I've started remodeling the laundry room in my 60+ year old house where breaker box is. I made an opening below the box, to see how the wires were routed, so I could add a couple of circuits. I was going to drill a hole or holes for the Romex, but there is already a 1-1/2"(ish) hole in the bottom plate.

Should I just run the new wires down through it, or cap that plate with a short pc of 2x4 and drill smaller holes in it, for the new wires?

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  • Personally I would cover the hole and drill smaller holes in the cover - not for any electrical/code reason, but just because ideally, you want fewer holes, to keep out rodents and other pests, reduce drafts, as well as to slow fire progress.
    – ArmanX
    Mar 1, 2022 at 0:05
  • If the Question really is "Can I run power cable through a large opening in a wall plate?" then the useful Answer might be "Yes, of course… and why might you want to?" Mar 1, 2022 at 0:08

2 Answers 2


There's no problem using that hole, but you'll need to keep the cable centered to meet modern code. This is to avoid damage from fasteners. If you were to finish that wall and install baseboard trim with a nail gun, for example, you wouldn't want to be punching drywall screws or brads into your wires. Your idea to lay a block over and drill smaller holes would do, but it's maybe more work than necessary. Do whatever seems easiest.

Use the hole, but lay a two-by block along the near side (where the hole approaches the edge of the plate) to keep cables roughly centered.

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Or staple the cable wherever it's convenient to accomplish the same. You could stand a stub of 2x4 stud alongside for that.

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  • I'd wonder how soon it needs to be fastened after going through a penetration. But if you clamp there anyway you can't go wrong, +1.
    – Mazura
    Feb 28, 2022 at 17:45
  • I don't believe there's any such rule as long as you follow more general rules, such as every 48" and at a box entrance (paraphrasing).
    – isherwood
    Feb 28, 2022 at 17:46

Would use it, unless you want to do more work. It has another board giving it more support.

If it was a joist or stud then it would need to be repaired, since they have more stress on them.

  • 1
    If you're worried about the wires being loose in the hole, you could always clamp them to the wall above and/or below the hole, but it probably doesn't matter. Feb 28, 2022 at 15:04
  • I would perhaps put the romex through a short piece of pipe and site that in the hole, then use spray foam to close up the gaps. Or even a round plug of wood in the big hole.
    – Criggie
    Mar 1, 2022 at 2:48

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