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The electrician drilled 3/4” holes on PSL parallam beams. Both beams are is 4”x12”. The first beam measures 13’ft long and the holes are about 3’ft away from the end. The second beam measures 23’ft and the holes are about 5’ft away from the end.

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Will the holes compromise the integrity of the beams? If so, is there any way to fix it or would they need to be replaced?

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. My guess is not, as they aren't in the edge, and are small holes. But, one of our experts will have a more authoritative answer. – Daniel Griscom Feb 12 at 2:17
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    This looks acceptable to me. Drilling the side would be normal, but exiting the bottom is different. Even so I think it's fine due to the beam being supported by wall at that point. This was done to get wiring into that wall without a bulkhead. If you're concerned I suggest asking your AHJ. These beams are typically more tolerant of holes than normal timber. By contrast, tji "I-beam" cannot have their top or bottom plate drilled. – Matthew Feb 12 at 2:48
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I'm going to be contrary. Looking at the Weyerhaeuser documentation ( https://www.weyerhaeuser.com/woodproducts/document-library/document_library_detail/tj-9000/ ) PG 26 shows you the allowable hole locations.

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For parallam beams, it's in the center third of the depth and center third of the span. Your holes violate both of those conditions. They don't even mention drilling from the bottom or top, but that's probably a no-go as well. From the same page:

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I think you need to have your engineer look at this. The fix might be as simple as the engineer writing a letter accepting it as is.

  • Sure - if you have an engineer look at it, post back. I'm curious what they'll say. Or the building inspector. – CoAstroGeek Feb 12 at 5:16
  • Will do. Any ideas on how to replace it if necessary? – Luis Contreras Feb 12 at 5:34
  • I really don't know how they'll handle it. If you have to replace it - which I think is unlikely - it would be a huge job. Your whole floor framing that ties to those beams might have to be torn out. Or maybe they could block & jack the rest of the framing while they r&r the beams. Hopefully it doesn't come to that. – CoAstroGeek Feb 12 at 13:56
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The beam is also sitting on a wall. That extra support will outweigh any concerns regarding a few small holes.

  • Matthew. Make that an answer. It's correct and I would be supportive. – Jerry_Contrary Feb 12 at 3:27
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    No, it makes it worse. As I noted in my answer, holes are only allowed in the center third of the span. If that tripled stud there is a support column, then you are nowhere near the center third of the span. If it's a column, it should also be strapped to the beam ... but they may come back and add that later. – CoAstroGeek Feb 12 at 5:06
  • Luis, what's at the bottom of those three tripled studs? Foundation element? Slab? Another floor? – CoAstroGeek Feb 12 at 13:57

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