Drilling holes in load bearing beams


I need to run wiring for my home entertainment setup thru an exterior wall. This is obviously a load bearing wall and I assume that it's 2x6 beams, I am not sure what the code is in NJ. This is the first floor of a two story house and I wood need to drill holes in approximately 3 beems to go accross a four foot span. I would appreciate any advice on if I can drill or notch the beams and to what extent. Also these beams are above a window, so I would also have a header beam to contend with. I appreciate all advice.
Thanks; Marty
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MartyZ wrote:

Drill the smallest holes possible in the center of any beam. Check out the super extra long drill bits available at box stores like Lowes. Not likely that the new holes would have any significant effect on beam strength. HTH
Joe
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wall.
You can get local information from your municipal building permit office. The main question is whether owner-occupiers may make changes that violate the code for new construction. A second consideration is whether a non-code change invalidates your householder's insurance. Not many insurance brokers know much about fire, building methods and materials etc.
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Don Phillipson
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MartyZ wrote:

Marty-
Here's my reply to a previous thread.....(slightly edited)
Best to drill joists in center of the joist depth, never in the center 1/3 of the span and 6" or more from the bearing ends
Max hole size is 1/3 the joist depth & min edge distance is 2"

Section R502.8.1 Sawn Lumber:
"The diameter of holes bored or cut into members shall not exceed one-third the depth of the member. Holes shall not be closer than 2 inches to the top or bottom of the member, or to any other hole located in the member. Where the member is also notched, the hole shall not be closer than 2 inches to the notch."
this code passage says 2" minimum "meat" between holes...I would suggest that hole spacing should depend on hole diameter...the code passage would allow 3" holes in a 2x10 with only 2" of meat between them ...that would make me nervous
cheers Bob
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I think you mean 'studs' (vertical), not 'beams' (horizontal). 2x6s would never be used as anything but studs or sill/cap plates in residential construction. Since this is near ceiling, are we talking about speaker leads? Or is this coax feeds to the external antenna mounted on corner of house?
If speakers, easiest method is to remove baseboard and run it behind that, fishing down and then back up in the appropriate stud cavity. Being an outside wall, you will be fighting with the insulation. If coax, usual practice is to go through floor, then through basement ceiling and out through band joist above the sill plate. (Unless you are on a slab, of course.)
aem sends...
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| | | I think you mean 'studs' (vertical), not 'beams' (horizontal). 2x6s would | never be used as anything but studs or sill/cap plates in residential | construction.
it's obvious you know nothing about rough construction.
actually 2x6's are used for headers, ceiling joists, rafters, beams, studs, sil plates, and solid blocking in residential construction.
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in a 2x6 you can drill a hole up to 7/8" in the center of the stud but not more than 2 consecutive studs. but you can not drill a hole through a header. you are better off drilling down into the bottom plate and back up in a different bay.
|I need to run wiring for my home entertainment setup thru an exterior wall. | This is obviously a load bearing wall and I assume that it's 2x6 beams, I | am not sure what the code is in NJ. This is the first floor of a two | story house and I wood need to drill holes in approximately 3 beems to go | accross a four foot span. I would appreciate any advice on if I can drill | or notch the beams and to what extent. Also these beams are above a | window, so I would also have a header beam to contend with. I appreciate | all advice. | | Thanks; | Marty
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Since when can't you drill through a header? Somewhere, sometime, some place, someone has to go through a header with something.

If it were significant, going through a sill plate would be worse than going through a header.
As for drilling through (horizontal) beams, drilling on the neutral axis (center) of the beam does minimal harm to the strength of the beam. Some (all?) manufactured trusses have prepunched holes of about 1-1/2" diameter at regular intervals along the length.
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