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Old 01-03-2014, 01:14 PM   #1
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How to run wire in ceiling of 2 story home?


Hi all,

I've got a home with ceiling overhead radiant heat, and I recently lost one of my rooms.

Nowadays they make very nice (and supposedly much more efficient) surface-mount units, that are 24"X48" in size. They are designed to be mounted flush to the ceiling using the same kind of wire drop used for overhead lights.

Of course, since I had ceiling radiant, the thermostat circuit these need to be on (line voltage) isn't accessible from the ceiling, but instead I'll need to drop a new wire to the thermostat on the wall.

I understand how to find the floor joists for the room above, and of course it will be easy to run the wire down the joists - the trouble is that I also have to cross three joists to get to where the thermostat is.

How do electricians install overhead light circuits when there is no access to the ceiling from above? How do I get the wire through (or under?) the three joists to get to the spot on the wall where the thermostat is?

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Old 01-03-2014, 01:26 PM   #2
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How to run wire in ceiling of 2 story home?


They cut holes in the ceiling. they also sometimes use very long drill to keep the amount of holes to a minimum.


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Old 01-03-2014, 02:45 PM   #3
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How to run wire in ceiling of 2 story home?


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They cut holes in the ceiling. they also sometimes use very long drill to keep the amount of holes to a minimum.
So you are saying I need to open the ceiling next to each floor joist and drill a hole to thread the wire through? Nasty.

The wire to be run is 12-2 romex. Sounds like I might as well just use my router to cut a path and then patch the slot.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:18 PM   #4
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How to run wire in ceiling of 2 story home?


You would be better off to drill instead of notching the bottom of the joist. If you notch you will also need nail plates to protect the cable.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:48 PM   #5
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How to run wire in ceiling of 2 story home?


be careful with notching, you typically don't want to notch anything in the middle third of the span.

edit: this assumes solid joists. if you have engineered wood i-beams, the chord shouldn't be notched at all.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:24 PM   #6
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How to run wire in ceiling of 2 story home?


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You would be better off to drill instead of notching the bottom of the joist. If you notch you will also need nail plates to protect the cable.

I'm not planning to touch the joists with the router. I have two full layers of drywall on my ceilings (the wires for the radiant system are run between the layers).

What I'm thinking will work is a 3/4" deep groove in the ceiling sheetrock, then pop the 12/2 solid romex wire up into the ceiling, secured every few inches with large staples. Once I'm clear of the joists I'll run the wire above the sheetrock for the final 4' run to the new ceiling box where I'm tying in the radiant panel.

Then I just have to mud over the groove. What do you think?
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:30 PM   #7
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How to run wire in ceiling of 2 story home?


Quote:
Originally Posted by imautoparts View Post
I'm not planning to touch the joists with the router. I have two full layers of drywall on my ceilings (the wires for the radiant system are run between the layers).

What I'm thinking will work is a 3/4" deep groove in the ceiling sheetrock, then pop the 12/2 solid romex wire up into the ceiling, secured every few inches with large staples. Once I'm clear of the joists I'll run the wire above the sheetrock for the final 4' run to the new ceiling box where I'm tying in the radiant panel.

Then I just have to mud over the groove. What do you think?
you'll still need nailing plates (or some other means of protection) to protect the cables.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:42 PM   #8
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How to run wire in ceiling of 2 story home?


I've looked up nailing plates.

They appear to mainly protect wires from inadvertent damage from someone drilling a hole or nailing something, yes?

If so, I'm not going to be particularly concerned - as you know if you've ever met anybody with radiant ceilings, NOTHING is ever attached to the ceiling unless it was installed in the original house.

You've never been punished till you've been punished like a kid in an all-radiant home who decided to hang a poster over his bed.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:12 PM   #9
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How to run wire in ceiling of 2 story home?


You can't lay the NM in a groove like that. It would be too exposed to damage even on a ceiling. You would need to use conduit for a job like that.

You don't need a hole in every bay. Every other bay should be enough or use the extra long drill bit and go through a bunch of them. You attach a line to the bit before you pull it out to use to fish the cable.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:10 PM   #10
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How to run wire in ceiling of 2 story home?


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You can't lay the NM in a groove like that.

I had to look up 'NM'. Another word for romex apparently. What do the initials mean?

Never mind - I looked further and found this:

"Summary: Romex® is a brand of non-metallic (NM) building wire made by Southwire. NM is used to refer to any type of electrical wiring sheathed in a plastic coating."

Last edited by imautoparts; 01-03-2014 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:29 AM   #11
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How to run wire in ceiling of 2 story home?


Non Metalic is the generic code term for sheathed cable. Romex is brand name like Kleenex is tissues.

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