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Old 07-13-2011, 09:53 AM   #1
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Running wires alongside or through ductwork


Hi All,
I am replacing the k-n-t wiring in my home and have some odd situations I need advice on:

1. Wires running through duct space -
In my older home, the forced air system actually uses the space between the floor joists as a return "duct". They simply nailed some sheet metal on the joists. In the main return the sheet metal actually sticks down an additional 8" to increase the volume of the duct. The existing wires run straight through these joist/duct spaces.

Can I do the same with my new wires?

I can route the wires around that space but it will add an additional 30-40' of wire to all the runs from one half of my house to the main panel.


2. Wires running along side pipes or ducts - There are several instances where wires are run from my basement to the first floor in the same space that duct work runs in (these are actual ducts, not like the ones in my first question). I also have a large cable going to a sub-panel in my attic that is fished up along the main vent pipe for my drains.

Can I fish my new wires in a similar fashion?
My concern is the lack of fastening on the runs. There doesn't appear to be much now so it should be easy to use the old wires to fish the new. If I can't then I will have to open some walls to get the runs up to the 2nd floor and attic.

Thanks.

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Old 07-13-2011, 11:11 AM   #2
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Running wires alongside or through ductwork


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Originally Posted by j_sun View Post
Hi All,
I am replacing the k-n-t wiring in my home and have some odd situations I need advice on:

1. Wires running through duct space -
In my older home, the forced air system actually uses the space between the floor joists as a return "duct". They simply nailed some sheet metal on the joists. In the main return the sheet metal actually sticks down an additional 8" to increase the volume of the duct. The existing wires run straight through these joist/duct spaces.

Can I do the same with my new wires?

I can route the wires around that space but it will add an additional 30-40' of wire to all the runs from one half of my house to the main panel.


2. Wires running along side pipes or ducts - There are several instances where wires are run from my basement to the first floor in the same space that duct work runs in (these are actual ducts, not like the ones in my first question). I also have a large cable going to a sub-panel in my attic that is fished up along the main vent pipe for my drains.

Can I fish my new wires in a similar fashion?
My concern is the lack of fastening on the runs. There doesn't appear to be much now so it should be easy to use the old wires to fish the new. If I can't then I will have to open some walls to get the runs up to the 2nd floor and attic.

Thanks.
1. Wires can be run across such duct/joist spaces, passing through perpendicular to the "duct", but they can not be run down the length of a duct space.

2. No problem with wires being near ducts, and new wiring being fished into finished walls/ceilings is exempt from fastening requirements.

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