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View Full Version : OT: Electric wiring in basement



datsun280zxt
11-17-2009, 09:18 PM
First off, a short bit of background. I have a house built in the early 1900's added onto several times over the years. My basement is a mess as far as plumbing and wiring is concerned. Sometime in the future, we plan to lift the house and put a concrete basement under the house. Right now it consists of some brick walls, large rock walls, and some areas under the house have just dirt crawl space. I've been slowly working out the electrical, but I have a simple question. When running wiring along the bottom of the main level floor, should I drill floor joists to run the wires, or put them on the 2" section of the 2x8"s when crossing floor joists. My concern is that we will want to finish our new basement when it's done, and I don't want mess up putting ceilings in. Or should I just opt for a drop ceiling in the basement, and keep access to the wiring and plumbing, and then it wouldn't matter how I run the wires.

JoeFin
11-17-2009, 09:24 PM
Drill the floor joist within 24" of a bearing stem wall or foundation. Top 1/3 or bottom 1/3 of the width.

- best I can remember it

chriskat
11-17-2009, 10:07 PM
When I do that kind of thing I try really hard not to drill anything. I don't know how/if that would be possible in your situation but I'd make every effort. If you can live with a drop ceiling that's what I'd probably try, unless I could see another way around drilling.

Having said all that, the "professionals" around here seem to indescriminately drill or cut what they need. I've seen half a floor joist cut out with a sawzall.

Just my opinion.

Don Young
11-17-2009, 10:26 PM
A 5/8" or so hole through the center of a 2X8" will have no significant effect on it's strength. Even large cables or small plumbing pipes are routinely passed through 2X6" joists. There is serious concern if you try to pass plumbing drain pipes through them however. Codes generally require non-metallic cable to be run where it is not likely to be damaged and below the joists in a basement is frowned on by some inspectors.

skyboltone
11-17-2009, 10:31 PM
A 5/8" or so hole through the center of a 2X8" will have no significant effect on it's strength. Even large cables or small plumbing pipes are routinely passed through 2X6" joists. There is serious concern if you try to pass plumbing drain pipes through them however. Codes generally require non-metallic cable to be run where it is not likely to be damaged and below the joists in a basement is frowned on by some inspectors.I'm with Don on this one. Even if you do use a drop ceiling, which I heartily recommend, drill for your wiring and copper water pipe. The reason for the drop ceiling is that someday you'll want to add a plug on the first floor and will have to tear heck out of things to get it in otherwise. If you've got the vertical height that is. Never know when that Oliver 36" bandsaw may follow you home.

datsun280zxt
11-17-2009, 11:03 PM
I'll drill the joists. I figured that was the common method as I've seen it done quite a bit, but I've also seen the notches in some of my existing floor joist from hack plumbers. Once the electrical is wrapped up, the plumbing is next. At least about 1/2 of it is already copper pipe. It's the other half that is plastic, galvanized and other that is the worry....lol. Thanks for the help guys.

kendall
11-17-2009, 11:08 PM
Some codes also require that the wire is located deep in the joist, or has a nail plate over it to prevent nailing it while applying drywall/trim etc.

Ken.

skyboltone
11-17-2009, 11:30 PM
Some codes also require that the wire is located deep in the joist, or has a nail plate over it to prevent nailing it while applying drywall/trim etc.

Ken.
Deep actually means 1.25" from the outside edge of the hole to the face of the stud. Just so a sheetrock nail won't penetrate. As for the other face, on the outside, you aren't supposed to rough wire until the wall sheathing and roof are on.

J Tiers
11-18-2009, 12:33 AM
I think you can still run NM cable on a "running board" if it will be exposed, i.e. run with a board along it for support and protection, like a 1 x 2 or the like, when running perpendicular to joists.

Larger NM cable can be stapled perpendicularly across the bottom of joists, if larger than 2 #6 or 3 #8, IIRC. That rarely is used, so it isn't very relevant.


if you conceal it you will get into the protection and spacing issues.