Running NM through Studs Down Near Baseboards


Old 04-19-18, 11:21 AM
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Running NM through Studs Down Near Baseboards

Is there any NEC height requirement for running NM through studs? I am doing some remodeling and will be installing wider baseboards. I was going to cut a channel behind them large enough to insert my flex bit and right angle drill. I will replace the drywall after I am done. I thought that this would be easier than running the NM at waist height, which would require extensive drywall repair. I will have to be careful when installing the new baseboards. I don't believe that I would need nail plates (3/4" holes), but maybe it would be a good idea to add them anyway. Is it okay to drill the studs that low, down near the bottom plate (3/4" hole)? Also, is there any issue with drilling a hole through the fire block?
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Old 04-19-18, 11:27 AM
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I can't speak to the NEC part, but... You will likely be hitting the framing nails if you are too low. As long as you are at least 2 1/2" above the bottom plate and you are drilling in the center of the stud, I see no problem. You will need to airseal penetrations in fireblocking with fire rated foam or caulk.
Old 04-19-18, 11:57 AM
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There is no height requirement in the NEC. The only requirement is that the holes must be more than 1.25" from the nailing face of the stud or use nailing plates if it's shallower than that. A 7/8" hole in the center of a 2x4 stud requires no nailing plate. The height in new construction is really set where the drill is most comfortable to operate.

Last edited by ibpooks; 04-19-18 at 01:01 PM. Reason: spelling
Old 04-19-18, 12:02 PM
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Be careful to use nails for the new baseboard which are short enough to not reach newly installed cable. The 1.25 inch hole setback rule is designed for drywall screws.
Old 04-19-18, 02:32 PM
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The usual method to determine finish nail length is that the nail should penetrate into the stud approximately 1". (Thickness of trim + thickness of drywall + 1") No more, no less.

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