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  1. #1
    Matt Busche's Avatar
    Matt Busche Guest

    Default Can I run romex through an air return joist cavity?

    So my wife's been bugging me to install an electrical outlet near a new fish tank on the main floor of our house. It's a really short wall (a little over 3 feet from one corner of the wall to the trim of an open 8' wide doorway/arch leading to our living room) and most of it is taken up by an hvac return vent. But it looks like there may be just enough space between the stud that blocks the right side of the vent and the right-side corner of the wall to squeeze in an electrical box. I'd want to run romex up to the box from our unfinished basement. The floor joists run parallel to this wall and I'd need to drill a hole up through the subfloor between two joists that are currently covered by sheet metal to form a return cavity for the vent.

    I'm sure I could temporarily pull down the sheet metal, drill a hole through the stud, and up through the floor to route the romex, but would this be some sort of code violation? (I'm in Colorado if it makes any difference.) I could use some good-stuff or something to seal the holes to prevent air leaks.

    Thanks for any advice you might have to offer.

    Matt Busche
    Lakewood, CO

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Can I run romex through an air return joist cavity?

    You can't run any utility through a duct or wall return.

    Welmoed Sisson
    Inspections by Bob, LLC, Boyds, MD
    "Given sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine."

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