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Plywood shearwall in Plumbing Wall

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I’m not sure how big a problem this is, but I am running across it a lot in plan checking light-framing. The engineer or architect of record is not paying attention to the location of designated shear walls and is placing walls where plumbing will penetrate the mud sill. By design, I am careful to avoid this as I believe it destroys the continuity of the shearwall plate. I’ve had situations where walls were accidentally placed in a plumbing wall and I have worked out details using 2x solid blocking placed between studs and secured with the 2x edge down against the remaining wood sill plate. I then end-nail the blocks through the studs and consider the plate to be repaired (once the plywood is nailed to the face of the block above the plate cut-out.


I am seeing this a lot and pointing it out as a correction, but since the code does not specifically address this issue, I don’t know if I am raising unnecessary concerns.


What are some of your opinions on shear walls in locations where the plate is interrupted or made discontinuous due to a utility or drain?


Thanks in advance,



Dennis S. Wish, PE

California Professional Engineer

Structural Engineering Consultant



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