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My kitchen remodel is in progress. After ripping out existing cabinets we found that the plumbing for the sink drain cuts through a total of 7 studs, more than 50% through each (see photos). Contractor and I were originally worried that these were load supporting -- why else use 5 together? But contractor went into the attic, and said based on rafters this is not load barring. Consequently they are going to leave the existing situation. Next room has vaulted ceilings, and there is quite a bit of structure in the attic to support/implement that.

Should I replace the studs and somehow route the plumbing around, or is it ok as pictured?

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Maybe they put so many studs together, because they had to notch them. –  Tester101 Jun 23 at 11:55
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The plumbing strikes me as odd. Was the sink moved previously? There's too many couplings. Elbow -> pipe -> coupling -> pipe -> coupling -> pipe -> 45? It should be elbow -> pipe -> 45. –  Tester101 Jun 23 at 11:58
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A lot of this strikes me as odd: the wiring not being stapled, suddenly transitioning to armored, and general haphazard-looking install; several notches cut for the drain; the stud that is actually two 2x4's stacked (top picture, stud on the edge of drywall, ~3.5' up); the non-GFCI receptacle over the sink (or perhaps it's shared with the other what looks like a GFCI on the left, which is also wrong). This looks like the work of someone that didn't know what they were doing. Be careful working on this -- the only assumption you should make on anything is that it's wrong. :) –  gregmac Jun 23 at 19:45
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Solid 8 on the ghetto install scale. –  DMoore Aug 22 at 16:04

2 Answers 2

If the wall is non bearing, I would say no problem, the cabinets that go in will keep everything stable since there are more studs past the notched ones.

But what I see is a potential bearing wall, therefore a big problem if it is. Carpenters will not put 5 studs tight together for the fun of it, it would have a purpose, especially if the wall continues past it. Otherwise I would say they made the wall too short and added a few more to make it long enough.

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That is a horrible hack job, nearly grounds for a good garden-hose whipping. Without significant rework, that wall is going to be very flimsy, and I'd be really hesitant to hang wall cabinets from it.

At the absolute least, nonperforated steel fishplates should be used to prevent screws/nails from penetrating the drain pipe and wiring and to add a little stiffness to the near surface of the wall... but even that won't protect the section of wiring that loops around the vent stack.

If I found something like that in my house, I'd tear out the whole wall's framing and go back in with nothing less than 2x6 studs. Plan B would entail scabbing over the current fiasco with face-nailed 2x4s long enough to span the mess but short enough to remain under the countertop, then let the base cabinet hide the scabs.

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