Is my partially cut exterior wall stud safe?

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lisbun

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Hi everyone. I'm remodeling my bathroom and rearranging my tub placement in my wood framed house. An exterior wall stud was in the way of centering the shower valve above my tub, so my contractor cut parts of the stud away to center and fit the shower valve, shower arm and tub spout. Pictures are attached. To me it looks like he cut too much of the stud without properly bracing it. I'm not sure if he's following code. Does it look safe?
Screenshot_20230402_214811_Gallery.jpg
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I'm in NYC. Also, do I need insulation behind this wall where the water pipes and valve is located? I'm new to renovation so I'm clueless.Thanks so much!
 
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Jeff H Young

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Safe Id say yes , a happy face from inspector maybe not. I think the corner and the partial stud and next stud over will carry it fine but dont think that looks very clean.
My code calls for installing insulation when opening a wall , that little hole I wouldnt bother, but if a bigger hole was there I might. of cource we dont have freezing weather wher I live we never have frozen pipe. (location NYC is job site? many people post where they live and omitt job location) Was the a valve in that wall before? I think Id be concerned I think it gets kinda cold in NYC but I sure dont follow your weather or know what the protocol is on plumbing in unisulated exterior walls ask inspector or a genuine Contractor in your area
Here we go on airchambers , Someone will tell us those are going to kill someone with legionaires disease, they do nothing been putting them on houses for a good 100 years though, experts say they get stagnate and breed disease.
 

lisbun

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Hi Jeff, thanks. The corner wall on the right is actually the bathroom wall with a bedroom on the other side. The exterior wall is where the valve is and runs approx 12ft to the right of the valve and 17ft to the left of the valve. The bathroom is on the 2nd fl of a two-story framed home in NYC. We frequently get freezing weather 20 degree to 30s in the winter. I asked for insulation but the contractor said it wasnt required. The job doesn't need city permits or inspection but I'd like for it to follow good building practices.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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Framing isn't an issue in my opinion either.

Exactly Why is insulation Not required on the exterior wall and specifically to protect the water lines? Is there some other form of insulating barrier doing that work?
 

GL77

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I don't know what's required but look at it this way, it will never be easier to insulate than it is right now. Why would you want to have any exterior wall that isn't insulated, especially if there is plumbing in it? Code where I am is that it must be insulated and all holes to non-insulated space (where the pipes come through) must be filled with expanding foam to fill the gaps. It doesn't get as cold where I am as it does where you are, I'm sure.
 

lisbun

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I saw there was no insulation in the exterior wall after the contractor demolished the lower half of the old plaster wall that had tile (old tile was about 4ft high in a 1940s built home). I asked him to add insulation to the entire bathroom exterior wall and he said it wasn't required since the home was built without it and city code didn't require it. I gave him the benefit of the doubt since he's a distant cousin and said he wouldn't even put it in if it was his own home. But after i saw the stud partially cut without bracing, I started to think he may be trying to take advantage of me, a single mom. That's why I posted to this forum. I will bring it up again and insist on the insulation!
 

Breplum

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fyi AIR CHAMBERS DO NOTHING they are a 'dead leg'.
In case future readers missed Jeff Young's comment, above, here it is again:
"Here we go on airchambers , Someone will tell us those are going to kill someone with legionaires disease, they do nothing been putting them on houses for a good 100 years though, experts say they get stagnate and breed disease."

Stub out tubs with FIP wing adapter and brass pipe nipple. copper stubs will only cause problem in the future.
 

wwhitney

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lisbun

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Hi Wayne, Ill have to check when I'm home, but i belive the stud is notched by 40-50%. I don't think the contractor is willing to take apart the wall to place new studs without me having to pay more. If money was not an issue, I would certainly require him to do it if notched >25% as per your link. But my funds are limited, so at least I'll be able to sleep at night if the professional community believes what he did is "safe" even if it doesn't follow the applicable code. I was forced to do the renovation because I had water leak issues with the old corroded drainage pipe that wasn't accessible from the 1st floor ceiling. So rather than pay for a partial bathroom repair, I decided to just redo the whole bathroom. Little did I know, the renovation is also a BIG headache, especially when my contractor cousin appears to be cutting corners. He works on my project on weekends between other jobs. I will be more upfront about the insulation and will show him the NYC code.
 

Jeff H Young

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agree with other comments, I dont find it as quality , dont know what it is about these east coasters and putting air chambers on or even a proper water hammer arestor why put them on?
I dont like copper stub outs on tub either. I just plumb it right on the rough and if someone else wants to convert to coppper later they can change out the nipple.
Good point maybe there is a double wall or something and you dont need insulation.
I hate to pick it apart it might be ok to you just looks a bit under quality make sure you cap those ends and pressure test
 

lisbun

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I didn't understand what you were talking about regarding air chambers. I initially thought you were referring to the exterior wall cavity. I think i finally figured it out, you must be referring the top half of the two capped vertical pipes of the "H" created from the water lines and the shower valve. It's a Delta shower/tub valve. I looked at the installation instructions and there's no "air chamber" in their diagram which show hot and cold lines going directly into the valve. I'll have to ask why he did it that way when the manufacturer instructions show otherwise.
 

lisbun

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Just wanted to also mention that he originally soldered the lines and placed the valve to the left of the stud telling me that the mixing handle and tub/shower spout would be off-center vs the tub drain. I said no way, that would look strange & I've never ever seen a bath faucet off-center from the drain anywhere in my 40 yrs of life. Either move the tub or move the valve. However, the tub could not be placed further out due to a window. Anyhow, thats why he notched the stud. I was expecting him to frame two new studs to the left and right of the valve but he didn't want to remove what's left of the plaster on the exterior wall. I thought my cousin was taking too many shortcuts and it made me question him. I had no one else to turn to other than you pros on this forum. Thank you all!
 

Jeff H Young

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Lisbun , As a plumber a few short cuts I understand example busting out the plaster If Im just putting in a Tub Shower valve its not my job to Demo anything that I dont agree. Often Ill tell owner or contractor to demo the job do the framing and then call me to start or when they have enough done for me to start
I dont remodel entire bathrooms Im a plumbing contractor . i dont do the framing electrical , tile work , wall patching. thats just how I roll nothing wrong with a general contractor that does it all
I dont want to totaly throw him under the bus on other hand I dont know what you hired anyone to do . I can paint a gatebut dont hire me too paint a 30k dollar cabinet installation and expect it to look like fine furniture. Im hoping the job progresses to your satisfaction .
 

lisbun

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Jeff, I understand your point and agree if my cousin contractor was hired only for plumbing. However, he offered his service as a general contractor at a friends and family discount that would treat my job like his own home. I envisioned minimal input from me other than selecting the tile, tub, toilet & faucets. I too hope everything forward goes smoothly. Thanks!
 

WorthFlorida

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The picture shows that a 2x4 was sistered to the cut stud. It is attached to the stud flat side facing the wall. But it is not continued to the sill plate. Definitely must insulate the wall. Most homes when plumbing needs to be installed on an outside wall in a cold zone such as NY, a dummy wall is added so there is a full 3.5" of insulation behind the plumbing on the warm side.

What type of exterior wall is it, siding, brick, stucco? It appears to be a plaster or cement product. Many old homes in NY have a new siding on the exterior and a 1/2 foam board is added on top of the old exterior wall for a little insulation and to reduce drafts into the exterior walls. if this is a north or NE facing wall and the prevailing winds hit it, there is always a chance of the pipes freezing.
 

Jeff H Young

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I cant tell what the chance of freezing is there it could be safely built from freeze kinda doubt it but not going to guess.
I also dont want to Alarm the owner but from the 2 pictures and limited info , Im not impressed , I see stuff like this on older homes often done by owners them selves and they are ok with it. looks to me like it might get demoed out better later and its not done yet
 

lisbun

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The home was built in the 1940s. The exterior wall is plaster inside and aluminum siding outside. The wall is facing north. There is currently no insulation at all, probably due to oil being cheap at the time the home was built. I'm going to make sure that the pipes will be wrapped with black foam in addition to adding some pink insulation between the walls where accessible. I don't think my cousin contractor will open the entire wall. I asked previously and he said it wasn't required so he would not do that without adjusting the cost higher. I'm already stretching my budget for this job so can't afford to pay more. At this point safe and minimizing the chance of frozen pipes is good enough for me. I'm kicking myself for trusting him and should have looked at more experienced contractors. Thanks.
 

Jeff H Young

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There are lots of old houses that arent insulated , Well there you go you discussed it and opted out , I dont have much cold weather plumbing experiance the one area I worked in we didnt put water pipes in outside walls at all job was polanned out that way
 

Tuttles Revenge

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When the house was built originally it had steel water lines that wouldn't burst when subjected to freezing temperatures.. Copper has the least resistance to bursting of all piping materials. You really should insulate at minimum that entire space behind the copper and really the entire stud cavity.
 

Jeff H Young

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Lisbun never said there were existing pipes there? the wall shows no sign of existing plumbing ? I d put the water lines on another interior wall if practical, but then Im from a place where pipes never freeze in walls. I think pipes freeze in NYC
 
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