HI. I am about half way through putting walls up in my basement. I am using 2 X 3 studs and running electrical wires though with nails plates and so on. I know its to late now but is there any issue that I am using 2 X 3 studs and not 2 X 4 studs?
Most areas use the NEC (National Electric Code) to regulate electrical constructon. The NEC requires that sheathed electrical cable or type NM cabling (I assume that you are not installing wire in metal conduit) be no less than 1.25 inches from the nailable face of a stud or joist. This includes the backside of the stud or joist even if you are not finishing that side (like above the ceiling). This is to prevent nails being driven into the conductors. Deducting 1.25 inches from EACH face of a 2x4 stud (3.5" deep minus 1.25" minus 1.25") leaves room for a 1 inch hole to run conductors. Since 2x3 studs are only 2.5" deep, any hole for conductors would be closer than 1.25" to the surface. Fortunately the NEC allows holes closer than 1.25" if you add a UL approved steel plate over the face of the stud before installing the drywall. The plates are about 1.5" x 3" x 12 gauge and have nail tangs so you won't need nails. They are available at electrical suppliers and home builder stores.
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