We’re looking to open up a wall that separates the kitchen and living room. The wall doesn’t reach the ceiling, currently has a 3ft doorway.

The house is a single story slab on grade located in SoCal. Wall ends about 6 ft from the ceiling.

Upon removing the drywall we found this 3” steel pole set in the slab. It sticks out of the slab about 3ft and is lagged to one of the studs. Waterline in the image went to the ice maker in the fridge and the sink is on a separate wall so I don’t believe this is related to anything plumbing.

Is this pipe providing some sort of shear strength to the house, or is it just there to stiffen the partial wall for out of plane loads, since it doesn’t attach to the ceiling?

Photos for reference: View from the kitchen

Pole in question

Set into the slab

Bolted to stud

View from the other side

  • What part of the country is this located. It could be to help protect from earthquakes and or heavy winds. You could contact your local building department and ask if they are required and why.
    – Gil
    Nov 22 '21 at 20:21
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    Would imagine it is required in SoCal building code, since it seems to be placed when the house was built(instead of an add-on). It's only purpose seems to be of stiffening/support since it is bolted on to a stud. Bolts in plumbing pipes usually a bad idea(leaks).
    – crip659
    Nov 22 '21 at 20:21
  • @crip659 If you made this an answer, I’d upvote it.
    – Lee Sam
    Nov 22 '21 at 20:33
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    @LeeSam This is just a guess. Could also be someone was having fun, and thought a pipe like this would get people tearing their hair out guessing.
    – crip659
    Nov 22 '21 at 20:43
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    Hard to imagine this pipe providing any useful stiffening of anything other than the one stud it's attached to. And maybe not even that since the sill plate is broken to accommodate it. It's not attached to the wall near the ground, the doorway eliminates even whatever tiny effect the pipe might have for most of the wall's width. Maybe it was for stiffening but it was just a terrible idea poorly implemented.
    – jay613
    Nov 22 '21 at 20:46

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