How Should I Reroute Electrical?

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npautler
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How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by npautler » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:34 am

How Should I Reroute Electrical?

We are remodeling the kitchen in our 1960's home. We took the walls down to the studs along with removing the kitchen soffit that ran all around the perimeter. There wasn't anything structural in the soffits. But the kitchen sink vent stack did elbow out from the stud cavity into the soffit about 6" (3rd picture) and then about 3.5' (2nd picture) to the main stack in the adjacent wall. Inside this same stud cavity is also where the house's electrical wiring comes up from the panel in the basement (1st picture).

In an effort to get rid of the soffit entirely our plumber is going to route the vent stack through the top plate and out the roof. Which I am fine with. But I also need to reroute the electrial so that the drywall can sit flush against the wall.

I am not sure how I should go about doing this. My ideas so far are 1) Easy way out - notch the top plate put the wires in there and then put a steel plate over the notch. OR 2) splice the wires (there are 12 all together that would need to be spliced), install a large junction box near the top plate to house the wires, then run them through the top plate and down the joists etc. I would cover the box with a plate and it would be largey hidden at the top of out upper cabinets and crown moulding. I do plan on rewiring these circuits down the road because these NM cables do not have a ground wire (all 12/2 or 12/3 no ground, 15 or 20amp, the range cable comes up through the floor in a different area). And I figure this would give me easier access to the wires for fishing later down the road (rather than crawling on my belly through an attic full of blown-in insulation. However, I am not sure if this is allowed by code (assuming it meets box fill restrictions etc).

Does anyone have any other ideas or advise?
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0FD3FA3B-908E-4103-8CF8-AEEE59521316.jpeg
Corner of kitchen. Sink wasteline/vent and electrical coming of same stud cavity.
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Where the kitchen vent stack connects to the main stack.
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This is where the kitchen soffit was. The vent stack elbowed out at the top plate, the electrical does not run through the top plate but is just stapled near the top and then runs through the joist
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View of the panel in the basement directly under the kitchen corner. The two larger conduits on the right side house the NM cables that run up into the stud cavity in question
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A. Spruce
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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by A. Spruce » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:15 am

Here's what I come up with:

1 - If you have enough slack in the wires, I'd notch the plate, this will be the easiest thing to do.
2 - Fur out the wall 1" to 2" to allow space for the wires to pass around the plate and where they run horizontally.
3 - Install an oversize crown molding or drywall detail that looks like a crown molding to give the wires a place to play without modifying anything. This detail would be carried around the room.
4 - If cabinets are going to be on this wall, frame and drywall over the wires at the ceiling, then notch the back of the cabinet to accommodate the bulge in the wall. You MUST maintain drywall over the wires as this acts as a fire break to keep fire from spreading as quickly as it would with open holes.
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emtnut
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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by emtnut » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:59 pm

Since you have the wall open, now is the time to replace all those cables.

You could install a temporary junction box upstairs, or build a temporary vertical channel in the wall so that you can easily fish them out after (and get rid of the channel when you are finished that part)

If you bury them in any notches, you won't easily (without ripping out drywall) replace them later.

I would get some multi cable supports for these as well (see pic) , you have what is called 'bundling' , and is a code violation (valid one, since these can heat up if under heavy loads)
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Aaron
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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by Aaron » Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:43 pm

Yeah agreed, it looks like all those white electrical cables are tangled up in some spots. I would separate them all out from the bundle and nail a 2x4 blocking horizontally in the study cavity that is the chase for all those circuits. Space them vertically apart so you have three of them between floor and ceiling. Arrange the cables in groups of two, and staple them to the blocking using staples suitable for two stacked cables.

You can also use that fanning accessory in lieu of the blocking that emtnut posted a pic of above, if that's more convenient. Just be sure not to put more than two cables per slot.

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emtnut
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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by emtnut » Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:31 am

Another possibility is to disconnect at the panel, route all wires in the wall where you want them, then reconnect at the panel.
I'd suggest leaving all cables 'loose' in the wall, so you can pull them out when you start work upstairs.

Technically this is a code violation, but if you are reno-ing soon, fishing wires in the wall un-secured IS compliant.
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npautler
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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by npautler » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:22 am

Couple of additional questions, I’ve searched online and some of these seem debated on by electricians. As information, I have roughly twelve 12/2 cables (a few are actually 14/2 but for simplicity let’s just say all are 12/2). That I need to run up two stud cavities into the attic where they will run along the ceiling joist and split off at different areas. I have purchased the cable stackers that emtnut recommended and also have staples that are rated and big enough to stack two 12/2 cables under.

1. What is the largest hole I can bore into a 2x4? Setback rule is 1.25” from the face, if that is either side of a 2x4 (actual dimension 3.5”) the answer seems to be 1”. I don’t have a 1” spade bit, I have a 7/8” that I will be using (also have a 3/4"). But will this size hole compromise the integrity of the load bearing stud?

2. As a follow-up, how many 12/2 wires can be run through each 7/8" hole? I have the “Wiring Simplified” 2017 NEC edition and it says:

“As a practical matter, putting a NEC 310.15(B)(3)(a) together with 240.4(B)(1) under these restrictions (dealing with ampacity restrictions and bundling) means that for common applications you can’t put more than four cables together through a common set of holes.”

However, I have found other sources that say that no more than two cables should be ran through a hole (and other sources say even more than four is okay).
I have two hole bored through the bottom plate of the wall already (both in the same stud cavity as show in the pictures above) the cable stackers say they are rated to handle four 12/2 wires. So my plan is to have three runs of four cables each.

3. Assuming the limit is four cables as stating in the book I have, is there a rule or best practice for the distance between multiple holes in the same framing member? For example, 1” apart from the next?

4. When I get into the attic, I would like to use these cable stackers along the ceiling joists as well but the nail mount only allows them to be mount perpendicular to the joists (i.e. the cables will stick out away and not sit flush against the joist). Is that okay? Can I “double decker” the runs along a single joist with two cable stackers spaced a couple inches apart so that four wires sit on top of another four wires?

Sorry for all the questions. I have attached a picture of what I have planned thus far for the runs in the wall. Appreciate all the feedback.
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Aaron
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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by Aaron » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:22 pm

npautler wrote: 1. What is the largest hole I can bore into a 2x4? Setback rule is 1.25” from the face, if that is either side of a 2x4 (actual dimension 3.5”) the answer seems to be 1”. I don’t have a 1” spade bit, I have a 7/8” that I will be using (also have a 3/4"). But will this size hole compromise the integrity of the load bearing stud?
An ideal hole boring tool is an auger bit. They look like a long corkscrew. They make nice smooth holes in lumber, and are ideal for boring holes for electrical cables and tubing. They're more expensive than spades, but they last longer and are probably easier on your drill.

3/4" is pretty typical for electrical cables. Optionally you can notch studs, too, and staple cables into the notches. You'll need to nail on a protective plate to ensure protection from drywall screws.
npautler wrote: 2. As a follow-up, how many 12/2 wires can be run through each 7/8" hole? I have the “Wiring Simplified” 2017 NEC edition and it says:

“As a practical matter, putting a NEC 310.15(B)(3)(a) together with 240.4(B)(1) under these restrictions (dealing with ampacity restrictions and bundling) means that for common applications you can’t put more than four cables together through a common set of holes.”

However, I have found other sources that say that no more than two cables should be ran through a hole (and other sources say even more than four is okay).
I have two hole bored through the bottom plate of the wall already (both in the same stud cavity as show in the pictures above) the cable stackers say they are rated to handle four 12/2 wires. So my plan is to have three runs of four cables each.
Yeah there's quite a bit of ambiguity about this subject. You'll find new electrical construction today with bundles of NM cable all running horizontally through joists, racing from one end of a house to the other.

It's really just a question of rating (or derating, really) in the worst case scenario where all the circuits are fully loaded with 20 amps of current on 12/2 cable or 15 amps on 14/2. Resistance in the cabling releases heat, and if bundled cables are also releasing heat, it needs air flow to cool.

That's not to say the cables get hot, it's more of a technical specification to account for a worst-case and likely extremely rare scenario.

Best practice is to seek the answer from your local jurisdiction, as they will either follow NEC or they will have their own codes based on NEC.
npautler wrote: 3. Assuming the limit is four cables as stating in the book I have, is there a rule or best practice for the distance between multiple holes in the same framing member? For example, 1” apart from the next?
I am not totally sure about this. I would space the holes as far apart as you practically can, and you could reinforce it with a steel strap on the stud. The steel strap would not only restore some structure to the perforated stud but it would also double as a protector plate.

Emtnut or Shannon -- any ideas? I'm thinking if a joist is sitting on it, there ought not be any holes but if it's between joists it may not matter so much?
npautler wrote: 4. When I get into the attic, I would like to use these cable stackers along the ceiling joists as well but the nail mount only allows them to be mount perpendicular to the joists (i.e. the cables will stick out away and not sit flush against the joist). Is that okay? Can I “double decker” the runs along a single joist with two cable stackers spaced a couple inches apart so that four wires sit on top of another four wires?
Yes, you can improvise with the cable stackers. You could also simply tack the cables to the joist itself with staples. Just observe the 1 1/4" rule so the cable is set back from the edge of the joist. Stack no more than two cables under a staple.
npautler wrote: Sorry for all the questions. I have attached a picture of what I have planned thus far for the runs in the wall. Appreciate all the feedback.
I think you have a pretty solid plan. Good to get the cables organized and running neatly.

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Shannon
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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by Shannon » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:54 am

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npautler
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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by npautler » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:21 pm

Aaron,

I was looking at my panel and realized that the green bonding screw is missing from the left bus bar (circled in green in attached photo). There is a screw on the right bus. They appear connected so does it matter? Why would someone remove it from the left. There isn’t a sub panel in this house just as additional information.
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npautler
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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by npautler » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:23 pm

Also, I found this document from Simpson Strong-Tie that appears pretty helpful when drilling or notching framing members. It covers Plumbing, HVAC, and Electrical. Thought I would share:

https://docplayer.net/11577131-Code-com ... guide.html

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Aaron
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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by Aaron » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:12 pm

npautler wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:21 pm
I was looking at my panel and realized that the green bonding screw is missing from the left bus bar (circled in green in attached photo). There is a screw on the right bus. They appear connected so does it matter? Why would someone remove it from the left. There isn’t a sub panel in this house just as additional information.
Yes, both the left and right terminal strips are bonded together by that strap under the the bottom breakers. So it's one long continuous terminal strip. Since it's your service entrance, the bonding screw to the panel chassis is correctly implemented.
npautler wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:23 pm
Also, I found this document from Simpson Strong-Tie that appears pretty helpful when drilling or notching framing members. It covers Plumbing, HVAC, and Electrical. Thought I would share:

https://docplayer.net/11577131-Code-com ... guide.html
Nice, I like how the pic on the first page shows stud shoes around the ABS pipe. Not least for restoring the structure of the stud but also preventing nails into the stud. I often find these missing in new construction, it's amazing. The drywall restores some structure, but drywall should never be relied upon for structure.

The guide will probably show applications that exceed code, because, you know, they want to sell ties. But a quality build will always exceed code.

Rodango
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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by Rodango » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:40 am

As a side note, if you do a fairamount of remodeling or new construction, material sources are always good to have. This catalog shows a few things I didn’t even know were available, much less how to find. (it is a 340 page pdf, but a lot of useful products - sourcebook -> ideabook)

https://cf-store.widencdn.net/ssttoolbo ... C-2019.pdf

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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by emtnut » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:18 am

For derating, the 'internet' answers are all over the place.
First, the NEC and CEC differ on this, so that adds a bit of confusion.

Under CEC rules, you don't have to derate for up to 3 cables. After that you need to derate, but derating is based on the 75˚ rating of the cable.
For most household circuits, you are OK with up to 6 cables.

From what I understand, NEC allows up to 4 NMD cables, and you have to derate 50% after that.
You won't have to derate using the stackers.

Generally you are OK bundling cables for up to 2' as well (local variances may apply)

Note: For your attic, If there is more than 3' of headroom, you need to have the cables on a running board. For the number of cables you have, that may be a good idea even if you are below the 3' headroom.
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npautler
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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by npautler » Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:33 am

There are five runs from the panel that are being replaced with new 12/2 with ground Romex. However, these runs extend into the upper and lower areas of the house that are not being remodeled. I found a good consolidation point to mount some junction boxes where I plan to splice the new Romex with the old fabric sheath 12/2 (no ground) so that later I can rewire those circuits without fishing to the panel.

1) Is there anything in the code that prohibits splicing a cable with ground (or a new cable) to a cable without ground that is fabric sheath (plastic insulated wires)?

2) Assuming this is okay, should I use a metal box and connect the ground wire (from the new cable) to the box?

thanks again for all the information guys!

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Aaron
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Re: How Should I Reroute Electrical?

Post by Aaron » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:04 am

No, you can splice old and new cable. Yes, just connect all grounds together (if more than one cable with ground enters the box) and make sure the metal box is also bonded with a ground pigtail.

If using a plastic box then just connect all the grounds and there is no requirement for a box pigtail.

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