Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Electrical, AC & DC. Electronic Equipment and Computers > Electrical - AC & DC
Reload this Page >

how should I cut open sheetrock ceiling to run romex for recessed lighting

how should I cut open sheetrock ceiling to run romex for recessed lighting

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-25-17, 10:24 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
how should I cut open sheetrock ceiling to run romex for recessed lighting

I have a flat roof and no attic. the drywall is on 2x10 horizontal rafters on 16in centers

I have electric at an old cieling fan box that i need to run out both perpendicular and horizontal to the rafters to get to the holes for the lighting cans.

1. should I cut and remove sections 4" wide and 16" long so that I can run wires and drill holes thru the joists and then screw back those 4" wide strips of drywall and tape seams and mud the joints
or
2. shold I cut little 4x3" pieces of drywall at each joist so that I can notch that joist for the romex and then try to snake the romex from one hole to the next. now i will have to screw back theses 4x3 pieces and mud them in place

3. should I try a flexbit which might ruin all the insulation in the cieling and maybe drill holes too close to the edge of teh rafters

how do pro's do this ?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-26-17, 03:03 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 47,543
Received 300 Votes on 266 Posts
You don't want to notch the ceiling joists! I'd probably go with option #1 The electricians should be along later so hang on and see what they say.
 
  #3  
Old 09-26-17, 04:28 AM
Geochurchi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 4,750
Received 67 Votes on 63 Posts
Is the ceiling strapped? If it is you can fish between the rafters, do not notch.
Geo
 
  #4  
Old 09-26-17, 10:19 AM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I dont think the ceiling is strapped. just 2x10 rafters with insulation and drywall .
why is notching bad? I would put a steel cover plate over it
if i try to drill a 3/4" hole thru teh joists to pass the romex, doesnt that also weaken the joist?
also it is hard to guide the flex drill bit to cut the the hole a few inches away from the edge (where the drywall is attached. ?

I guess my main question is if i cut away long strips of drywall to insert the romex and then replace those drywall strips, will i see two long scars on the ceiling where I patched the strips?
 
  #5  
Old 09-26-17, 10:23 AM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
what electrician? this is a DIY forum :)

Originally Posted by marksr View Post
You don't want to notch the ceiling joists! I'd probably go with option #1 The electricians should be along later so hang on and see what they say.
thanks for the reply.. but im doing it all myself. im quite comfortable with wiring up the lights. its really tye drywall removal and replacement that im not sure of

why is notching the joists bad? I would put a steel cover plate over it
if i try to drill a 3/4" hole thru teh joists to pass the romex, doesnt that also weaken the joist?
also it is hard to guide the flex drill bit to cut the the hole a few inches away from the edge (where the drywall is attached. ?

I guess my main question is if i cut away long strips of drywall to insert the romex and then replace those drywall strips, will i see two long scars on the ceiling where I patched the strips?
 
  #6  
Old 09-26-17, 10:29 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 47,543
Received 300 Votes on 266 Posts
We have members/mods that are electricians, I'm a painter.
Drilling a hole in the middle of a joist doesn't weaken it much if any but cutting a notch out of the bottom creates a weak point.

How well a drywall patch blends in depends on how well it was finished/textured. Normally the repair will extend a good ways out from the actual patch.
 
  #7  
Old 09-26-17, 10:39 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 58,576
Received 1,042 Votes on 966 Posts
It's one thing installing recessed lights in an un-insulated ceiling. Insulated is harder. I personally would opt for a 1/2" max notch in the rafter, nail plate and respackle. Plan your wiring so there is only one notch per rafter.

I found this piece when checking around. Also.... no holes or notches shall be located in the middle one-third of the span.

DocumentCenter/View/61
 

Last edited by PJmax; 09-26-17 at 11:19 AM.
  #8  
Old 09-26-17, 10:52 AM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by marksr View Post
We have members/mods that are electricians, I'm a painter.
Drilling a hole in the middle of a joist doesn't weaken it much if any but cutting a notch out of the bottom creates a weak point.

How well a drywall patch blends in depends on how well it was finished/textured. Normally the repair will extend a good ways out from the actual patch.
funny. i thought you meant that i was gonna hire an electrician
yes, i see your point that notching a stud weakens more than drilling a hole. if anyone is interested here is a link that describes the max number of notches and/or holes you can make (as per code).
https://www.familyhandyman.com/walls...tuds/view-all/

i guess I really need drywall advice regarding how best NOT to show the seams after I patch.
 
  #9  
Old 09-26-17, 10:57 AM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thx.
has anyone here actually used a flex bit to span a few joists behind drywall and blindly drill holes thru the joists.
1. im afraid it will bugger my insulation
2. im afaid it will drill holes close to the edge of the studs(rafters)

i want to make as few scars in the ceiling as possible
 
  #10  
Old 09-26-17, 11:21 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 58,576
Received 1,042 Votes on 966 Posts
I added an updated link to my previous reply.
 
  #11  
Old 09-26-17, 11:37 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,144
Received 84 Votes on 72 Posts
The flex bit will bind up going through the insulation and create large cold spots.

Notches weaken the wood because the depth is reduced. Holes in the middle of a joist do not weaken the wood.

I would do the strip or look at possibly running in the soffit outside the wall.
 
  #12  
Old 09-26-17, 11:51 AM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thx . i will look at that code document. hopefully it agrees with the link I included which supposedly summarizes the code for holes in joists
 
  #13  
Old 09-26-17, 02:20 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thx. Im going to avoid the flexbit for fear of ruining the insulation
 
  #14  
Old 09-26-17, 05:01 PM
Geochurchi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 4,750
Received 67 Votes on 63 Posts
Are there any closets or cabinets on opposite walls you could fish in and out of , also one way to patch would be to use a utility knife and score lines in the drywall the width of the drywall tape and just deep enough for the tape to lay in flush,try not to remove all of the paper,apply some mud and sink the tape into the cut, and smooth it out,let it dry and recoat as needed,as mentioned the mud must be feathered out away from the actual patch and sanded smooth.
Geo
 
  #15  
Old 09-26-17, 06:05 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 13,605
Received 204 Votes on 181 Posts
In your situation I normally cut a channel of drywall out, drill holes through the joists to run my cables, then reattach the same drywall. It is just as easy (or easier) to repair a long slot then a bunch of small holes. Plus the repair will look better. I normally cut a channel 4-6" wide and as long as needed to get access to all the joists spaces.
 
  #16  
Old 09-27-17, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Kansas City Area
Posts: 232
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Think about Crown Moldings

Hopefully I'm not too late to this party for a response.
Have you considered crown molding? Instead of cutting thru a lot drywall & repairing it all, put up crown molding around the perimeter walls. You can use the cavity behind as a raceway by nailing up 2x2 or some other sized board against the wall behind the crown and if you size it right it also gives a place to nail the crown against. Fish up & thru the joist space when you are at the ends where the cans will be, then use the crown raceway while running perpendicular to the joists. Pop up & down as needed at the edges behind where the crown will hide. After all wiring is done & before nailing the crown in place, stuff insulation or spray foam into the holes. Not sure if anyone here has mentioned this, but be sure to install cans that will allow direct contact with insulation.
Painting the Crown will also allow you to use putty / filler to fix all nail holes and joints that don't fit tight. This adds an architectural aspect / improvement to the house and in my perspective is easier than all of the drywall fixes. Especially on ceilings as those show even small imperfections.
Think about it. Improve the look of the room two ways with both new lights & crown moldings.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: