basement ceiling pipe problem

Old 10-22-01, 08:52 AM
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I am attempting to start finishing my basement and have one wall up. The next wall has a water pipe that sticks down about 2 inches and runs almost the whole wall (10 ft) and another pipe (that runs along the joists) which makes it almost impossible to attach the wall to the ceiling. I don't know how to frame around it or how to fasten the wall to the ceiling.
Old 10-23-01, 08:59 AM
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I just completed my basement project and had the same issue along one of my walls. Mine was a gas pipe which went the entire length of my basement wall. It was originally placed 2 - 3" out from the concrete, I was able to take down several of the pipe hangers and move the pipe farther out by another 2". Thus able to slide my stud wall in back of the pipe, and since my hung ceiling is a little over 4" from the joists, then this pipe is hidden by the ceiling but is also accessable.

If you can not move the pipe a few inches and you don't want to move the stud wall out from the basement wall a few inches, then you can build the stud wall under the pipe and secure with "L" brackets or strap steel. With a hung ceiling then it will be hidden, with a drywall ceiling you could get 1" x ? lumber to fil the gap on the face side. Just nail it in the space between the stud wall and the joists.

Just remember none of these walls you are building in the basement are structural (i.e. supporting the house itself)so you do not have to build it to withstand those pressures. Building the walls with 2x4's and on 16" centers is more for ease of attaching drywall,getting a straight wall, and insulating. Secure it to the concrete floor and ceiling just so that it does not move around. In fact in my area code requires a minimum of 1" gap between a basement wall and the joists above it. However with that said, I asked several contractors and looked at several completed basements in my area and not a one of them have that gap. All were nailed to the joists above.

Good Luck. Mike
Old 10-25-01, 11:10 AM
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Funny, the reason I found this forum was for the exact same problem. My pipes run for about 6' below the joists and is the only problem on this wall. Since it's only 1" PVC water pipe I'm assuming it would be safe to simply reroute the pipe through a few joists by drilling holes? Do most codes allow for this? The holes would be no bigger than ones made for running wires. Being only about 6' long, I can nail the portions that can reach the joists, and use adhesive to the wall for the slightly shorter sections that can't. How close are these pipes to your wall and joists?

On the other hand, since the other side of the room has this same issue that can't be rerouted, I may just soffit both sides of the room about 6" down and 6" in with 2x2s to make it symmetrical. Then maybe add some crown molding to accent the 'design'. However this will involve a lot more work. Any opinions?

Obviously I'm planning on drywalling the ceiling too, suspended is not an option.

What kind of pipe is it that runs along the joist but underneath it?

Old 10-26-01, 03:01 AM
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Yes, you can drill holes through the joists and reroute the pipe there. Clearly, any holes will weaken the joists, so you might want to consider whether they might be near their limits anyway (but this is not usually the case).

Holes should be drilled dead center (top to bottom) of the joist. And they should not be drilled in the middle third of their span (in fact, the closer the holes are to the supported ends of the joist (within reason), the less they weaken the joist).

The holes made for running wires are usually only 3/4". The hole you would have to make for a 1" PVC (inside diameter) will probably be more like 1.25". Be sure to cushion the pipes to prevent future problems with water hammer. I think you're okay. If in doubt, consult a structural engineer.

Most professional basement finishers would simply move the wall a few more inches away from the foundation to avoid a pipe running near the foundation. Of course, it's your inches they are sacrificing, not theirs. The suggestions here made by others are good too. Any basement finish is an exercise in constant innovation to handle the obstacles.
Old 11-06-01, 02:20 PM
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I have pipes and central air ducts in the basement of the 50 year old house I bought. The previous owner finshed the basement with paneling, not dry wall. He soffitted all the pipes and ducts. It looks very nice. I am in the process of ripping down all my paneling and putting up dry wall. The contractors I interviewed for the job like the soffitting and are going to duplicate it in dry wall. Since the framing is cosmetic as oppossed to structural, you can simply add 2 X 4's to make the soffits.

Hope this helps.
Old 11-07-01, 02:41 AM
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Sure if you want to use 2x4's you can. I used 2x2's on mine. You might think the 2x2's are too flimsy, but once it is all nailed / screwed together it is very strong. However it does not really matter, remember they are not structural nor load bearing. If you use 2x4's be sure to put the horizontal ones flat side down (on their side) to save on headroom. No reason to take an additional 2" off your floor to soffit ceiling height.

Look back in some old posts on this board (last spring) and soffits were discussed several times. It might give you some tips on building them easily.

Good Luck.

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