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1st Floor PlanI'm remodeling my kitchen and removing a load bearing wall. Existing triple 2x10 beam has cables that pass thru it via drilled holes. Structural engineer has spec'd a W8x24 I-beam to replace the existing triple-beam. (The I-beam will be hidden and all existing 2nd story floor joists will be re-tied into the I-beam with Simpson joist hangers. The I-beam will be packed with plywood & 2x8s.)

How should I repair/splice the cables running thru the existing wood beam, which must be cut in order to feed them thru hole(s) in the I-beam? (Until I tear out the ceiling, I do not know how many and what gauges they will be. I do know most will be 12awg, but there may also be a 10awg cable feeding a dryer on the 2nd floor.) I do know there will be little, if any, slack in the cables to work with.

I prefer a solution that will not require junction box(s)/accessibility, though I know this is almost, if not, impossible. I found such a solution on a YouTube video, but Home Depots no longer carry the Tyco cable splice kits (shown in that video @ ~$7ea) and other potential supplier's costs I found online may be cost prohibitive ($35-50 per splice), depending on how many I actually end up needing.

If junction boxes cannot be avoided, any suggestions for centralizing them and making the access more aesthetically pleasing? The ceiling is painted T&G bead boards(~6in wide planks.)

The more I look into this project, the less affordable it seems (although another big issue is how to function kitchen-less for the projected 15mo of the entire kitchen remodel project). The beam replacement is the 1st-stage of the project, upon which everything else (custom cabinet ordering, flooring, etc) needs to be complete before they can begin.

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    The cable ends somewhere, at a light, switch, outlet, would it not be possible to undo it at that end and pull the cable back?
    – crip659
    Oct 26, 2022 at 14:14
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    This all sounds familiar. Just went through a similar project. New kitchen that required removal of a wall, beam install with rewiring etc... As @crip659 says, the wires will need to be relocated. My electricians did a combination of pulling back to existing junction boxes and a few new home runs to replace existing circuits. 15 months? Seems like a long time, assuming that includes design, planning, permits and ordering? Without knowing the scope of your project I would plan for about 3 to 4 weeks with no/limited kitchen. Talk to your contractor and get a plan with timelines.
    – beswald
    Oct 26, 2022 at 14:17
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    Are you located in the USA or elsewhere in the world? Code varies...
    – FreeMan
    Oct 26, 2022 at 14:31
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    NM cable and Homely Despot suggest North American location. ;^) Profile says Huntsville, Alabama. As for "functioning kitchen-less" most normal folks set up an alternate kitchen somewhere with a sink (or put a sink somewhere for the purpose, first) and move the fridge while scaling back to toaster oven, hotplate and microwave for cooking, unless they set up a whole temporary kitchen with feeds adequate for a regular stove
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 26, 2022 at 15:15
  • @Freeman: its in AL -crip659: Y ckts in the kitchen itself. N, for ckts passing thru to 2nd floor bedrooms/baths & basement circuits. -beswald: 1 yr lead on cust cabinets 3mo est for pre&post-cabinet delivery All: plan to do as much DIY as I can to keep $$ under control. I obviously must have help or hire contractor to do the I-beam & other safety-intense aspects of the job, I'll do demo work, temp walls, I-beam packing, cabinet removal/relocation, etc. I won't do tile work, concrete-work (for beam supports), & other 'heavy' tasks. If possible, when the eng. finishes dwgs I'll post them.
    – peinal
    Oct 26, 2022 at 16:04

2 Answers 2

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I found such a solution on a YouTube video

That video has popped up in my feed also, but unfortunately, like most "Youtube electricians", the guy wrong/lying for the clickbait. Youtube ranks people who enjoy being on video and who are good at playing the "ranking game", not people who know a damn thing.

The only Youtube electricians I trust are Benjamin Sahlstrom. And Mike Holt's lectures occasionally make it to Youtube. And in the UK, John Ward. That's about it. The people who are good are not click-divas.

The Tyco cable kits are not permitted for anything but emergency-tier repairs. They are not permitted as general, remodel "I don't want a junction box" splices such as your application.

Romex has a service life. So does kitchen electrical code.

It's not forever. If the Romex is aged, consider outright replacing it.

Further, generally in remodels you need to bring everything up to current code. A common flub I see is people doing a masterful and costly kitchen remodel, and then trying to hang it on That 70's Wiring, complete with "banned since 1996" 3-prong oven outlet and the built-in microwave being on the 1 receptacle circuit that also serves a bathroom.

Unless you have it in writing from your AHJ that your existing electrical wiring may be retained, count on bringing the kitchen up to 2020 electrical code, complete with the many circuits now required, GFCI and AFCI.

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  • Understood. What is an 'AHJ'? Is there an objective definition for what is 'aged Romex'?
    – peinal
    Oct 31, 2022 at 12:52
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Get the engineer to design the beam to be less tall (they will need to use more steel - which will increase the materials cost, and the weight of the beam)

Ihen don't cut the wires, instead cut the old beam from around the wires, and instead pass the wires above the new beam.

Actually I just noticed that the new beam is 2" less tall than the old one. there's no need to change it.

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  • Not a bad idea, except that although the engineer's spec'd beam is only 8" tall, he also spec'd a 2x6 to be fastened to the beam with powder loads. Additionally, the existing wire is not located at the top, but rather centrally on the 2x10s. There is insufficient slack to move it 5" to route thru potential gaps in the 2x6.
    – peinal
    Oct 31, 2022 at 12:57
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    Powder loads to attach lumber to steel? You learn something new every day!
    – FreeMan
    Oct 31, 2022 at 15:44

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