I hired an electrician to replace an illuminated bathroom medicine
cabinet with a wall light fixture over a mirror (and do a bunch of other
stuff). The medicine cabinet was supplied by house original (40+ yr
old) NM wire running through a hole in the plaster (no box) into the top
of the medicine cabinet. The new light fixture (with box) is higher and
to the left of the original hole. There is a stud between the original
hole and the new box.
The electrician ran the wire in front of the stud in an exposed hole,
then back inside the wall to the new box. He removed some wood from the
stud, but wire isn't any deeper than the back of the plaster.
I want to seal the hole even though there will be a mirror in front of
it. Unfortunately he was gone before I saw his method--although
drilling in the middle of the stud would have required opening up the
wall. How do I fill this hole properly? If I use a spackling compound
it will be pressed into the NM wire where it crosses in front of the
stud. Even if that is ok, it would be bad if someone put a nail or hole
there since the wire is so close to the plaster/spackling and it doesn't
look like there would even be a wire there, since it is well below and
to the right of the new existing light fixture.
This was a real licenced electrician? If so, he/she should have put the
plate over it.
It sounds like he cut a notch in the stud so the wire would run below
the edge giving room for the nail plate but never put the plate on.
Even though I've repeatedly heard this is the way to do it, I've always
wondered what's to stop anyone from drilling for say a molly to the side
of that plate? Wire isn't going to move. Hope it's a cheapo drill.
That's why when drilling for a molly or other winged anchor where your
intent is only to make a hole in the drywall or plaster to slip the hardware
through, you should be careful and go no deeper than needed to get thru the
drywall or plaster so as not to hit wires, plumbing, etc. It would be good
if you are in an exterior wall that you try not to even break thru the
insulation vapor barrier. Whereas when you are drilling into into a stud
you would normally want to go deeper into the wood, and the plate will
prevent you from doing that.
That's what I always do. More was talking about how codes have some of
the darndest things to protect the uninformed homeowner but his one,
which is even obvious to the avg DIY'r, is not considered.
Maybe there is some code rule about it. I have no idea. What I know about
code is from word of mouth, NG's and plain old thinking "If I do that
than there's an accident waiting to happen". Maybe that translates to
plain old Hack.
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