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Wires on ceiling??


shuttles's Avatar
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09-12-06, 07:51 PM   #1  
shuttles
Wires on ceiling??

I live on the 4th floor of a 7 story condo building in Wisconsin. There is radiant heat built into the ceiling. Ceiling looks like ordinary drywall. After ceiling was installed, cables were run from one end of the building to the other end. A few unit owners have cut these wires, and now their ceilings look normal. I can't cut them, they seem to be a steel like cable, and there are 2 of them running across my ceiling. When I am in bed, or on the couch looking up, it seems to affect my peace of mind. There was tape over the cables but the tape doesn't appear to have been covered properly with joint compound. So I see the tape, 2 or 3 inches wide.
Last time my daughter painted the living room I was determined to minimize the look of this cable. So I pulled the tape off and she just rolled the paint on as if the cable were not there. Better, but not quite good enough. Now I'm planning on redecorating the extra bedroom, and would like to minimize the appearance of that cable as much as possible. And as simply as possible.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

 
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09-12-06, 08:07 PM   #2  
When you say condo, do you mean to infer you own the unit?

Is there another source of heat?

 
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09-12-06, 08:27 PM   #3  
shuttles
Yes I own the unit.
It is radiant heat throughout, all through the ceiling.

The cables are NOT part of the heating system. They might or might not be meant to add support to the building. It is a steel building.

Any ideas?

 
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09-13-06, 04:42 AM   #4  
Just how big are these cables in diameter? If they were installed for a support need, then why would people cut them? And what do they have to do with the radiant heat you mentioned in your OP? It is a little confusing to have the radiant heat mentioned, and the real problem is the support cables which have nothing to do with the heat. Post back so we can see what you see. And if you can post a pix or two on a site such as photobucket or others, it would help.

 
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09-13-06, 02:04 PM   #5  
Although I have never seen anything like this, I would proceed cautiously. When building a building, builders don't like to spend any more money than neccessary.

It sounds as if these cables may be a structural part of the building.
Before I cut something like that, I would suggest consulting an engineer.

The bigger problem is that others have cut these cables. If these are structural members, the other owners may have compromised the structural integrity of the entire building, including your unit. It the cables are structural, your insurance companies may very well deny coverage for a catastrophic event.

So to the problem:
depending on how thick these cables are, there could be several methods to hide them.

Give us a dimension.

 
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09-13-06, 03:31 PM   #6  
Don't bother giving us the dimension GET OUT NOW. RUN don't walk. The word pancake comes to mind.

 
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09-13-06, 03:34 PM   #7  
Posted By: tightcoat Don't bother giving us the dimension GET OUT NOW. RUN don't walk. The word pancake comes to mind.
I didn't want to say it.

 
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09-13-06, 07:59 PM   #8  
shuttles
Sorry fellas,
but I don't have a ruler handy.
The cables are thinner than a standard pencil.

I know that some of the cables in other units have been cut years ago (at least 10...maybe more) and the building hasn't pancaked, yet

So, help this little ol lady out.

What method do I use to better conceal them, than the improperly used tape method described earlier?

And the reason I mentioned the radiant ceiling heat, is so that you would understand I am VERY reluctant to attach anything to it.

Thanks
Mary

 
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09-13-06, 10:03 PM   #9  
Find some kind of moulding you like, route a groove for the wire then use adhesive to stick the moulding. Will a moulding look worse than the cables? How far apart are the cables from each other.
Which direction do they run in the room? the long way or the short way?
How taut are they? Can you stick your finger behind them?
Do other floors have them? do they appear to run through the walls into other apartments?

 
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09-14-06, 04:49 AM   #10  
if you cant post pictures here you should probably get someone knowledgble in to look at them .

you wouldnt want to cover them with molding if they are for heat, you also wouldnt want to cut them as that would leave some live wire ends exposed .

 
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09-14-06, 04:53 AM   #11  
shuttles
Cables are about 6 feet apart, and run the length of the unit. They are continuous from one end of the building to the other.
I can stick a finger beneath them accept closest to the walls, where they drywall meets the ceiling.
And yes, the are on every floor-meaning every ceiling!

In my opinion I would rather do something other than the moulding. I would like the ceiling not to look sectional.

Regarding the radiant heat - if I were to put a thick coat of texture on the ceiling, would that limit my heat efficiency by very much?

Thanks again

 
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09-14-06, 04:37 PM   #12  
Since you are on the fourth of seven floors, I doubt if heavy texture will make much difference but I don't know if you can get enough texture to bury the wires. Besides, they are going to move when the building moves and crack anyway.
Something else occurec to me. Are these cables insulated like electric wire or are they stranded so you can see individual strands.
Pictures sure wouild help.
Was this building ever used for something else before it was condos?
In total how many wires go across your apartment? Only two or more?

 
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09-14-06, 07:12 PM   #13  
shuttles
Okay - they are not insulated or coated.

They are thinner than a standard pencil.

There are a total of 3 going across my unit.

I think I would call them braided or stranded, but if so, they are braided or stranded very tightly together. I wouldn't be able to separate them.

Thanks

 
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09-14-06, 08:47 PM   #14  
How many other units are there on your floor?
Can you figure out by observation or by estimating the distance from the sides of the building what the point of attachment on the ends of the cable might be.
Is there a pilaster or structural beam where they attach?

Those cables were installed for a reason. I'd sure like to know the reason.

How high are your ceilings?
Is the radiant heat electric radiant or hot water radiant?

Try this:
Tape right over the cable with duct tape
Get some wide by wide I mean 6 or 8" fiberglass mesh. I don't know where you can get it. I get it at the plaster supply house. Mix up some quick setting joint compound and embed the cables and duct tape in that mud then embed the mesh in the mud centered more or less over the cable. My idea is that the cable can move a bit under the duct tape then the joint compound will bond to the adjacent ceiling.
This will give you a hump so you will have to feather or screed the mud all the way across the lid. keeo adding mud until it is flat enough to suit you then sand and texture and paint.
let us know where in Wisconsin you are so when we hear of a building collapse we will know if it is you or not.

 
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