Pulling wire through a horizontal plate

Old 08-12-02, 07:08 AM
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Pulling wire through a horizontal plate

Does anyone know of a way to put a hole in a horizontal plate inside a wall without tearing down the drywall?

Here's my problem.

I'm trying to drop wires to a new outlet at standard outlet height, however I can't come from below. For some reason the original builder put a horizontal plate inside the wall at about 4 feet. I discovered this after about 30 minutes of yelling back and forth to my wife from the attic crawl space telling her to grab thewire through the outlet hole I had cut. After dropping about 20 feet of wire through the hole I had drilled in the top plate and swinging it all over the place, she still couldn't see it. That's when I opened the top hole up and took a peak inside to see a 2x4 running horizontally between the studs, preventing me from dropping the line down to the outlet.

Is there some type of a long bit or anged drill that I could use to reach up from below or maybe cut a small hole in the drywall (small enough to patch with mud only) just above it and drill through that 2x4?

Any thoughts?

Old 08-12-02, 07:26 AM
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Yes, you can buy a long drill bit. No you won't be able to patch a drywall hole with mud only, but if you prefer, you can cut out a square of drywall that spans the firestop. With the old square, some mud and drywall tape, you can put the square back.
Old 08-13-02, 04:59 AM
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If you drill through the horizontal plate, make sure you do it at least 1 3/4 inches from either side of the plate and cover it with a steel plate made for this, they sell them at the big box stores 4 for $1 I think. It will be an inch wide and 2 inches long with four small spikes on the back side. This will keep a nail from going into the wire If you ever hung anything there in the future.
Old 08-13-02, 10:08 AM
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You can also purchase a flexible extension bit to add to your drill and use that to put through the hole you already have at the bottom where the wire is going to terminate and drill up from the bottom. You can purchase a straight extension bit but, these are hard to negotiate into a small opening, especially one located at receptacle height, and be able to get the bit truly straight so it is over the intended destination of the wires.

If you decide to drill through the firestop, it is advisable to get the hole directly above the new outlet, this will make it easier to snake the wire down the wall.

You can also cut a hole the size of a single receptacle box directly in front of the firestop on the wall, making sure to place the hole so it is both above and below the stop and then use a wood chisel to cut a channel in the wood and then place a "kickplate" or metal plate over the channel and the wire. Make sure that you save the piece of drywall that you cut out!!!!

To repair the hole you will need two short piece of furring strip, they should be about one and a half times the height of the hole that you are repairing. Insert the furring strips horizontally with the broad side facing out to you. Place one above and one below the firestop and secure these to the inside of the wall with a couple of drywall screws. Now you can take the piece that you cut out and use two screws to put it back in place, tape it and mud it and you'll never know it happened.

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