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Top Plate - Holes

999 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Mystriss
Hello, I have a question regarding the top plate that supports a second level joist. There was electrical fire damage at my home due to bad electrical wiring above the load center. The breaker box is offset from the exterior wall framing/not directly under the top plate. A section of the top plate was removed and replaced with new wood due to charring. Now the electrician came in and drilled 13 holes in the new section of plate. My concern is that the plate supports a second level joist which in turn supports a wall; have the holes in the plate over-weakened the integrity of the wood? I don't see the need for the holes in the plate since the breaker box is not directly under the plate; there is plenty of open space above the box to run wires. In my opinion, I believe the original box was installed offset from the wall to avoid drilling thru the plate. Please let me know your thoughts - pictures attached.


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Is the next joist that is original sitting on a top plate that was cut off in steps and actually sits on nothing on one end? I would have doubled up a stud and put the top plate splice of the lower member on the double stud so both are supported. The top member splice would go on top of the next stud over. Then the splices would be supported and the wall would not have a hinge point.
One row of 3/4” holes would not bother me. I would not accept 2 rows of holes. I would rebuild it to be supported and not drilled to death while it is open.
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No lack of brains there.

Have them pull it off the wall so you can stand a stud directly under the joists.

If any one tells you that it is OK, tell them to have an engineer write that down for you.
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Thanks Thomas, please see a more complete view in the attached photo. I really regret using the contractor that was pushed on me by the insurance company. After pressuring them they are replacing the plate again - this will be the 3rd time the box is installed. They initially installed the box surrounded by burned wood - it was so bad that you cold move the box back and forth (see photo). I had them replace the burned wood (after a day of complaining); now they've drilled the plates to death and are having to redo the work again. It's absurd. My whole thought process is - there doesn't need to be any holes for the wires in the plate - there is plenty of room above the box; it sits outside the frame.


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From that pic I am equally concerned about support for the joist in question and the next one to the left. I was a county inspector and it would not pass. In our state a building permit is required for anything structural, and that is structural. Lots of people close the door and hack away with no permit and then they live with the results.
When evaluating it, think about the joists pushing down. With joists between studs, it needs a doubled top plate. If they were on top of the studs, a single top plate would be ok. Both ends of every plate member needs to bear above a stud and both cannot be spliced in the same place.
If you have access from the rear, it would be an easy matter to add a double stud directly under the double joist.

If no access from behind, have the doofus remove his can so you can add that double stub.

There seems to be no reason for him to have drilled all those holes.
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My gleaning from the internet said that any holes through a double top/bottom plate had to be about a foot apart.

I'd totally spit that back as "OMG WHAT DID YOU DO!!"
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