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Old 07-18-2012, 11:39 PM   #1
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


Ok I'll simplify this. I'm rewiring my basement. I have about a 20 foot run that I will be running nm romex cable through joists. However there are 2 sheetmetal cold air returns in the way that take up almost their entire joist space. There is no way to get around it. Can I go through the joist and under the ductwork? The ductwork is about flush with the joists. Or do I need to run conduit for those short sections? Or is there a better way of going about this? The ceiling will not be sheetrocked only painted. Thanks for any input!!


Last edited by short1; 07-21-2012 at 12:29 PM. Reason: rewriting question
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:28 PM   #2
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


Reworded my question!

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Old 07-21-2012, 12:35 PM   #3
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


I would simply install a running board on the bottom of the joists and staple my wires to that for that specific area...
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:03 PM   #4
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


Thanks for the reply! I took another look there is about 2inches space on each side between the duct and joists. What do you use for the running boards? 2x4's 2x2's? Would it come out from the previous joist then just run across and back up through? Sorry I want to have a better understanding of it all before i tear into it!
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:07 PM   #5
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


Use a strip of plywood to span the joist. Place a 1 by two on the plywood on either side of the Nm to protect it if you want.
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:07 PM   #6
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


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Thanks for the reply! I took another look there is about 2inches space on each side between the duct and joists. What do you use for the running boards? 2x4's 2x2's? Would it come out from the previous joist then just run across and back up through? Sorry I want to have a better understanding of it all before i tear into it!
you can use any thickness for running boards... If you take a picture, you will get a better answer, I'm only guessing what you can or cannot do...
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Old 07-21-2012, 03:44 PM   #7
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


Here's a couple pics, sorry for the quality! The green lines are the route of the wires, the grey line in the 2nd pic is of duct #2.




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Old 07-21-2012, 03:46 PM   #8
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


I would drill the bay with the duct... just my opinion of course, drill at an angle starting inside the duct bay. (At least the duct in the first picture, can't really tell about the 2nd duct, picture isn't as clear.)
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:23 PM   #9
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


It depends on where you live. Some areas, such as around Chicago, require conduit. A call to your local permit office would give you the definite answer.

Last edited by a_lost_shadow; 07-21-2012 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:28 PM   #10
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


Sometimes it is easier to take the long vs. the direct route, when running wire. Instead of going straight across, look for another path, that will take you around the obstruction.
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:28 PM   #11
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


it's too bad the entire joist space wasn't cold air return then he could have just gone right through and sealed it.
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:52 PM   #12
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


Stickboy, are you suggesting just go through and let it hang under the duct? Im in se wisconsin. Anyway I go there are ducts in the way the main trunk runs down the center of the house and branches off. The 2nd duct is the same setup, they are both cold air returns.
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:04 PM   #13
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


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Stickboy, are you suggesting just go through and let it hang under the duct? Im in se wisconsin. Anyway I go there are ducts in the way the main trunk runs down the center of the house and branches off. The 2nd duct is the same setup, they are both cold air returns.
I don't have any issues with the nm cable run below the duct, just leave slack and not tight against the duct...
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:36 PM   #14
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


That looks like a 6" takeoff. What's wrong with drilling through the joist and feeding the nm over the top of the duct and then back down through a hole in the other side?
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:42 PM   #15
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Rewiring Basement Romex/Conduit?


SE WI? My stomping grounds.

Now for that bad news. I don't know any community around here that allows homeowners to do electrical work on their home...especially a basement remodel. Have a permit?

That said, drill the joist and install a nail plate and you are good to go.

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