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
Is this a problem to drill three small holes in the center of this beam?
any advice is appreciated!
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
Besides removing plaster you could notch the wood if space is needed.
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.
There also flexible bits that help in situations like this.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
A big hole is usually easier to fix than a small hole (spanning stud
to stud, tape and mud like a regular joint).,
*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.
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.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety,
deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Ben Franklin
*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.
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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