To Drill or Not to Drill

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Old 08-29-08, 09:03 PM
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To Drill or Not to Drill

For a rewire mainly through an attic with 1-3 circuits running through the basement (AC for one), would you normally take the time to drill through most of the joists or just run the cables on the joist tops near the eaves as much as possible? Same for the basement cirucuit(s) - just staple to the bottom edge of the joists or drill through?

I've run a couple circuits through the attic, drilling as I went - as the original wiring was done. But one electrician who was giving me an estimate for the panel changeout said he would never do it that way since it weakens the joists.

I didn't think drilling properly was any big deal. I would think some drilling is unavoidable.

What do the pros think here?
 
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Old 08-29-08, 09:07 PM
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Smaller diameter cables like you are probably running either need to be in drilled holes or on running boards in the basement.

As far as the attic are you talking about running them above the bottom chord of the truss?
 
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Old 08-29-08, 09:13 PM
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No trusses in this house built in 1956. Just a ridge joist, rafters, and the "floor" of the attic is the top of the ceiling joists for the one story house. The attic doesn't have wide area flooring of any kind on those joists, just a smattering of boards that someone put up there to have some access. But it's mainly an area of non-use. No real storage area or plans to make it into one by me.

The largest cable I'd be running in the basement would be for the central A/C.
 
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Old 08-30-08, 01:19 AM
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I know most electricians would not use it because it may take longer and cost more but I love to use MC or metal clad cable. I have used it almost exclusively in my wiring in an old home. you do not have to worry about twisting, damage in unaccessible areas, placement, etc.

It comes in steel and aluminum clad. Aluminum is much easier to work with. It can be used in any dry non-corrosive area which would be most areas of a residential home.

I have worked with this stuff so much that it is actually easier for me to use than romex. It is available at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. It does cost more than romex though, if cost is a big issue and the job is large.

Using aluminum MC I just bend it tight to break open the spiral, cut the clad and pull it off. Insert a red no short bushing and it is ready to go. I could have an end stripped and ready to go in seconds.

MC is not what we used to call BX which has no separate ground but uses the clad and a drain wire as a ground. MC has a separate insulated green ground wire.
 
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Old 08-30-08, 05:44 AM
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I'm more interested in running regular NM as I have already purchased my cable. Not planning on the system you described due to cost.
 
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Old 08-30-08, 07:22 AM
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if its in the attic, and no one will see it, it would be more time efficient just to staple up the wires. Depending on the size of the joist, you should be able to drill holes. I wouldn't drill any larger than a 3/4" hole though. I don't understand the construction of your attic though, but i'm not a carpenter either .
 
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Old 08-30-08, 07:37 AM
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I agree, I wouldn't drill the joists both because of the time required plus the marginal weakening of the joists. Mostly though, because time is money, and in an attic, it's really not worthwhile.

I'd rather run the wire around to an inaccessible place (farther down into the corner of the attic) or use a running board to protect it from anyone stepping on it. Same with the basement. I'd probably go along the foundation wall or main support joist in case I ever wanted to finish the basement, I wouldn't have wires running all over the ceiling.

Additionally, if I was paying someone else to do it, I wouldn't want to double their time and therefore cost to drill and fish in either the attic or basement.

My opinion only - either are code and "good workmanship" compliant.
 
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Old 08-30-08, 11:52 AM
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Let me step in here as well.,,

Normally in the attic area if can run the wire real close to the the area where normally no one can get the wire damage as other been telling you it the same way as I done.

Normally in attic area I useally try to advoid the drilling much as i can.
If i have to drill for some reason no bigger than 3/4 inch useally do the task most case and that will be in the centre of the 2X4's.

The only area you have to be carefull is scuttle hole that area you have to make sure they are stapled and protected so that way if someone do come up in the scuttle hole and not damage the wires by stepping on them.

That scuttle hole that must be stapled down 6 feet from the opening unless you have alot of walkway area then the rest have to be stapled down as well.

Merci,Marc
 
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