“Running Romex Through Holes in Studs Without Drilling”

When running electrical wiring through a home, it's common to use Romex cables to connect lights, outlets, and other devices to the main electrical panel. Romex is a flexible cable with THHN copper conductors and a protective outer sheathing. It's allowed by code to be run through holes drilled in wood studs. However, drilling all those holes can be time consuming and make unwanted dust. Fortunately, there are techniques to run Romex through studs without drilling holes.

Using Existing Holes in Studs

The easiest way to run Romex without drilling is to utilize existing holes in the studs. Here are some options:

Electrical and Plumbing Holes

Notching Holes

Bottom Plate Holes

Creating New Holes in Studs

If existing holes can't be utilized, it is possible to create new holes for Romex without power tools:

Use a Nail to Start the Hole

Ream the Hole with a Screwdriver

Protect the Cable

Use a Hole Saw for Larger Holes

Fishing the Romex Through the Studs

Once access holes are ready, the technique to feed the cables is called "fishing":

Securing and Protecting the Romex

Some additional tips when running Romex through holes in studs:

So while drilling holes for Romex is preferred, with the right techniques and safety precautions it is possible to run cables through stud walls without power tools when necessary. Just take care to protect the wire sheathing from damage. With some clever fishing methods, existing or new holes can accommodate Romex without weakening the framing.