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Old 10-02-2009, 09:23 AM   #1
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Through or over studs for wiring?


I am finishing part of my basement into a room with stand-alone walls. I have the framing done & I am about to do the wiring. Can anyone give the pros & cons to taking wiring through studs when linking wall outlets etc vs dropping wires down from the top of the wall? I intend to have a drop ceiling so access to the top of the walls will always be easy. Clearly, it would be cheaper (less wire) to take the wires connecting the wall outlets through holes bored through the studs, but doesn't this compromise the fire break capability of the spaces between the studs? Thanks for any help.
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:29 AM   #2
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I go straight thru the studs
There are fire "stop" materials you can use to fill the holes after the wire is run



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Old 10-02-2009, 10:15 AM   #3
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Fire or draft stopping is more of an issue since fire will spread vertically in the cavity much easier than horizontally.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:44 AM   #4
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Alot cheaper to go through. Say you have an 8' high ceiling and outlets are 13" off the ground, and you space your outlets 6' between each other on the same wall. you would use about 6' of wire to go through the studs and roughly 20' of wire to do it your way. Plus then you need to fire stop of some sort.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:52 AM   #5
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You have to fire-stop every wall over the top, including at the drop ceiling. Unless you drywall the upper ceiling first, then add a drop ceiling. No fire in the room should be able to go over the drop ceiling into a stud space or another area of the basement through or under a floor joist bay. Please read this link on fire-stopping:

http://www.diychatroom.com/f98/how-f...framing-37190/
Be safe, Gary
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:53 AM   #6
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Folks
Thank you very much for the extensive replies. After posting I was dreading the question was so naďve as to warrant some sarcastic responses! Thanks again & especially to GBR in WA for the excellent fire block link – I was wondering how to fire block my hot air feed to the room. I was planning to use 6” flexible, but couldn’t see how to get a good fire block. I suppose I’ll have to switch to pipe and a metal sheet seal top & bottom of the stud space – unless anyone else can suggest how to fire block flex tubing.
But it does bring to question, how do you fire block a return that utilizes the stud space as part of the pathway? I plan to have a filter vent at floor level (inside the room) and a metal pipe joining the top of the stud (outside the room) to the main return ductwork. The stud space would otherwise be completely sealed
Thanks again.
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:59 AM   #7
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Have the duct go through the top plate and use a expanadable foam and seal around it.
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