1

I have an electrical outlet powered by a cable that does through a stud. This is currently the first outlet in the series

I'm adding another outlet on a nearby wall that is perpendicular to the first and behind the stud. I think this will be the new outlet in the series

I've attempted a diagram to show this. I hope it makes sense

  • XX is the stud

  • The ----- are the existing cable

  • The = is the new outlet

  • The " is the existing outlet

  • The [] form the walls.

         [  ]
        =[  ]
         [  ]
    [  ---XX---     ]
               "
    
    1. Can I drill through the the stud at the existing point to create either a 3 way or 4 way hole so I can run the cable through to the new outlet?
    2. Will this cause any structural issues?
    3. If I cannot add a hole here, what's the best way for me to add the new outlet in?
1

I may understand your situation. I assume it looks like this (in plan view):

 _____
|_____|
   *
   *
   * <-- planned cable
   *
 __*__
|_____|
  | |
**|*|******** <-- existing cable
  |_|

If that's accurate, simply drill a hole at a diagonal, like so, from whichever side gets you the most clearance:

 _____
|_//__|
  | |
  | | 
  |_|

This hole can penetrate the other stud somewhat to keep more centered, and should be safely above or below any nearby cable, both to prevent damage and to allow smooth bends between holes. The hole should be centered on the stud depth on the unobstructed face.

If the cable ends up less than 1-1/4" from the face of any stud (from the perspective of the finished wall surface), add a protective steel plate to the stud edge.

Note that attempting to bend cable in a multi-direction hole through lumber is likely to stress the conductors. All bends should be smooth and of an adequate radius to prevent tearing of the copper wire and insulating jacket. It's also an exercise in frustration.

| improve this answer | |
  • Yeah that's basically what I have, though I don't know yet if there is a 2nd stud there. My main worry is the structural integrity of the stud. I just don't want to drill only to have it collapse part of the wall – merlinpatt May 8 at 22:03
  • Studs don't collapse due to wiring holes unless a person is foolish enough to drill many in one location. Even then, you can remove any random common stud in your home completely and it's likely nothing will happen. If there's no stud there there's no hole to drill anyway. – isherwood May 9 at 14:16
  • Doesn't the stud at least need to be in place to hold up the drywall? – merlinpatt May 10 at 15:02
  • Of course. I was making a point about structure, not wallboard backing. – isherwood May 10 at 16:04
  • Okay, just wanted to check. Thought there might be a new way to hold up drywall with less studs. – merlinpatt May 11 at 19:38

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