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Old 11-09-2010, 12:57 PM   #1
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Electrician and I-joist


I am currently finishing my basement and the electricians finished a few weeks ago. When attaching a ceiling fan electrical box, I noticed that they shaved or notched a spot on the i-joist flange so that the box would fit when they screwed it to the bottom.

After reading up on i-joists, I noticed that notching the flange is a big no-no. Is this going to be a problem that I need to address before putting up drywall?

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Old 11-09-2010, 01:37 PM   #2
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Electrician and I-joist


Got pictures?
How deep is the notch?
Depth of I-joist?
Spacing and Span?
Location of the notch relative to bearing point?
Can you identify the Manufacturer?

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Old 11-09-2010, 05:57 PM   #3
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Electrician and I-joist


I've attached a picture. The notch isn't too deep as you can tell.

Joists are about 1 foot high and spaced 19.2" OC. This joist is 27-28' long. There is a load bearing wall 7' from this spot on one side and another internal load bearing wall 7' the other way. I'm not sure where I would find the manufacturer? It has Alexandria written on the flange.
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Electrician and I-joist-notch.jpg  
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:17 PM   #4
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Yep, it's compromised. Maybe Daniel or others have a fix..... Remove and screw plywood along lengths, both sides (like a cantilever), etc.

Gary
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:57 PM   #5
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Electrician and I-joist


I agree. That is more notch than should be allowed.
Move the box so it mount onto the side of the I-joist even if it off-centres the fixture.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:22 PM   #6
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when you put plywood on both sides don't forget to use construction adhesive on before you screw it together
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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Electrician and I-joist


I cannot tell from the photo exactly how much of the I joist got cut, but it looks like at least two inches depth was removed. This is a bad thing, someone should discuss structural issues with the electrician before they notch another I joist. Who knows what the HVAC guys would do, they need even larger openings.

As for fixes, well this is an I joist, not so simple to repair as solid sawn lumber. I'm not saying the house is going to fall down, but you may want to discuss this with an I joist manufacturer, I have no personal experience repairing this type of damage, all of my repairs have been to solid sawn lumber. This is certainly not the first time something like this has happened, the I joist folks probably have some good ideas, please let us know, as your case may be applicable to others.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
I cannot tell from the photo exactly how much of the I joist got cut, but it looks like at least two inches depth was removed. This is a bad thing, someone should discuss structural issues with the electrician before they notch another I joist. Who knows what the HVAC guys would do, they need even larger openings.

As for fixes, well this is an I joist, not so simple to repair as solid sawn lumber. I'm not saying the house is going to fall down, but you may want to discuss this with an I joist manufacturer, I have no personal experience repairing this type of damage, all of my repairs have been to solid sawn lumber. This is certainly not the first time something like this has happened, the I joist folks probably have some good ideas, please let us know, as your case may be applicable to others.
actually this happens all the time ( it is not suppose to but it does). 4' section of 3/4 inch plywood on each side of I joist glued and screwed is the standard fix.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:34 PM   #9
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Electrician and I-joist


I don't get why the electrician would have gone through all that trouble. He could have just screwed it sideways like most people do. No need to do any cutting or shaving.

In my house I had noticed they had did the same thing in one area.

I also don't get why electricians, plumbers etc go and do things like that. It just seems like common sense to me that they should not mess with the structural. Or is it more a "I don't care" thing?
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:37 PM   #10
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The engineering departments at the manufacturers of engineered joists spend a LOT of time designing corrections damage by "human termites" - document the damage, contact the supplier, and they will specify a repair.

I recommend that property owners keep one copy of the specifications with the property records. and staple another to the repair (if visible) to assure future purchasers the repair was specified by the manufacturer (or by an appropriate design professional) and performed per the specification.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:08 PM   #11
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I took down the box to measure how much they took out. It is about 3/8" deep from where the edge should be to the deepest part of the cut. It looks like a semi circle on each side.

I'll try and get ahold of the manufacturer to see about a fix. When it is suggested to do a 4' piece of plywood, do you center it on the cut so that there is about 2' on either side of the cut. Of course I'd do this on both sides.

Not sure why they did this since they did it the right way in another room. Kind of surprised the inspector didn't notice it.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:23 PM   #12
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Yes you center it. I have seen a heck of a lot worse. If you glue and screw the plywood in you will have no problem at all. I have gone behind plumbers who have taken out 10 inches of the entire top chord and this was the fix Boise Cascade recommended. The electrician should not have done this but it is a simple fix so do not worry about it.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:50 PM   #13
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Here's the thing - a competent home inspector, if they see a repair to an engineered member, is going to recommend that the buyers have the sellers supply documentation that the repair is correct, which means either that it was designed by the manufacturer, or you have a stamped drawing from a appropriate licensed design professional.

So even for a "simple" repair it's best to obtain an appropriate design and implement per the drawing, it makes things much simpler when the time comes to sell the property.

So to
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:54 PM   #14
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Electrician and I-joist


I look at the photo and that is wrong of that electrician to do that on the I Joinst there is a correct ceiling fan rated box for this purpose.

It is a L shaped fan rated box that what I will use and some reason why I can't use if it was twinned Ijoist then use the pancake fan rated box and be done with it.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:07 PM   #15
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I fully plan to get documentation from the manufacturer. It is a Boise Cascade joist. Started to pull down the insulation and found that the gas line is directly above the notch going through all of the joists. That makes putting a solid 4' section of plywood hard to do.

I'll contact Boise Cascade first thing in the morning and then send a little note to the electrician.

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