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packrat32 02-03-2011 05:18 PM

Connection Sister Joists
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I want to add some sister joists to a 16' span. Its a 90 year old house with 2x8 joists. The only problem is my service entrance wire goes right through the middle of the span (since the meter is on the opposite side of the house as the breaker panel). I can not cut and move the service wire without it being a serious pain. Here are my options (that I can think of anyway)...

1) Use two 8' joists that meet at the wire notch the end of one so that the wire fits into it. (my attempt in attachment). Then use metal straps above and below the wire to connect the two joists.

2) Use one joist to span the whole length, but notch it from the top to fit around the wire. Then put another smaller joist (3-4') notched from the bottom and then bolt them together around the wire.

Of course the easy solution would be to just put in a post but that would be right in the middle of my TV room...

Thanks in advance!

TheCamper 02-03-2011 09:23 PM

Tough Situation
It is, of course, best to relocate the service cable but I can see that it could become a project in itself. So, your full length option of sistering is best, a 2 X 8 to the existing 2 X 8 with as small a notch as practical, then cut a piece of 2 X 8, at least eight feet long with the opposing notch and through-bolt together or perhaps just a piece of 3/4" plywood eight feet long and screw it off with steel screws, not drywall screws, and through-bolt it. I assume this is storage above and the ceiling joists are just supporting the ceiling material, e.g gypsum board, and you have sagging and/or movement, you may wish to consider installing plywood over the joists on the attic side to form a diaphragm and that will stiffen the ceiling joists further. Be careful not to compress the insulation. Other than the above, the only thing that comes to mind is to open up the ceiling and install a flush girder that bears at both ends of the room, probably requiring the wall to be opened up and perhaps blocked below. Good Luck.

Helpy Helperton 02-03-2011 09:42 PM

Just my opinion, but to me it sounds like what you're considering is more trouble than just de-energizing the meter socket for a day and pulling the SE cable back so you can work freely.

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