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#8786 - 04/03/02 05:46 PM New technique?
Redsy Offline

Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
I was asked by someone if I ever "notched the drywall" ceiling to fish NM cable for fans, lights, etc. Just cut a square of drywall away, slip NM Cable under the joist and patch over the hole and cable with spackle.
I thought he was kidding, then I actually was on a job and saw evidence of this technique. I know it's illegal for a number of reasons, but has anyone else ever seen this?

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#8787 - 04/03/02 06:06 PM Re: New technique?
HotLine1 Online   content


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6792
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Call it "notch"?? I have seen it many times in residential, a few in commercial. Also, in old lath and plaster walls, chew the plaster, staple the NM to the lath, and plaster over the mess. Once in a masonry hi-rise apt building, came across twelve (12) BX branches from the panel that were under 1/2" of plaster (this was legal)
Saw a few that the dry wall was "notched" the joist was notched, and a nail plate was protecting the NM (thats the right way) in a desperation situation.

#8788 - 04/03/02 09:03 PM Re: New technique?
AndrusT Offline

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 24
This reminds me of a sub we did. The great room had a peak type ceiling with a lam beam droping down about 1' at the peak.
Ussually if there was a Fan prep in this room, we would take a smaller bit and just drill the center of the L. beam. Drywallers would come do there job and no problem.
Than one day there was a question about structural support with us drilling through the beam. Which is rediculas the hole we drill is 1/4, and the beam is about 4" wide.
But anyways, the super talks the inspecter into letting us run our wire outside the beam!, And the plan was that the drywallers would butt the sheetrock up to the wire and than mud over it. lol I couldn't believe we had to do this.
I felt like saying I told ya so, when on the first and only house we ran it like that the drywallers put a drywall screw right through our wire on accident. Better them then some unsuspecting homeowner 10 yrs from now trying to hang a picture or something.

#8789 - 04/04/02 03:58 AM Re: New technique?
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
How elese would you get from point a to point b? This is common practice if there is no access above the ceiling.

#8790 - 04/04/02 07:12 AM Re: New technique?
ElectricAL Offline

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 615
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA

Bottom line, if the nail plate (that has to be used) protects the wire exposed by the "notch", it's legal. Cover it up any way you want.

The technique goes back to the first wiring of existing buildings using materials approved for fishing.

Al Hildenbrand

#8791 - 04/04/02 04:07 PM Re: New technique?
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
looks like the streeskin people bucked that in 300.4(D)EX2

#8792 - 04/04/02 09:00 PM Re: New technique?
ElectricAL Offline

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 615
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA

The way I understand:
300.4(D)Exception No. 2: For concealed work in finished buildings, or finished panels for prefabricated buildings where such supporting is impracticable, it shall be permissible to fish the cables between access points.

is that each "notch" in the drywall is an access point through which I attach the nail plate. The drywall (or other wall surface between "notches" is where the wire is fished.

On the occassion that I use this method, I make my hole in the drywall (my "notch") just large enough to permit easy installation of the nail plate.

The exception applies only where the wall surface is unbroken. When I cut the surface, I loose the exception for the area of the penetration. If I make the notch so narrow that it is only as wide as the NMB, I still have to protect the NMB in that access point.

Al Hildenbrand

#8793 - 04/23/02 02:07 PM Re: New technique?
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
With many houses of brick construction and masonry walls, this sort of thing is VERY common here.

Best one along these lines that I've seen though was a guy nearby who built a new roof over the existing structure then tore down the original ceilings. He was left with all the cables, including the incoming service, under the new roof, so he set about notching the underside of all the timbers to hide the cables under the new plasterboard ceiling.

Then he drove a plasterboard screw straight into the dead center of the main service cable!


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