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drh 01-06-2008 05:49 PM

Safest and most efficient way to run wiring in a basement?
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Hi Everyone,

I'm in the process of renovating my basement and have recently exposed all of the wiring in our basement and don't really like the way the cable runs are suspended as pictured (the previous owners seemed to think that hanging them using cable ties and nylon string along the support beam next to the iron rad pipes was good enough).

My question is specifically what is the most efficient, safe and proper way to run electrical cable runs such as these through the basement? Should they all be through separate joist holes? Is there a "wiring rack tray" of some sort on which the cables could rest?

Many thanks,

Spike99 01-06-2008 08:23 PM

Personally, I don't like drilling horizontal holes through the above floor joists. If hole drilling done improperly, the wire holes does weaking the boards. For me, I lay the cableunder each floor joists (like in your picture) and give each wire a proper electrical staple - on each joist. The wire is loose within the special electrical stables. For large wires, I use galvanized strapping. Cut a strip say 5" long, bend into a small U shape and use a screw at each end. And ensure the thick electrical wire is loose inside it as well. In the end, NO wires are dangling down. They are neat and best part of all, each wire can be easily traced. Works for me...


AllanJ 01-06-2008 08:35 PM

The wires hung from joist to joist, under the joists, must have a "running board" above them attached to the underside of the joists. This would be a 1x4 or 1x6 or whatever is wide enough. The wires are then stapled to the underside of the running board.

woodman51jfk 01-06-2008 08:49 PM

in addition, if you're concerned about something contacting and damaging the wiring, you can suspend, from running boards or just the joists, conduit in the potential damage areas......with plumbers tape ( perforated metal strapping ) stated before...loose fit, don't bind yer wires.........looks a bit neater, but more hassle if you need to access wires for any reason...the only time it is really acceptable to drill joists is if they are sistered 2X10 or greater, or lam beam

tom25 01-06-2008 09:53 PM

This might work (

Jim Port 01-07-2008 08:30 AM


Originally Posted by woodman51jfk (Post 86283)
the only time it is really acceptable to drill joists is if they are sistered 2X10 or greater, or lam beam

Could you please back that statement up?

A properly sized hole in the neutral plane of the joist does not affect its strength.

As for drilling lam beams the rules are very strict, if you can even drill them at all.

woodman51jfk 01-07-2008 09:04 AM

southern building code is my reference, as I work & live here..............and as far as lam beams, perhaps I should have more correctly said "engineered wood Glu-Lam Beams", some even come from the plant with "knock-outs" for the purpose of running wire, conduit and HVAC chases, the only structurally rated wood product that code allows openings of up to a diameter of 7" to strong as steel joist members, since the beams are in fact laminated, the holes, assuming you have enough sense not to "swiss cheese" them, are not going to structurally compromise the product, where as dimensional lumber is, to a degree, compromised longitudinally every time there is a penetration...when they first came on the scene we were all skeptical........but they do the job, cheaper & better

side note: we don't have many basements built down here, but the lam beams are used in 2 and 3 story buildings for the floor joists, and extensively for ceiling and flat roof applications...mileage may vary according to location:whistling2:

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