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Old 05-28-2019, 09:16 PM   #1
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Drilling through top plate on load bearing wall


Hello,
Could I drill holes through top plate of a load bearing wall (exterior wall)?
I need to relocate/move 7 armored wires through the top plate.
Will this weaken the wall structure? All the wires come though the bottom plate, the electrical panel is located directly below. Please see attached pics.
Thank you for your help in advance!
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Drilling through top plate on load bearing wall-img_9993.jpg   Drilling through top plate on load bearing wall-img_9994.jpg  

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Old 05-28-2019, 09:28 PM   #2
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Re: Drilling through top plate on load bearing wall


Yes you can drill the holes, no it will not weaken the wall.

I would drill 3 holes large enough for 2 cables and one hole for one cable.

The ceiling joist and the roof rafters rest on the top plate which rest on the wall studs below.
That shielded cable will not pull through holes easily. Probably need holes 1 1/4" diameter.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:33 PM   #3
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Re: Drilling through top plate on load bearing wall


Only be concerned when the joists are landing between the studs, yours are find for holes.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:55 PM   #4
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Drill in the center to avoid possible wallboard screws/nails reaching the wires.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:33 AM   #5
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Re: Drilling through top plate on load bearing wall


Pardon my ignorance, but why not just run them above the top plate and down behind it?
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:07 AM   #6
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Re: Drilling through top plate on load bearing wall


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Pardon my ignorance, but why not just run them above the top plate and down behind it?
If I'm understanding you correctly what you are saying is to cut/drill the black board behind the top plate? My only concern is that is the exterior wall/siding and I did not want to put a hole in it (moisture, water, bugs, rodents).
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:10 AM   #7
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Re: Drilling through top plate on load bearing wall


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Originally Posted by FirstHome_MKE View Post
If I'm understanding you correctly what you are saying is to cut/drill the black board behind the top plate? My only concern is that is the exterior wall/siding and I did not want to put a hole in it (moisture, water, bugs, rodents).

Ignore that, he said it with out thinking it thru.
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:22 AM   #8
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Re: Drilling through top plate on load bearing wall


I managed to drag the following consolidated advice out of the internet a few months ago:

Holes in 2x4 double top plates can have a 1 1/4" max hole diameter and the center of the bore can't be more than 1 1/2" from the edge (aka center that sucker,) and you want to space them out at least an inch.

(I think you've got 2x4's there in the pic, I'm not great at estimating sizes though. If they're 2x6 or 2x8 you can check out the thread I posted my list of finding in Here
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:32 AM   #9
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Re: Drilling through top plate on load bearing wall


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Originally Posted by Mystriss View Post
I managed to drag the following consolidated advice out of the internet a few months ago:

Holes in 2x4 double top plates can have a 1 1/4" max hole diameter and the center of the bore can't be more than 1 1/2" from the edge (aka center that sucker,) and you want to space them out at least an inch.

(I think you've got 2x4's there in the pic, I'm not great at estimating sizes though. If they're 2x6 or 2x8 you can check out the thread I posted my list of finding in Here
There are times they put bigger holes for plumbing vents and things, you watch out for the support of members above not being supported and a steel strap across the opening for the lateral push and pull.
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:57 AM   #10
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Re: Drilling through top plate on load bearing wall


@Nealtw Aye, the 3" main stack/drain pipe is a noted exception for 2x4 construction - just didn't think it was relevant to the OP's question enough to mention
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:38 AM   #11
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Re: Drilling through top plate on load bearing wall


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Ignore that, he said it with out thinking it thru.
You're right, and also without blowing up the pic. Now I see there's some kind of felt or something behind the studs, and not just a dark space.
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