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Old 06-26-2012, 11:25 PM   #1
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route wire through poorly drilled holes in joists?


My 1913 Craftsman has a fair number of old holes drilled in its joists that are far from centered, like they're supposed to be. Today, an inspector would flag it if you drilled a hole close to the edge of a joist, since it compromises the strength of the joist, right?

But what about the holes that were already drilled decades ago? Can I run armored conduit through them, rather than drill new holes in my joists? Will my inspect allow that if I tell him they were already drilled?

Where ever I find these types of holes (picture attached--some holes are ever closer to the edge than this one) I am hammering in simpson strong-tie nail plates to strengthen them. Any thoughts appreciated.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:49 PM   #2
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route wire through poorly drilled holes in joists?


Nail plates do nothing to strenghten the holes. It just stops someone from screwing into the wire.
That small a hole will have no effect on the beam.
As long as the holes 2" or more from the edge you will be fine.
Most 5/8 sheetrock is installed with 1-1/4 -1-1/2 sheetrock screws so your still more then enough distance from the wire.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:48 AM   #3
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route wire through poorly drilled holes in joists?


Just go ahead and reuse the existing holes (those at least 1-1/4" not on centers from the edge).

If you use a nailing plate then you can reuse a hole closer to the edge.

If you need additional holes, check the International Building Code book. Where and how large a hole can be in a joist varies depending whether it is near one end or in the middle. In most cases, wood members of prefabricated trusses (as opposed to stick built joist construction) may not be drilled at all.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-27-2012 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:46 AM   #4
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route wire through poorly drilled holes in joists?


I reused all of the holes that the BX was running through in my basement. The less holes you can drill, the better you are. Usually you can pull two romex through the holes that the old BX went through.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
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route wire through poorly drilled holes in joists?


Why bother with conduit? Just use armored BX cable (aka greenfield) or plain old Romex. Putting actual conduit through them would be a ton of extra work, and for what gain?

Just remember, if it's going to be enclosed then you CANNOT put (or leave) any junction boxes behind the surface. This means any boxes that are up there now would have to be either removed and rewired with a straight run, or the box moved to make it accessible at the surface of the drywall.
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