I have started the process of framing my basement, but I've hit a bit of a snag as I'm not sure how exactly to frame around our water main. My original idea was to frame two walls (floor to joists) on each side, and fill the gap between them with a knee-wall of sorts, but I'm not sure that this would meet code.

I've created a rough but fairly accurate diagram of the area that should help.

Original Diagram

The main enters approximately 6 ft from the floor, turns 90-degrees upward, enters a main cutoff followed by a regulator, continues to the height of the floor joists, where it turns 90-degrees again and runs perpendicular to the joists. The entire vertical assembly is less than a 1/2 inch away from the concrete wall.

I'm open to framing a vertical chase, however I've not been able to find any information on how to do this properly and to code. In addition, the water pipes run below the joists, and I do not intend to finish the ceiling at this time. I would like to avoid moving the wall out from the concrete wall, as I would like to keep as much usable space in this area as possible. I would also be okay with adding additional blocking (can this just be nailed upward into the blocking I've already added?) to lower a continuous header 1.5 inches, but it would require notching the back side with no way to add the appropriate strapping.

I would appreciate any insight in handling this framing design, and would prefer that any answers meet code (as there will be an inspection later). Thank you in advance.


Here is my updated diagram.

  • What's the pink? Insulation?
    – longneck
    Jun 13, 2013 at 18:43
  • Yes -- XPS insulation, 1/2"
    – Jacob S
    Jun 13, 2013 at 19:33
  • +1 for the awesome diagram. If everybody included diagrams, it would make answering questions much easier. Thank you, sir!
    – Tester101
    Jun 13, 2013 at 19:53
  • Thanks -- I was pretty sure that it would be needed, as it isn't something easily visualized. My biggest problem seems to be that the code (according to county inspector) requires a "continuous header", and I don't see how I can do that in this situation. I'm sure it's something incredibly easy that I just haven't thought of.
    – Jacob S
    Jun 13, 2013 at 19:59
  • Is your header a 2x4? Can't you just run it in the joist bay?
    – longneck
    Jun 13, 2013 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


If you header is a 2x4, just run it in the joist bay for that wall.

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