enter image description here

In the photo above you can see that a pipe was put through a 2x4 and that the 2x4 splintered/cracked somewhat as well. This is framing a bathroom in the basement. On the Framing perpendicular there is a steel beam support the house.

I don't think that the framing around the bathroom is supposed to be a major load bearing wall. Is this 2x4 okay as is or should I have it replaced?

  • 5
    For future reference, you're really not supposed to put a 2" pipe through a 2x4. It takes away almost all of its structural strength. You really need a 2x6 wall to run pipe that size.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 3, 2020 at 18:33
  • 1
    Thanks, this is just one example of poor work in the new home I purchased.
    – HelpEric
    Feb 3, 2020 at 18:37
  • Is this the intended final state for this wall? Or is there going to be drywall or some other finished surface applied to the studs?
    – dwizum
    Feb 3, 2020 at 19:47
  • 3
    Meh. It's just a drywall runner. I'd be more concerned about the lack of a protection plate.
    – Mazura
    Feb 4, 2020 at 3:41
  • 1
    Consider yourself lucky; in my house the previous owner installed a bathtub and cut through the entirety of the joist below it to put in the drain. "What is holding up the bathtub?" I asked the inspector when I bought the house. "Hope? Happy thoughts?" was the answer. I removed the bathtub and sistered a new joist on posthaste. Feb 4, 2020 at 18:46

4 Answers 4


Not a clean fix, but I would sister another pre hogged out 2x4 so as to reinforce the cracked area. Use structural screws for the sistering. You can use structural screws to pinch together the cracking. When all done, reset the hanger on the sistered spliced 2x4.

You want the pipe resting on the hangar, not the wood, so the pipe doesn't chatter on the wood with temperature changes.

Addendum: A friend reminded me of a bathroom floor we had problems reinforcing, and urged that construction adhesive also be used on the sistered stud. On the bathroom floor job we used treated deck screws, because of the history of water. Not needed in this case, but something to consider like on a floor with a history of water contact.


There is no need to replace it. Just put in couple of 2 inch screws to tighten it up. ( your could squirt some wood glue into the crack for good measure before hand )

We can not see further down the wall but in theory it is attached to the 2x4 of the wall next to it so it is not carrying any load by itself.

  • Yes, there is another 4ft of wall with other supports. I am assuming it cracked because they put the pipe through, not because of the weight.
    – HelpEric
    Feb 3, 2020 at 18:38
  • 6
    I would add two things: 1) Pilot the screw through the thin slice to prevent splitting. 2) If this operation leaves the pipe pinched between wood, do some carving. You don't want any firm contact or you'll have creaking when the plumbing is used.
    – isherwood
    Feb 3, 2020 at 18:44

Use a Simpson Strong-Tie 16-Gauge Galvanized Stud Shoe for 2x material.

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Picture Source

The stud shoe also offers a equivalent of a protection plate for the pipe.

  • 1
    Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Your answer was is being flagged as low quality and was in danger of being deleted. In addition answers that are largely depending on links are discouraged because links can go away. I have added some improvements to this answer.
    – Michael Karas
    Feb 4, 2020 at 11:06
  • The picture shown by the OP indicates there is insufficient clearance for fastening the stud shoe. In that case, a sistered stud provides better reinforcement.
    – mongo
    Feb 4, 2020 at 19:24

If I was sure about not at all load-bearing, use screws and wood glue as per Alaska Man's answer.

If it was bearing some load but was not critical to the structure of the house, then you could reinforce it with a length of 2x2 at least a foot either side of the pipe (to the left in the photo). Drill and screw it above and below as prep, then if you coat the surface with epoxy glue and screw it back, the glue will be stronger than the wood when it has set. Beware 5 minute epoxy which may set faster than you want it to!

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