I am performing all electrical work for a new room addition and I uncovered this old work in my house. All of these mechanicals serve a second floor laundry room. Will this pass inspection? I assume that I need to cover the sill and top plates will metal covers. Since the water lines are secured to the middle of the studs, I can't move the electrical wires back.

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  • Is your dryer a 4-wire plug? Is that orange cable 10/3 and not 10/2? It looks lumpy like 10/3. I ask because 10/2 w/ground was never legal for dryers, not even pre-1966, and if that is wrong, change it while you have access. The writing you show does not say what it is. Commented May 27, 2023 at 6:54
  • It a 4 prong outlet. I can see where the outlet in the basement was a three. The former owner must have known that much.
    – Evil Elf
    Commented May 27, 2023 at 11:36

4 Answers 4


What I'm seeing here is two cables stapled full length within 1.25" of the stud edge. You can try to argue it's old work, but now that you've removed the boards and pulled a permit for an addition, there's no good way to argue the lack of nail protection. A building inspector would be well within their jurisdiction to force you to cover that entire stud bay with sheet metal.

Sheet metal happens to be a cheap fix compared to dealing with a nail in a cable.


I would protect each cable for the full length (including where the top & bottom plates are drilled).

For the #12 (yellow) cables, I would use 1" x 1/8" angle iron attached to the stud (you have to pull the old staples).

For the #10 (orange) cable, low profile 14 gauge strut (it's a U-shape channel, about 1.75 x 7/8 inch, available at places like HD. "superstrut" is one brand of it. Just make sure you get the low profile version). Turn the strut so it's open side is inward to face into the cavity (so the "U" shape of the strut wraps the cable on 3 sides).

Using an angle grinder notch the sides of the strut/angle iron where it meets the wood at the wall plates, and then drill thru the back and screw thru it to attach the thru the flat area that you are left with after the sides are notched.

Obviously be darn sure you avoid screwing thru the wires! Also, you could chisel out a 1/8" deep area where the metal meets the wood so you don't cause a rise in your sheetrock.

You would want to tie the cable to the inside of the channel (and/or the inside of the angle iron) in a couple of laces with mountable ties or something similar.

That place where the cable goes across the pipe cross country is a problem. I would use a piece of flat steel for that 16 inches or so diagonally in that whole area across the studs following the wire diagonally. It looks like there would be enough clearance between the pipe and the sheetrock for a flat piece of 14 gauge steel.

Hope this helps.


From "Colorado Residential Code 2021 > 6 Wall Construction > R602 Wood Wall Framing > R602.6 Drilling and Notching of Studs > R602.6.1 Drilling and Notching of Top Plate"

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There's nothing that says you have to staple cables to the studs. You can use plastic wire ties to secure the cables to the pipes, away from the stud edges. You will of course need protection plates at top and bottom for both the cables and the piping.

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