I removed the drywall in a kitchen and found that studs are cut through to fit the sewer pipes. Is it OK to keep them as is or should I do something?

I am thinking about installing the stud shoes.

Here's the picture how it looks like.

Studs cut for sewer pipes

Upd. The house was built in 1955. This is the exterior wall.

The plastic pipe extends to the right about 3 feet -- this a sewer for the washing machine in the adjacent bathroom.

Added more photos. Also, I have no idea why the washer pipe is bent forward, there was an offset added to the wall to fit it. Can I make it straight to fit behind the wall?


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The view from the restroom

  • 2
    Is that an exterior wall? The horizontal boards on the back side of the studs seem pretty substantial. What is on the other side of those boards? The iron pipe tells me this is an older home. One would assume that if those notches were going to cause a problem it would have happened by now. However I would add the shoes just for my own peace of mind now that you know what has been hidden in that wall all these years.
    – Kris
    May 25, 2018 at 11:01
  • It's hard to see, but it looks like that trap arm (for the washer) may have issues. I believe the trap must be within 60" of the vent, which you may be pushing. That connection may be a vertical offset; you'd need a qualified opinion. Also, at the risk of being a complete wet blanket you may need to take a good look at that wiring, which appears to feature a concealed junction box and lack appropriately secured cables. May 25, 2018 at 17:34
  • Thanks! The wiring was instilled inside sink cabinet for a garbage disposal and a dishwasher.
    – kost
    May 27, 2018 at 5:46

1 Answer 1


You are right to be concerned, there's been a lot of support lost with such deep notches. The question is whether this is a load bearing wall or not. Given the fact that it's still standing I'm going to assume it's non load bearing. Building codes often state that notches can't be more than 40% of the width of a stud, which looks like it's been massively exceeded, it's more like 75% which isn't good. The studs are mostly doubled and tripled, but not all of them are.

Kitchen walls often bear a lot of weight in the form of shelves or cabinets, even if they aren't holding up the house itself, so it makes sense to strengthen these. I'd at least double all of the studs and add stud shoes. Keep in mind that may still not be up to code in your area.

This related answer has useful information on guidelines.

  • It's an exterior wall, I assume it's load bearing.
    – kost
    May 25, 2018 at 15:43
  • If that's the case I'd definitely get some stud shoes on there.
    – GdD
    May 25, 2018 at 15:46

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