edit: Not an expert on the subject, but I think my question could be “reframed” as what are framing options when you can’t use a king stud on a load bearing wall? I believe tried and true solutions are the framing techniques for a door or window, but could angle braces suffice?

After opening our (external, load bearing) wall by the washing machine, we found one of the 2x4 studs pretty much has a 3” drain pipe going through it. The wood is also rotted around the pipe.

For one stud, how structurally sound would it be to remove the stud and instead provide support by putting two angle braces in (above the drain pipe) against the adjacent studs? Maybe doubling up studs on the adjacent studs?

  • That sounds like an ideal question to ask a structural engineer. He'd be able to calculate how much weight is on this particular wall (you don't even tell us if it's an internal/external wall or load bearing or not), he'll know what kind of snow load to factor in, any wind or seismic additions that must be made, etc. Then he'd be able to prescribe the proper fix and sign off on it, putting his professional reputation on the line. Without the SE, if your wall collapses and the insurance co can pin it on this "patch job", they might not pay out.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 12:40
  • clarified as load bearing external wall, and updating to rehash train of thought
    – itchy
    Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 21:36

1 Answer 1


Assuming regular framing everywhere else (no rot, no strange spacing, no extreme loads), the codeworthy fix for this is a stud shoe.

Simpson stud shoe

Simpson website for HSS2-SDS1.5

As always, check with your AHJ to ensure that this fix meets their standards.

  • Thanks! I should have mentioned this as a case where the stud would get ripped out and don’t mess with the plumbing.
    – itchy
    Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 21:33
  • 2
    Aah, sorry: missed the part where you said you wanted to remove the stud entirely. But then again, if you can reinforce the existing stud in a compliant fashion, why would you bother removing the stud? Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 22:10
  • I agree, keeping the stud and reinforcing would be preferred if possible. In this case we’d remove the stud because of the rot and the hole being way over the diameter limit.
    – itchy
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 13:33

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