Wiring in metal stud walls


Old 02-23-04, 09:43 AM
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Wiring in setal stud walls

Hello. I am leaning toward using metal studs in putting up some interior walls in the basement, but had some questions regarding wiring using them.

I know the studs have punch-outs and require grommets for running wire horizontally.

What I am wondering about is bringing the wire down vertically from the joist bay through the top track. Can I just drill a hole that the grommet will fit, or is there something special I need to do?

Also, what do I use to fasten the wire to the stud? I can't staple like with wood studs (my guess is that there is a fastener that screws into the steel stud).

I also want to confirm that since the switch and junction (if any) boxes would be connected to ground there is not a need for additional grounding for the metal stud system.

Thanks for any helpful comments.
Old 02-23-04, 10:07 AM
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Lets See

I have a punch and matching grommets for holes in top rails and studs, too expensive to buy, perhaps a rental place will have one. Mine is a greenlee.

There are clips to fasten the cable to the studs!

I use regular stud mounted boxes and screw them to the studs.

No additional grounding necessary

Before taking any of my advice please read SIG Jerry

Take a look here for the accessories:

Old 02-23-04, 10:12 AM
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Here's an opprotunity for you to exercise your ingenuity----

Consider using "Stack-Its" for securing the cables that run vertically along the studs. A "Stack-It" is a plastic block with slots for clipping the cables into the block where they are "held-in-place" The S-I's are furnished with a nail for fastening the block to a wood framing-member.

You need to contrive a method for securing the S-I's to a metal stud.

Good Luck & Enjoy the Experience!!!!!!!
Old 02-23-04, 11:09 AM
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I love steel studs and would never use wood again. Just read all the rants in basements about twisted wood and how you have to go through 50 box store wood studs to get 3 good ones and then they twist anyway. If you want you could also buy Kiln-Dried studs but they are more expensive.

Also wood is "food" when added to mosture for mold.

Steel studs:

Home Depot has NM Cable clamps with one screw hole ment for steel studs. There are lots of little boxes at HD, you just have to look for them they come ten to a package.

When using the clamps cut a scrap 2*2 inch piece of steel.
The zip screws are easy to strip and sometimes don't hold the clamp to the stud tightly. If you go through the clamp, through the stud and then into the little scrap, it holds great. Just punch a small nail hole in the scrap and line it up once the screw comes through.

The gromets are large, you don't need to drill / cut such a hughe hole at the top track. Drill your self a 1/2" or 3/4" hole at the top.
Then insert a gromet designed for electrical boxes to pass the cable through, just open the tabs up a little and insert it in the direction you will pull your wire.

Where my steel wall was against the foundation, I just ran around the top plate, (the wire runs to the back an then up and over the top plate into the joist cavity above. Use cable clamps to secure the wire near the top before you go up & over.

I started rocking this weekend and the steel studs are true & straight.

At home Depot / Lowes look for new work plastic boxes that have "ears" on them, they have three small holes for mounting at the top & bottom these boxes attach to the side of the stud.
Avoid boxes that attach to the face of the stud as the thickness of the plate + the zip screws can make a small bluge in the sheet rock.

You could also use a short piece of block riped to an 1 1/4 thickness screwed into the track. Then you could use standard nail on boxes. Nail the box from the steel side and then into the wood. I did this where I need a bigger box because the standard screw-on boxes come in only one size.

Hope this helps
Old 02-23-04, 03:59 PM
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Good Job

I think this is a well thought out post, even I got some great ideas about steel studs from it, and thinking I came up with another idea, to go through tops of the metal top plates, cut 7/8 knockout size hole and insert plastic romex connector (blue ones) in the hole as a bushing !!!! Not listed, but seemingly safe !!! Jerry
Old 02-24-04, 07:45 AM
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Thanks for the info folks.

ERIKGENE - great insights. I leaning toward metal, but haven't used it before and am trying to figure out some of these practical details in my head before I start.
Old 02-24-04, 10:53 PM
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My local Home Depot had a big stack of "cheat sheets" in the steel stud section. Covers all the basics... choosing stud size, wall construction, corners, window openings, door openings, estimating material, you name it.

After doing most of my basement 2 years ago in wood studs, I'm framing the remaining room in steel stud. (I now own a hammerdrill )

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