This view is looking up from beneath the support beam between unfinished space (to the right, where the duct is) and what will soon be finished space (left). There will be no face on the right side, only drywall faced to the left.

Ignore the cat6 for now. The yellow Romex is coming from the breaker panel and I need it to feed receptacles that will be in that wall (which will be below the top plate, which is now incorrectly stamped 'STUD'). The darker, older wood is the center support beam of our house.

So I think I just have to go completely around the support beam and run down inside the new wall. Is the way I'm doing this okay, assuming the wire is stapled to the ceiling, beam, top plate, and wall stud?

There are other locations in the house where wiring is routed through drilled vertical holes in the beam. I like my house, so I will not be doing that.

If this is not okay, what other options do I have? Drilling diagonally (where and how?) Metal clad? What's the requirement in this situation? I can't really find anything online that matches this.

enter image description here

  • 1
    "I like my house, so I will not be doing that." I do not think Your house will mind, but it may have told you otherwise? It probably does mind that you used a stud as a top plate, how can it live down the shame.
    – Alaska Man
    Dec 17, 2020 at 22:02
  • I'm leery of even drilling horizontal holes through it or notching it in the slightest... i can't imagine drilling a 3/4" hole vertically up through it.
    – trpt4him
    Dec 17, 2020 at 22:07
  • 3/4 is huge I would be going smaller in the 3/8-1/2 range what size is the romex 22-2 or 12-3 I ask because it looks like 12-2 WG but phones don’t have the best screens.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 17, 2020 at 22:29
  • Sorry I meant 3/8". It's 12/2.
    – trpt4him
    Dec 17, 2020 at 22:31
  • 3/8 is not two bad and what I normally do in a case like this, but notching may be a much easier route it is hard to tell from the photo, the nail plate would be required but they are cheap I have seen some block an area then you are not allowed to screw with 1-1/4” on either side of the wire but I can’t tell if that would be ok here.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 18, 2020 at 0:53

2 Answers 2


You need to protect the wire when it comes out of the stud bay. What I would do would be to drill a hole straight up in the center of the 2x4 go up and over to the joist bay. Other options would be to notch the top plate and add a nail plate or sleeve the section with conduit.
To me going up through the 2x4 plate of that wall would be the easiest and look the most professional in the long run. Since we can’t see the beam I may suggest drilling centered and up 1-1/2” into the beam (1-1/2 past the 2x4) then out to the side this will keep the wire out of the nail zone, it looks like you have more room on the left, that or notch the 2x4 and put a nail plate over the wire.

  • If it was just the top plate, I'd do just that, but there is a support beam made up of 3 sistered 2x10s above that. The top plate is nailed into the lower edge of the beam.
    – trpt4him
    Dec 17, 2020 at 22:11
  • I do understand that but you have to drill, notch or run conduit.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 17, 2020 at 22:22
  • If I can just notch the top plate and go up then right, all within the top plate, I'll happily do that.
    – trpt4him
    Dec 17, 2020 at 22:24
  • If your ceiling is going to that level a notch with a nail plate would pass inspection
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 17, 2020 at 22:32
  • Thanks. So, wire runs up, into notch, then out to the right and still around the beam, stapled to the beam, with nail plate on the small right edge of the top plate? I still just don't know where the wire leaves the top plate.
    – trpt4him
    Dec 17, 2020 at 23:13

Within the confines of the space shown in the picture, its difficult to provide the options. I don't understand your statement, "There are other locations in the house where wiring is routed through drilled vertical holes in the beam. I like my house, so I will not be doing that." The obvious solution (within the picture) is to do just that - drill a hole in the beam. The beam looks to have studs under it in the work area. Still, if your concern is impacting the beam's span capacity, look up it's specs.

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