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Discussion Starter #1
I'm having a generator installed. The electrician is running the wires for the supported circuits to the transfer switch and drilled a large number of holes in the top header (not sure correct name) and a very large beam). The garage is very tall so it has a beam a few feet below the top of the wall. He said it was only 3/4" holes but there is a 1" hole and a couple of holes are right next to each other. We are in earthquake country and this really worries me. I asked to run conduit like the they did for the solar but he didn't want to do that. Please see pics and tell me what you think. Thanks.

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What do I think? I think you have Swiss cheese now.
Find a boring schedule online or at your building department and show him where he went overboard, then have him fix it, to code.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What do I think? I think you have Swiss cheese now.
Find a boring schedule online or at your building department and show him where he went overboard, then have him fix it, to code.
Yeah, that's what I thought. I don't think he even used all the holes. And, you can see a couple are half drilled. He is hired by the company installing the generator, not by me. I've messaged the county building department but with the pandemic they probably won't respond. I'm going to keep the guy from closing it up until after the inspection.
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Ok, it looks to me like he drilled holes up through the top plate, not a supporting beam or header. IMHO it’s not a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, it looks to me like he drilled holes up through the top plate, not a supporting beam or header. IMHO it’s not a problem.
Drilled through both. In the pictures at the top, the first one is the top plate and the second is a huge beam. I haven't measured it, but its about 18" by 4".
 

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Naildriver
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Back up and picture the beam. Those close ups only show us holes.
 
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Even if a beam, looks like all the wall studs are there. Large opening maybe was filled in? If studs, no problem compromising the beam to that extent. Also I'm seeing rafters and fairly light duty. Agree that more whole picture is needed and probably all of the beam exposed. Hard to say if that electrician just doesn't want to bother with know nothing home owner, or a hack. BTW, mark the locations so you don't ever put nails or screws in the area, and a metal plate on the roof sheathing so roofing nail doesn't damage the cables. Regular roofing nails can be 1.25 - 1.5".
After adding those caveats, now i feel the guy is a hack.:)
 

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I agree with Larry. I can't figure out what is what from those pictures.
First picture looks like particle board. ???
Second picture is of something (maybe blocking) halfway up the wall.
Third picture is not the top plate, is a 2 x4, between the studs, up near the top plate.

The guy may have drilled a beam, but I am not seeing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Sorry it wasn't clear. I hope this helps. Not sure of the composition of the top plate. The house construction wasn't great so who knows.
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You sure that's a solid beam where indicated ? Above the ladder I see an electrical box --- that would be very difficult to put there if there was a beam there.
 

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I think what is labeled as a beam is a vertical post. But these pictures are still too close up for me to tell up from down.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think what is labeled as a beam is a vertical post. But these pictures are still too close up for me to tell up from down.
It is a beam. I watched him drill through it with a 2' long bit. I don't know what the box is for. Like I said, there is some questionable construction/wiring in this house (not to go into detail). Openings above and below show top and bottom of beam. I can take video if proof needed. The garage is 1.5 stories tall. There is a room above rooms below with stairs (previous owners used one car width of 3 car garage to build these). VERY tall.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It is a 4 x 12" beam. When the electrician got here he drilled at least one more hole! I said that I thought he was only going to drill 5 holes. Then he said it wasn't supporting much like a second floor. I said it is 1 and a half stories and asked if the exterior walls don't support the roof. Doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling that he said "it isn't supporting much". When I got back he had the sheetrock back on.
 

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It is a 4 x 12" beam. When the electrician got here he drilled at least one more hole! I said that I thought he was only going to drill 5 holes. Then he said it wasn't supporting much like a second floor. I said it is 1 and a half stories and asked if the exterior walls don't support the roof. Doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling that he said "it isn't supporting much". When I got back he had the sheetrock back on.
Is there a floor on the other side of wall where the "beam" is? If that's the case, it would probably be considered a rim joist. If there are studs under it every 16 or 24 inches, it's not a beam, because it doesn't span across an opening.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I can only assume there are studs so not a beam but a header? It does go over a couple of windows. It is a garage so there's a concrete floor on the inside. It is the weirdest garage I've seen because it is so tall. He actually found a 2" x 4" PT board (I have a stack) and cut a couple of pieces I guess to reinforce it, though I didn't see what he did. It's a done deal, so I'm not going to sweat it. When the 7.5 earthquake hits we'll see if the garage stays up! Too much to worry about now without getting anxiety over what the contractors do :).
 

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As long as there's studs under in the wall to support it where he drilled the holes, the reduced strength shouldn't be an issue.
 

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Drilled through both. In the pictures at the top, the first one is the top plate and the second is a huge beam. I haven't measured it, but its about 18" by 4".
I have never seen holes drilled in a beam. We often have to build chases for wire to run in because beams are in the way.
You may want an engineers report, paid for by the contractor.
As long as there's studs under in the wall to support it where he drilled the holes, the reduced strength shouldn't be an issue.
Not if the floor is not rated for the load
 

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Your electrician seems to be a maverick. I would send him ir his company a registered letter outlining the hack job he did, with him comments about not supporting much. Point out he is an electrician, not an architect or structural engineer, and say that you will be having the situation evaluated by an engineer and you will be back in touch about reimbursement for damages.
 
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