Exposed Romex wiring - drilling into beam to hide wire?

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In our kitchen, 3 different Romex wires come down from the attic into the main room and then into the wall to power 3 different outlets. We'd like to redrill the attic holes to be behind the wall so this wire isn't exposed. There appears to be a ~4inch beam that we'll need to drill through (I am assuming this is why the wire comes into the room and then snakes back into the wall - to avoid this beam?)
Is this a problem to drill three small holes in the center of this beam?
any advice is appreciated!
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On Wed, 08 Jan 2014 18:44:02 +0000, SethF

I think I know what you're saying but I'm not sure. Could you post a pic somewhere so we can see?
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replying to SethF, SethF wrote:

Hi Thanks for replying. Here are some pictures of what i'm trying to do - click to open the full size version of the image
click to open the full size version of the image
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SethF wrote:

Your links didn't work for me, but I re-formatted them above and also here:
.
Hopefully, these will work.
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TomR wrote:

It looks like these wires used to be in a soffit or above/behind cabinets.
I am not sure, but you may be able to chisel out a couple of small channels, push the wires back into those channels so they would be behind the surface of the wall and ceiling, cover the wires in those areas with metal nailing plates so that no one could accidentally nail into the wires, and then patch over the those areas with plaster. If that is do-able, and if it is legal code-wise, that would save you from having to drill holes and re-route the wires.
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I agree too.

I don't understand this.

maybe that's what Oren is saying.
If it is code-legal.
I ran some Romex down an outside wall, and got stuck at a fire-break. I did what was done with your place, and 25 years later, still no permanent repair. Not as ugly as yours, though, OP, and the sideways part under the window I did correctly. . When I'm ready to die, I'll let the new owners fix it.
Oh yeah, at the ceiling too, but smaller and neater than yours. I tried for hours to drill a hole in the top plate of the wall. Soffitts only 10" or so, so roof very close to plate. I think I could do it now with the smaller right angle drill attachment I have, and by starting with a smaller drill bit, but anyhow, drilling in at an angle I thought I'd succeeded when I suddenly thought, maybe the drill went through the outside wall. And sure enough it was sticking out of the house. I patched that with brown latex caulk that matched the house and 29 years later, it hasn't shrunk a bit and is still unnoticeable.
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There also flexible bits that help in situations like this.
http://www.lashen.com/vendors/greenlee/images/DVersi6.jpg
Many years ago I was running a network cable to my daughter's room. The easiest route was down from the attic, into her closet and then out through the bottom of the wall. It was easier to drill up through the closet ceiling than down from the attic, so I measured everything exactly and marked my location. The attic has plywood on the floor but not all the way to side walls. I knew that I would feel the long drill bit drill through the ceiling, then move freely through the joist bay and then drill through the plywood. That's exactly what I felt...sort of.
What actually happened is that I just missed the edge of the plywood floor and drilled through the roof sheathing. A simple cable run ended up with the extension ladder out and me crawling on the roof with a tube of roofing tar...in the rain.
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On Thu, 9 Jan 2014 13:16:01 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

Sorry I had that. Forgot to mention it, but that's how I could be in the attic and the bit was sticking a foot out of the wall 3 feet from the top of wall.
I also had the tool that would point the bit down, even if it was curved before entering the wall. What might have helped was a 3 foot flex bit instead of a 6 foot one, but the 6' worked for everything else.
I could probably get it right now, the part at the ceiling, and I could probably patch the part at the firebreak decently. Oh, well.

LOL. As bad as me.

Well I ddin't know you coudl use roofing tar in the rain, so some good came of this.
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On 1/8/2014 2:44 PM, SethF wrote:

Not totally conclusive but presuming that the one is the top of the top plate from the attic and the other is the same top plate from inside the kitchen, with the simple caveat already noted of being certain there's nothing else hidden where your drill's going to go, it surely appears that's what should've been done in the first place.
Looks like inept previous homeowner addition? If so, I'd recommend checking sizes of wiring re: breakers and for proper connection of neutrals vis a vis grounds and hots and also ensure no other faux pas like intermediary junctions or the like.
What's on these circuits and are they separate circuits and if so, why? It's possible that perhaps the even better solution would be to simply extend an existing circuit if they're just additional outlets altho need to ensure what the loading/count/locations are. Likely in the kitchen they also need GFCI now even though may not have when originally down.
So, likely the answer to the specific question asked is "yes" but there's also likely more to the question than asked to have a complete answer.
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On Wed, 08 Jan 2014 20:44:01 +0000, SethF

Based on those pictures it looks like you could drill the necessary holes through the top plate and sill plate (beam) to reroute the wires without a problem. I am assuming your "beam" is wood. As long as your drywall is going to need some work anyway it would be best to enlarge the holes in the drywall so you can get a better look around the area you're going to be drilling into to make sure there are no other wires, plumbing, phone lines, satellite cable or dead animal carcasses you could damage.
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On Wed, 08 Jan 2014 15:38:34 -0600, Gordon Shumway

Gordon is on the right track. I assume you can get the wires loose on the end in that room. Cut out a pretty good size rectangle in the wall and ceiling, drill up through the top plate once you see you are not going to hit anything else, reroute the wire and do your drywall patch. A big hole is usually easier to fix than a small hole (spanning stud to stud, tape and mud like a regular joint).,
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*It looks as though you removed the soffitt and found exposed wires. I have seen that happen a few times. Just one of those surprises that comes up during a remodeling job. If those wires were installed during the original construction, you probably will not be able to yank them out because they will be stapled to the side of the wood stud as it goes down the wall. You may have to cut a few holes in the wall to free them up. However the plaster walls and the gas pancake box tell me that this is a much older house and the wires shown are newer. That means that the wires could have been fished down the walls and should be able to be pulled back out.
The other possibility is to cut them and pull them up into the attic and install an accessible junction box. Then fish down new wires from the newly installed accessible junction box through the top plate. Leave the old wires in the wall if you can't get them out.
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On Wed, 08 Jan 2014 20:44:01 +0000, SethF

Do yourself a favor and run new wires - or re-fish those wires. Don't drill anything but plaster.
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On Wednesday, January 8, 2014 8:34:54 PM UTC-5, Vic Smith wrote:

Good grief.
A - It's clearly drywall, not plaster
B - Electricians drill holes in studs, top plates, etc all the time. It's the perfectly normal way of running wire.
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Totally illegal and bush-league. If you can pull the wire back up and drill through the beam, it would be MUCH better.
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SethF wrote:

That's called a top-plate. Yes you can drill a 3/4" or 1" hole through it for two 12 AWG Romex cables. If the second cable (the white 4-conductor one for the switched circuit) also needs to come down, drill a separate hole at least 1" away from the other. Do all the drilling first before pushing the wire down one hole, you don't want to nick a wire by drilling a second hole next to one that's already filled.
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*That 4" beam sounds like a double top plate which is supporting the floor above. No problem drilling through it for wires, but keep your holes small and not too close together. Around here (NJ) those holes are supposed to be sealed with a fire rated caulk which you can find at Home Depot. Watch out for nails. As someone else mentioned, a picture would be very helpful.
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As others have mentioned, pictures would help.
I'd like to know what you mean by "exposed". Where are they exposed? In full view of anyone in a room? I hope not!
Please explain what you mean by "exposed".
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replying to DerbyDad03 , SethF wrote:

Exposed as the picture shows in the above post. Thanks for the input.
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Bob F wrote:

You obviously didn't read the previous posts in this thread or you'd have known he posted a link to the photos and not the pics themselves . -- Snag
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