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Old 05-30-2011, 11:57 PM   #1
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Running wire through joists


I have to wire up some recessed lights in the kitchen. Unfortunately there are a lot of joists in the way. Would you cut a bunch of access panels, cut a through hole, then run the wire through the hole? Keep in mind this is BX armored cable I'm using.

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Old 05-31-2011, 05:55 AM   #2
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Running wire through joists


Need more info. Is this on a first floor, or do you have an attic above it. If no attic, you will most likely have to cut sections to run the wire along the joist bays up in the ceiling. If going across, will best do it near where another light will be up in the ceiling to alleviate making a bunch of holes and patch. Really easy way is to just rip down the ceiling and go that route if doing a really old home.

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Old 05-31-2011, 09:38 AM   #3
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Running wire through joists


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Need more info. Is this on a first floor, or do you have an attic above it. If no attic, you will most likely have to cut sections to run the wire along the joist bays up in the ceiling. If going across, will best do it near where another light will be up in the ceiling to alleviate making a bunch of holes and patch. Really easy way is to just rip down the ceiling and go that route if doing a really old home.

There's no attic. But I do have bedrooms above though. The lights are 58" apart and there are multiple joists (maybe 4 joists) between lights. There's nothing between lights. When you say cut sections, you are referring to "access panels" then. The home is not that old. The ceiling is in good condition and it just breaks my heart having to cut it up for access panels
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:44 AM   #4
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Running wire through joists


Yes. Make sure when you cut the panels, do it on the joists and use a straight edge. Helps to have a helper or use a laser line to give you a straight line. Now if you have popcorn, or Orange peel texture on your ceiling, it will never look the same when you get done, so try to use the holes where you putting the lights up to pull the wire through. Figure if you take your time, you can use a Saturday, and always get everyone out of the house when you do it, or do it during the week when everyone else is at work or school, so you have the house to yourself.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:55 AM   #5
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Running wire through joists


There are long flexible drill bit made for this situation. The caveat is that sometimes you can get unexpected results like coming thru the floor above. You also may have ductwork, plumbing or wiring that may get drilled into.

Instead of multiple holes I would cut a long slot.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:41 AM   #6
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Running wire through joists


If the ceiling is fastened to furring strips instead of directly to the joists you can pass the wire under the joists and above the ceiling.

Do not cut notches in the bottoms of the joists. The holes should not be less than 2 inches from either edge of the joist.

Actually I would not cut a long slot. Multiple small holes positioned horizontally are better to minimize weakening of the joists.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:50 AM   #7
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Running wire through joists


The long slot was thru the drywall, not the joist.

There should not be a need for multiple holes thru the joist. One hole properly sized should be enough. The OP should only need 1-2 cables at the most thru the holes.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:03 AM   #8
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Yes. Make sure when you cut the panels, do it on the joists and use a straight edge. Helps to have a helper or use a laser line to give you a straight line. Now if you have popcorn, or Orange peel texture on your ceiling, it will never look the same when you get done, so try to use the holes where you putting the lights up to pull the wire through. Figure if you take your time, you can use a Saturday, and always get everyone out of the house when you do it, or do it during the week when everyone else is at work or school, so you have the house to yourself.
Thanks for the advice everyone.

What do you mean "...do it on the joists"? Cut the slots on the joists? Across the joists? I've been cutting them between the joists. Is this right?

I want to use the hole for the lights to make the through holes, but the holes are only 5" in diameter. I won't be able to drill it properly. I'll see if I can rent that long bit. Otherwise, I'm just going to have to make more access panels
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:15 AM   #9
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Running wire through joists


If you cut between the joists, how do you plan on re-attaching the Gypsum board once done if cutting slots to run the wire?
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:13 PM   #10
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If you cut between the joists, how do you plan on re-attaching the Gypsum board once done if cutting slots to run the wire?
I was going to secure some wooden pieces across the hole and re-attaching to that wooden piece. Is this not recommended?
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:14 PM   #11
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Running wire through joists


No it is not the way to do it.
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:28 PM   #12
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I was going to secure some wooden pieces across the hole and re-attaching to that wooden piece. Is this not recommended?
That is a common repair method. I think you will be fine. In Gregs method you would secure the patch into the joists.

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