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gottodo1 06-13-2013 08:49 PM

? about Electrical wiring through Joists
So, I cut out some ceiling drywall in the basement and what do I see, 12 3/8 " holes in a perfect horizontal row ~half an inch above the bottom of the joist with an avg of 1/8" of wood between the holes and only 1, 12awg wire set in each... for about 10 joists in a row before most of the wires had split off... I mean really WTF did the previous owner think he was doing. He gave me a permit & inspection that when the panel was upgraded to 150A serivce in '96 (only a 1989 house) was done he had it inspected but what type of country bumpkin would OK this... I should take a picture it's pretty funny, if you're not the owner.

So he violated what ~3 codes... SO what do I do? I found this website that confirmed what I thought it should look like

Should I pull all the wires out and reinforce the joist then make 4 or 5 2" holes in the center to route those and the new wires through in the center That's at least a 20 day job with lots of dry walling... and I'm not good at drywalling to make it look good.

Or just re-use the current holes , make a few bigger and stick the new circuits through or... patch it up pretend I never saw it move a foot down and drill a new 2" hole in the center for the new circuits...What's the "right" thing to do? will it matter? Should I expect the house to collapse in a vortex of death and destruction followed by the formation of an unstable singularity, fed by the photons of despair, this house has created in my soul, that I am telepathetically emitting, all centered 10 inches under the fridge ...

I also found out the 150A panel & the off peak panel are on the same lug in my power company box... that was sealed... I mean WOW can no one in ND do anything right, the owner, power company & inspector must have all been drinking buddies at the lodge or something...

30k into the perfect house that only needed new carpet and a coat of paint...

nealtw 06-13-2013 09:36 PM

Perhaps the permit didn't cover all the work that was done, if you know what I mean.
If you have 2x10 joists, he has brought down to the strength to say 2x8. You would have to check the load and span to see if you still have a good floor.
At the very least he should have put steal plates on the bottom of the joists so the drywall screw could not get to the wire. Evan if the drywaller was carefull the homeowner could screw a hook or something into it anytime.
What are the joists and distance between the barring walls? You might find a stamp close to the end that will tell what kind of wood it is.

gottodo1 06-14-2013 11:00 AM

They are just standard 2x10 joists not a manufactured type or anything. Look like pine but I'm by no means an expert :|. There's no way I can get towards the end to check either. The place where the wires are over wall downstairs so probably 6" (hopefully 6 may be 4") away from the foundation that supports the beam.

So I just checked the holes start 4" away from the end that's supported by the foundation. I'm not an ME but I'm 90% sure you can't do load calculations like that where this now equals a 2x8, I think it's alot more complex than that but...

I guess what I'm really concerned with is do I need to do anything, one contractor I had over said I needed to pull all the wires out and reinforce each joist which he said would cost no less than 10k because of where the 10 or so joists are (finished rooms and such). He said if it was just one joist it wouldn't be a problem but as it's 10 joists all in the same location, all the same distance from the foundation, all done the same way, that's why he thought this would be a problem. Then again I'm sure he also thought he could screw this poor sap who's stuck with this and isn't that familiar with the way things are "done" in ND. He also said I didn't need a permit...

SO I guess another way to ask this question is, can a 2x8 really support a floor? The current setup hasn't sagged or anything in 15 years, is it really going to start now?

nealtw 06-14-2013 11:41 AM

Any time I have run into things like this, we get an engineer involved. They check the span and weight loads and come up with the answer, fix it or leave it, not sure what they use for criteria.
Perhaps you should re-post this in framing, there are engineers that check in there from time to time. They would want to know the length of the joists and whats above it, bathroom, kitchen etc.

CallMeVilla 06-14-2013 12:36 PM

Seems like you could glue-and-screw sistered 2x10 to the region of the damage. I don't see $10K in that effort. Clearly, the holes are wrong but this is fixable.

Deep breathing is required, then a sensible remediation plan, then a few days to repair.

nealtw 06-14-2013 02:03 PM

He is looking for a salution without removing all the drywall and moving the wires, The question is are they to weak to continue doing the job or can something be added as they are to make them stronger.

Ocean_Man 06-14-2013 10:35 PM

Post photos please. Are you talking about a single #12 conductor or a #12 nm/romex cable? Is it just one wire you need to re-run? Where do you think it comes from? Where do you think it goes? Are sheet rockers cheap where you live?

gottodo1 06-15-2013 02:24 PM

Ocean Man,
My question is actually structural not electrical but becuase it was caused by electrical I thought maybe someone with electrical experience may have seen something like this. I am talking about 10 joists all having the same 12 holes drilled through the joist, half an inch or so above the bottom all ~1/4" apart from each other. The wire type doesn't bother me, some's romex some's actually outdoor single strand wire (not sure why he used that but it's the right gauge and the right jacket material PTFE ).. I will try to get photos on Wed (on business travel). ...

I'm inclined to agree with Neal, but the contractor who said he was an engineer is the one who said that structurally it needed to be fixed. If I was in AZ I would suck it up and dump 10k in but here I have not met a good contractor so I'm just trying to see what other people think or have seen.

TBH If it hasn't sagged by now I'm willing to bet it will be okay and I may leave it at that but, my thought was can I just pull the wires out, slap 2, 2x10's on each side for say 3 feet bolt them on and call it good. I was also thinking being lazy and not doing that and just putting some 2x8's on would probably be good too. Could I do that on every other joist as some of them shouldn't be that awful to get to, atleast one is down right impossible , because it's the joist above the 2x6 wall for the main drain for the house, there's no room there to add 4" more of wood behind the 4" drain without replumbing the whole thing..., I think that's part of why his quote was so high... oh well, once I make a decision I'll let you guys know.

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