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Old 09-20-2010, 02:38 PM   #1
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drilling through joists


hey all, maybe someone can point me in the right direction here and let me know what they think....

I want to move the toilet and bathtub in my kids' bathroom. In order to do so, I would have to run the drain for the toilet through probably 4 floor joists. My joists are 2x16" engineered wood I beams, installed 12" OC and they span 30'. The bathroom is against the exterior back wall of the house and just about dead smack middle of the house (side to side). Can I drill that large of a hole through the joists? I haven't opened the floor yet but I have a pretty good idea of how everything is run - before I open the floor I want to see if I can even do what I want. If I can't drill through the joists, no point in opening the floor..

Would it help any if I used 3" for the toilet instead of 4". The house was built 10 years ago and I just moved in about a year. I have opened the floor for some other work and have never been able to find a name stamped on the joists which would allow me to get specs on them. Is there a general rule of thumb here??

Thank you!!

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Old 09-20-2010, 04:13 PM   #2
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drilling through joists


you need to consult with the manufacturer before making any holes in an engineered I joist other than the pre-stamped holes.

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Old 09-20-2010, 07:42 PM   #3
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drilling through joists


I agree with Nap. Another thought would be to drop the drain below the floor joists and build a bulkhead over the pipe all the way to where you're goin to tie in to the main drain. If there is room this would be the safest.
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:59 PM   #4
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I agree with Nap. Another thought would be to drop the drain below the floor joists and build a bulkhead over the pipe all the way to where you're goin to tie in to the main drain. If there is room this would be the safest.
the previous owners in my house thought that it was simply much more efficient to just remove a section of floor joist to accomodate a toilet move (not the engineered I joists, but left things hanging, never-the-less ). That's when I started to read and learn about headers and trimmers, sistering joists, double hangers, etc. and fixed the problem. Old house with cast iron stack, etc to make things even more fun.

when in doubt, safety is #1. I agree with Mark - best to go under and leave the existing structure alone if you can. I would rather add some extra time for building and finishing a bulkhead - just my humble DIY 2c worth...
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:28 PM   #5
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drilling through joists


As said by nap. Hopefully there is somewhere you can indentify the name of the joist manufacturer, as they each have their own guidelines, and there are some differences among them. You should have no problem with that size hole in the product of any manufacturer that I know of, but for warranty, you want to verify your particular manufacturer's installation guide lines. It is pretty amazing how large the penetrations are allowed to be in the web of these products; however the top and bottom flanges are sacred ground and cannot be be touched in any way.

Last edited by troubleseeker; 09-22-2010 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:48 PM   #6
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You should have no problem with that size hole in the product of any manufacturer that I know of
wow - did not know that - love this forum. Would it be correct to say that the location of the penetration (e.g. the proximity to the top or bottom) is critical - in other words, stay in the middle? I'm guessing this sort of applies to I beams just as it would to regular 2x joists but maybe not? Thanks for any add'l info.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:03 PM   #7
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As noted, depends on the manufacturer.

General guidelines:



- http://www.trulinetruss.com/html/bod..._products.html
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:17 PM   #8
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[quote=rtoni;505763 Would it be correct to say that the location of the penetration (e.g. the proximity to the top or bottom) is critical - in other words, stay in the middle?.[/quote]

Again, each manufacturer has their own installation guidelines, with slight variances among them, but generally speaking the vertical location is not really that critical. I like to see the penetrations kept close to the center(vertically) area, but that is just because that is engrained in my brain from working with dimension lumber for so many years, and old habits die hard.
One thing that is quirky and opposite of dimension lumber are the guidelines for horizontal location. Unlike with dimension lumber, where you try to stay close to the ends of the joists (near supporting walls), I Joists actually have strict requirements for staying away from bearing points. With the span of your joists, you definately want to be within the manufacturer's specs for
everything.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:17 AM   #9
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Michael, Troubleseeker, thanks for the additional information. Not sure if I'll ever have the energy to start up another project where these are used, but it's very cool stuff - appreciate the feedback. Mazzonetv - sorry didn't mean to sort of hijack the thread. Just find this really interesting....

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