Basement Electrical

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Old 01-19-17, 08:31 AM
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Basement Electrical

I am in the very early stages of finishing my basement, mostly planning, but hope to build wall framing tomorrow. I have questions about that part posted in a different thread that have been being answered, and I really appreciate all the help.

I am curious about electrical. My ceiling is already Sheetrock, for fire-blocking code. I plan to build my walls under that Sheetrock to avoid having to re-fire-block.

For electric, I know when they built the rest of my house, the electric lines all ran across the top, and through the ceiling. Is it ok to run the lines through the walls, or am I better off cutting out and taking down all the Sheetrock in the ceiling after I frame avoiding taking out the fire-blocking areas?
 
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Old 01-19-17, 08:44 AM
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OH, I also want to avoid taking down sheet rock on ceiling to soon, because this is going to be an hour or two per weekend. So it is likely going to take me a few years. City is OK with that, and wants me to NOT pull a permit until I'm to the sheet rock stage, that's when they want permits, and inspections.
 
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Old 01-19-17, 02:47 PM
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If the ceiling is already rocked, you are in a quagmire. Most of your electrical, especially that for the overhead lighting and runs to incoming power and switches will run through that cavity. SO, running cables for lighting will be almost impossible.
 
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Old 01-19-17, 03:02 PM
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Moved to Electrical Forum.
 
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Old 01-19-17, 03:13 PM
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There is no code requirement that cabling be run through the ceilings, although it is usually much easier and uses much less cable than exclusively through the walls. Ceiling mounted light fixtures would of course be an exception, but those can be strategically fished to avoid much drywall damage.

You could potentially fish some runs through the ceiling and only do limited patching of the fire block. This depends a lot on where the panel is relative to the finished spaces and unfinished spaces.

I'd consider leaving a 1" gap between the framing and the concrete wall to allow plenty of room for cable routing behind the stud walls rather than a massive amount of drilling in the studs for walls which will carry a number of cable runs. You only need to fasten romex every three studs assuming 16" layout so having that open channel could make the job much easier.
 
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Old 01-19-17, 03:59 PM
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Hmm... maybe I frame with drywall in to preserve fire-blocking. Then cut the drywall out around the studs for electrical, then replace? Just trying to think of how to make progress, and save money too. and figured if I can avoid sheet-rocking the ceiling, that may save a decent amount on my Sheetrock cost if I hire someone to do it...
 
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Old 01-19-17, 04:58 PM
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Just frame the wall with a top and bottom plate. The top plate can rest against the drywall ceiling.

What are you doing for lighting?
 
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Old 01-19-17, 05:23 PM
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I want to do reseed lights...
 
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Old 01-19-17, 05:37 PM
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You can fish a cable from the hole over to the top plate. Cut a hand hole behind the face of the top plate.
 
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Old 01-19-17, 05:47 PM
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Ok, then do I just cut holes every 3' to nail the wire down per code?
 
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Old 01-19-17, 05:52 PM
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do I just cut holes every 3' to nail the wire down per code
You can't use wire. You must use cable (an assembly of two or more conductors in a metallic or non metallic sheath). Cables fished in finished walls do not need to be fastened.
 
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Old 01-19-17, 06:17 PM
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Sorry, yes meant cable. 14/2 romex
 
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Old 01-19-17, 06:36 PM
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And thanks! I thought romex had to be nailed every 3' too. That makes it easier!!
 
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Old 01-20-17, 09:27 AM
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You need to check with your inspector as to what the actual fire rating requirement of the ceiling needs to be. The rating is given in time the wall needs to withstand a fire: 15 minutes through 2 hours are common levels. On that wall you can only use products and sealants that are equal to or greater than the minimum required time.

If this is truly a rated wall you cannot use standard recessed lights cut through the drywall (as that opens up a hole fire can get through the drywall layer. You either need to build out boxes around the recessed enclosures inside the ceiling space to the same fire level as the rest of the wall; use fire rated recessed fixtures, sealants and cable closures; or use an approved cover or prefab box that meets the fire rating of the wall installed and sealed over top of the recessed fixture.

Does your house have some special construction that drives this fire rating requirement? Normally a basement ceiling carries no special rating. Perhaps a multiple occupancy or automobile garage on that level?
 
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Old 01-20-17, 04:40 PM
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If the walls have not been drywalled, it is more common to not put up the drywall until the wires have been strung in the walls and the first inspection (rough inspection) done for the electrical work.

You are not required to make more holes or enlarge needed holes for the purpose of stapling or otherwise fastening fished cables inside existing wall. Which is another way of saying that fished cables do not need fastening.

The primary reason for leaving a gap (one inch is enough) between the stud walls and the foundation wall is to maintain an air space from batt insulation for better moisture control back there. But it is okay to hang the cables back there instead of drilling holes in the studs.
 
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