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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When my house was built, I didn't have the basement finished, so they put up the insulation with the big white moisture-barrier sheets on the outside, and the framing (in process) is outside of that. I can easily get my fingers behind the studs and the insulation has plenty of give, so I'm thinking of saving myself some work and just running the wires between the studs and the insulation.


Is there any code-related or other reason someone has perhaps learned from experience, why I wouldn't want to do it this way? There's no reason I can't go through the studs like I was thinking I would, the thought just occurred to me but I'm not sure if maybe there's something I'm not thinking of.
 

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I'm not an expert on code, but one of the main concerns of code is to prevent drilling, nailing, etc. into wiring. Placing the wiring behind the studs should meet this desire. There are some forum members who are very knowledgeable of code. I'd wait to hear from them.


Tom
 

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Regarding the code, the only issue I would see if the potential for physical damage to the wiring cable.


It is difficult to know your exact situation without seeing it, but the main concern would be trapping the wire between the wall and the stud. Has the wall been constructed right up against the insulation, or is there a gap? As long as there is ample space to pull the cable, and given that the wall is secured and cannot move against the cable, most inspectors would rule that the cable is not subject to physical damage and would allow it.


If you are getting your work inspected, I would ask your electrical inspector for his opinion on this before you start. Many times the inspector will OK it just because you showed the initiative to ask and show the willingness to do it correctly.


Keep in mind that you still have to support the cable every 4.5 ft somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ssabin: Thanks for the answer, although I'm not sure that I was clear in my description, because I don't know what you mean by "between the wall and the stud". The insulation is up against the foundation wall. The studs are outside of the insulation. I'm thinking of running the cable between the studs and the insulation. There's not much of a visible gap between the studs and the insulation, but it's no problem at all to get my fingers behind the stud, but tight enough that the wires would probably (in most places) stay in place by themselves. (Not that I wouldn't secure them, just giving you an idea of how tight it is).


I'll definitely be talking to the electrician before I get started on any pre-wiring, so I'll talk to him about it. Still not a big deal, just a little shortcut I thought might work, but of course, shortcuts aren't always what they seem.
 

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Jeff, behind is okay.
 

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Larry, your picture looks familiar!


Tom
 

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Hey, Moe!
 

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I "think" you still have to secure the cable somehow every few feet. That is you can't have runs that are not supported.
 

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Hello: I believe you will find that the Code requires wire to be secured every 4 feet and within 8" of a recepticle box. Also, I think there is a minimun distance from the floor of 12" You didn't say what type of cable you will be using. If it's Romex there may be some kind of temperature and/or moisture consideration which requires it to be in the center of the stud.

Regards,

Richard
 

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To clarify, the Romex (aka NM-B cable) SUPPORT is required every 4.5 feet (1.4 meters, to be exact). Within 12" of a box, the cable must be SECURED. If you are using plastic boxes with no clamps required, the cable must be SECURED within 8".


I differentiate SECURE and SUPPORT, as the interval between supports is always 4.5 feet.


Also, I don't believe that the NEC prohibits how low a box or cable can go (as long as the location is dry, etc), but your local rules might.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK, so support would generally be from drilling through the studs, I imagine. My electrician is stopping by tonight, so I'll ask him what the local code would say about it. I'm talking about low-voltage (speaker or video)cabling anyway, so might not even be anything applicable. Plus, after looking at this with the framing now finished (yeah!), I'll probably end up running most of it through the ceiling and then down between the studs anyway, so I don't even know how much if this I'll need/want to do.
 

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Make sure to hammer those metal plates onto the studs in front of the Romex so that you don't accidentally nail into Romex when you're looking for stud to hang a picture or something.
 

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From what I have been reading the space between the wall and the studs is to allow for a little bit of movement if the ground shifts. I wouldn't want to be putting my speaker wire between a solid wall (concrete) and studs. If you drill through the studs and put protector plates on the studs so you don't drill, nail etc through the wires I think overall it will be protected better.

The extra time and money to do that now will probably save you problems in the future. But that is just my opinion.

Marc
 

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Hello:

Metal plates are required only if the hole in the stud is closer than, I think, 1 1/4" to the front, in this case, side of the stud or there is a notch in the stud for the wire. I must say these plates are necessary as I did all my wiring myself and didn't realize how valuable they were until I hit one putting up the drywall.

regards,

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The electricians are here now. Looks like they drilled through about every other stud, and ran the wire behind the others (there's a layer of insulation between the studs and the foundation). Occasionally they drilled through two consecutive studs if one was to attach a gang box, and sometimes they skipped drilling through two consecutive studs, which at 16" apart would still give support 4' apart.


So, I'm sure if there's no problem doing that with electric wire, I can do it with A/V cables.
 
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