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I'm in the process of remodeling a bathroom and need to re-frame a portion of the wall that had water/termite damage. The wood work itself shouldn't be too hard but there are romex lines running through the bottom of it:

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I really don't want to run new lines all the way from the breaker box. What's the easiest way handle electrical here? I was originally thinking:

1) Shut off power.

2) Cut line and remove the both ends from the funky wall.

3) Fix the wall/frame.

4) Drill holes and reinsert the wire

5) Add a junction box and reconnect the wires.

The first issue though is that I don't think there's enough slack here.

So does that mean that I'll have to cut the wire and replace at least replace the part from the cut to the bathroom light, switch, etc?

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    If you carefully remove the studs, you could leave the wiring in place. Then put new studs in place, running the wiring in notches instead of holes. Just remember to follow notching guidelines, and protect the wiring with metal plates. I'll try to write up an actual answer later, when I get some free time. – Tester101 Sep 7 '14 at 18:42
  • My opinion is that over the life of the project it will be easier to kill the power, cut the line, install a junction boxes, and then reconnect the line through the new framing than it will be to work around it. Either way, I recommend turning off the power while you work in the area. – ben rudgers Sep 7 '14 at 21:51
  • You could add junction boxes, but remember they must be "accessible". – Tester101 Sep 8 '14 at 0:19
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The best way to deal with this, since you have the walls open, is to turn off the power and then find the nearby electrical boxes where these wires terminate and un-string the wires back out through your framing area. After new framing is in place then drill new holes for the wires and re-string them back to their destinations.

In some instances these wires will just be passing by the area where the walls are open but not terminate in any boxes in the open wall area. In this case life gets all that much more complicated. There are several strategies to deal with the latter, none of which are particularly good ones.

1 - You can notch the new studs to let the wires pass by. This requires extra care to protect the wires including the placement of nail / screw stopper plates over the notches.

2 - Cut the wires near the center. Then you could choose to add some new outlets to that wall and use the electrical boxes behind the outlets as splice points to support adding the new length of wiring needed to bridge the circuits back together.

  • Adding a box in the middle likely isn't practical, since most cables aren't going to have enough slack in them. If you can remove one end from a junction and pull the cable back, that would be the best bet. – Tester101 Sep 8 '14 at 10:25
  • @Tester101 - I think you missed a fine and subtle detail in my posting. I used added "boxes in plural". You cut the cables in the middle but then install two new boxes toward the corners and string a replacement piece of wire between the two new boxes to bridge the old circuit together. – Michael Karas Sep 8 '14 at 11:06
  • Perhaps it was too fine and subtle. – Tester101 Sep 8 '14 at 11:39
  • Why not inline splices? – bib Sep 8 '14 at 19:44
  • @bib: Inline splices Do Not Meet Code. Connections must be made in a box, and the box must be accessible in case they have to be serviced. And simply splicing has the problem mentioned by Tester101 that you may not have enough slack. Michael's solution -- put in two boxes so you can insert a length of wire between them -- is pretty clever; I'll have to remember that one. – keshlam Nov 13 '14 at 23:25
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If your area allows, you can do the following:

  1. Cut the power
  2. With a small saw, cut above and below the wire so you can remove the piece facing you on the stud - should leave the wire floating free and the channel should be no more than 1 inch in height.
  3. Gently pull the wires out, cut the stud in two and remove
  4. On your new studs, cut a channel through the 2" side about 3/4" deep by 1/2" in height, make sure to measure so this falls where the current lines run.
  5. Angle in all studs behind the wires, then set the studs vertical and nail in place.
  6. Make sure the wires run through the slots you cut.
  7. Nail on a Nail Plate to cover the channel and wires (see below)

Nail Plate Nail Plate Usage

Nail plates are typically used to protect pipes and wiring after the drywall is up and someone wants to drive a nail to hang a picture. Here in Colorado they are also used how I described.

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