I have a wall where there is concrete, a 1.5” thick stud, and then 0.5” thick drywall. It seems like the studs are only to screw the drywall in and are non-structural.

So from the face of my drywall to the concrete wall, I have exactly 2”. There is an existing electrical gang box 2” depth that houses a socket.

I plan to run a 14 gauge wire (1 ground, 1 neutral, 1 hot, all in a casing, bought at HomeDepot), from the existing outlet to the other side of the wall (5 studs away) to an outlet I want to install.

Things I’m going to buy:

  1. 14 gauge wire
  2. 2” gang
  3. Face plate
  4. Outlet
  5. Nail Protection plates


  • Are the studs too thin? The studs are 1.5” thick x 2” wide.

  • Do I have to cut into the studs and run the wires in a 0.25-0.5” slot, then put the plates on top, OR can I just run the wires on top (on the face of the studs), and screw in the plates just enough so they don’t crush the wires, then patch back the wall?

  • Plates are needed when the wire/cable/pipe is closer than 1 1/2 from the wall surface. 1/2 inch drywall plus an inch of stud. If the wire/cable is in the stud by more than an inch should be okay, but can still use plates for extra protection. Cables/wires need to be in a hole/notch, no squeezing of cables. The lump left in the wall without a hole/notch will make patching the wall difficult.
    – crip659
    Feb 9, 2023 at 0:11
  • Hmm, but my stud is 1.5” thick + 0.5” drywall. So if I cut 1” into the stud, I only have 0.5” left. Is that still okay? If I cut 0.5” into the stud, and put plates, how do I protect the rest of the wire that’s running between two studs since I can’t put plates there?
    – Brandon
    Feb 9, 2023 at 0:18
  • 2
    Your concrete wall takes all of the loading bearing, if any. Those studs are just nailing/screwing places for the drywall. You are allowed to make a hole/notch 60%(a bit over an inch) in a non loading bearing stud wall. As something just for screws/nails okay.
    – crip659
    Feb 9, 2023 at 0:25
  • I'm concerned that you on the one hand appear to describe NM or AC or MC cable "1 ground, 1 neutral, 1 hot, all in a casing," and on the other hand appear to be thinking of running wires in slots in studs that don't seem big enough for the cable. Is the "casing" plastic? That would be NM, and it needs to be protected from damage, and the casing needs to be intact from 1/4" inside one box to 1/4" inside the other box - you can't shuck the wires out of it anywhere but inside a junction box.
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 9, 2023 at 2:26
  • @Ecnerwal it’s not in plastic. It’s like a rubbery casing. I went Home Depot and told them I needed wire to connect from an existing socket to a new place on the wall. They gave me the correct wire. It’s not too thick. It’s just all 3 of the mentioned wires in a rubbery casing. I cut about 3” of wiring into each gang box. Everything is working. I just wanted to know if I was breaking code if I ran the wires on top of the stud vs. through the stud or cutting a slot in, and how deep :)
    – Brandon
    Feb 10, 2023 at 4:00

1 Answer 1


@Brandon, crip659 seems to have it right. Most commonly it seems you'd be drilling a hole in the stud for the the wire. Is the gypsum board already installed? If so, you would fish the wire, cutting holes other than receptacles and switches, where needed for pulling the wire. If no drywall is yet present, for sure use plates on such a shallow stud that sounds like it's serving as an exagerated furring strip. So you're saying you're buying a 2" DEEP gang, right? i.e. the shallow version. That's what you need. Just limit the amount of wire you have in the box. I think NEC says fewer wires.

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    – Community Bot
    Feb 9, 2023 at 3:12
  • The gypsum was already screwed into the studs. Yeah the 2” gang is perfect. I cut a hole in the drywall near the stud where I want to place it. I placed it in, and it touches the concrete, and just has maybe 1mm sticking out from the drywall :) it’s an exact fit pretty much. I am following his advice and cutting into the stud, then I will put plates on top since I bought them today :)
    – Brandon
    Feb 10, 2023 at 4:02

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