using it for longer distances we tape a Maglite solitare flashlight to the camera (about 1/4" back from the end) this adds about 3' to the viewing range of the camera.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:16 AM   #8
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Drilling through ceiling from attic


I kid you not, a second hole drilled about 6" away will let you peer down into the cavity. Yeah, a single hole with an inspection camera would work but you run into the distance problem. Versus just drilling a second hole and using your own eye. This assumes you can get in close enough. A 9/16" hole worked great for the flashlight.

It also helps to use the tape trick to avoid depth problems. Just mark the shank of the drill bit at the depth of the plate and take care to drill only that far.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:02 AM   #9
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Drilling through ceiling from attic


I did this once, I drilled down and cut a piece of romex that was running across the bottom of the top plate.

I lost money on that job when everything was said and done, so I don't want to do that again.

I have a snake camera, but for this purpose it's a pain to use and more money than you need to spend.

Now I use this to look up and see what I might be drilling into. For the money, you can't go wrong:

http://www.techtoolsupply.com/Produc...uctCode=55-400

This gives you a clear view of the entire wall cavity from the cutout that you made. You can easily see up to the top plate even from a cutout only 12" above the floor. It's got a light built in so it's a snap to use.

I know it looks like I am pimping this product, but I am not in bed with them, I just feel it's a really good tool and it will help with the OP.

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