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Thread: Running a wire through a header

  1. #1

    Default Running a wire through a header

    I need to put an outside light on either side of this door. I didn't design or build this, but it's attached to my house and I've got the permit.

    The wire will come down from the top, the switch is on another wall. Can I legally channel the 2x4 or header(s) with a router, run the wire down it and out to the outside to a box? The channel and wire will be protected by a plate.




    Also, I need to go up with wiring here but have the 2nd floor header in the way (that light is the one moving to the outside). Can I do the same thing or should I get creative with running the wires?




    I'm in Mass and I've done quite a few projects (I'm also an EE), this one makes me take pause and I want it right.

    Thanks,

    Al

  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amartin725
    Can I legally channel the 2x4 or header(s) with a router, run the wire down it and out to the outside to a box? The channel and wire will be protected by a plate.
    I do not know about "legally", but I do doubt you will be arrested for doing something that works. I would put the channels in the full-length 2x4s at the ends of the headers, then cover them with metal as you have mentioned. Structurally, that would be fine, but I doubt you will get that done with a router since you will likely encounter some nails along the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by amartin725
    Also, I need to go up with wiring here but have the 2nd floor header in the way (that light is the one moving to the outside). Can I do the same thing or should I get creative with running the wires?
    It looks like that header is already recessed a bit, making this one easier than the first.

  3. #3
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Why would you want a light on the side of that door? There is only 4.5" there and you want to squeeze in a fixture?
    I'd go above the door.

  4. #4

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    Also consider that with metal plates covering your wire you'll have little place to screw your drywall and shoot your trim.

    I like the over the door suggestion.

    Tom

  5. #5

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    Thanks guys.

    There is room next to the door on the outside and that's where I want it. I'm not worried about that.


    Quote Originally Posted by statjunk
    Also consider that with metal plates covering your wire you'll have little place to screw your drywall and shoot your trim.

    I like the over the door suggestion.

    Tom

    I'm also not worried about this. There will be plenty of room for drywall and trim attachment hardware, the 'keepout' zone won't be that big, I only need to run a single wire.


    I've dealt with far more difficult situations than this, but my local inspector gave my wife a real hard time for no reason that I can understand when she filed for the permit and he wasn't willing to answer any simple questions. I'd prefer not to antagonize a situation by doing something they consider blatantly illegal.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Livin4Real's Avatar
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    Is that "treated" lumber framing the door and windows in the first pic? I thought is was against code to use it anywhere other than bottom sill plates because it releases toxic fumes when it burns?
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  7. #7

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    I thought the same thing but I thought it wasn't a good idea because of the movement.

    Tom

  8. #8

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    All the walls were built PT. A contractor had built it and the town had signed off on it. I have no worries, I just need to get my electrical and insulation inspections before the cold weather hits.

  9. #9
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    You might consider using MC cable (NEC 330). It doesn't require nail plates and you can get a long drill and fish it diagonally through headers and multiple studs. The MC AP version (See PDF link below) is just under 0.40" diameter in #14 and #12.

    The MC AP doesn't require making up a ground and you can get by with a smaller box.

    http://www.southwire.com/Southwire/S...Text/MC_AP.pdf

    http://www.southwire.com/processChan...002702a8c0RCRD

    You should be able to mount a small round surface box on the framing outside which would be recessed into the finish material and covered with the fixture.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member Livin4Real's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amartin725
    All the walls were built PT. A contractor had built it and the town had signed off on it. I have no worries, I just need to get my electrical and insulation inspections before the cold weather hits.
    God forbid that thing ever catch fire
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Livin4Real
    God forbid that thing ever catch fire
    I don't feel your sentiment.

    My questions are about the wiring, not what materials are used in the construction. You don't need to worry, you live half the country away.

  12. #12
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Livin4Real
    Is that "treated" lumber framing the door and windows in the first pic? I thought is was against code to use it anywhere other than bottom sill plates because it releases toxic fumes when it burns?
    You twice mentioned the point about toxic fumes from burning pressure treated wood but I have searched and not been able to find any official documentation of such a hazard. It is not identified in the Material Safety Data Sheet.

    Can you furnish links to any reports of this hazard, other than internet posts that lack any scientific or regulatory citations?

  13. #13

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    I have heard of that before but of course I wouldn't know where to get any documentation regarding it. I think an older been there done that buddy of mine told me as I was about to toss PT wood into a fire.

    The issue I'd be most worried about would be warpage. Especiallys since the wood is adjacent to windows and doors.

    Amartin,

    You need to relax. Folks are here to help you. Even if that means the next time you build something that you'll know what to look out for. No one has suggested that you tear it down.

    Tom

  14. #14

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    Tom,

    I'm no stranger to this, believe me. I have managed my own forums and even had a web-based business in which I sold off several years ago. I'm an EE by trade and have a small handy-man business on the side where I have been primarily doing major kitchens, bath and basement remodels as of late.

    Like most forums, there is banter and off-topic issues. My specific issue is about wiring. I have no problem with Livin4Real's comments and acknowledge and respect his opinion, but he is not adding comment to the topic at hand and is instead pulling this off course.

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member Livin4Real's Avatar
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    IMO safety goes along with any topic in the diy realm. I'm sorry for trying to look out for someone's safety, this is the last time I'll post in any of your topics, and a sidenote, until last year I had been a firefighter for seven years and am still a certified fire instructor so I worry more about fires a little more than the average person after having been in a few. Again I only posted with a safety concern.

    http://www.origen.net/arsenic.html


    Brian
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