attic of doom

Old 10-12-02, 06:16 AM
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attic of doom

7 am- prepare to finally clean up attic
8 am-preparing to rewire a monstrosity!

I was up in my attic cleaning out some old stuff. The attic is unfinished with just plank flooring in the middle sort of a wide aisle. well i was moving some stuff near the edge and noticed a bunch of wires so i checked it out. Well, its not pretty, its actually the worst wiring ive ever seen, EVER! There are 8 romex cables coming to a "junction" in the middle of the insulation!!!!!!!! Not a junction box to be seen anywhere, the wires are taped together with black electrical tape not even wire nuts on them. It gets even better, some of the wires arent even romex, just white and black thnn cables running all over the place. Some of the romex doesnt use the hot or nuetral but the grounds are tied??? WHO WOULD WIRE THIS WAY????? The attic is above the 3rd story, all of the wires i can trace lead to a 2 story deep "hole" that is the top part of a false cieling over a first floor staircase. The bottom of the staircase ceiling is about 20 feet down, the wires run over this hole, and again are just taped up to all the individual runs to the light and i assume the switch. The runs to the lights are ridiculous as well. There must be 100' of wire to every light. Its all lying on top of the false ceiling down 20' in a big coiled mess. It does look like the cans of the recessed lights have cable clamps and boxes but i have no idea how to even get down in the hole, as the false ceiling isnt going to hold me it looks pretty crappy 2x4s on the flat. Maybe a suspension system from the rafters to get down and try and straighten this out???? Theres so many wires Im going to need to draw diagrams to figure out how to redo it properly. I really dont understand it at all. I would have never noticed it if i hadnt cleaned up the attic. Yikes! -Josh
Old 10-12-02, 06:44 AM
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You have my sympathies. This is a real mess. My best advice is, "don't guess." Be sure you know where every wire is coming from and going to, and what its exact function is, before altering it. Of course, you can replace the tape with wire nuts and install junction boxes without that knowledge.
Old 10-12-02, 08:12 AM
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receess cans

You can accss the can lights from below and fish new wire from fixture to fixture. Just remove the screws that adjust the housing up and down,then you should be able to remove housing and get to j-box on the fixtures.
Old 10-14-02, 12:10 PM
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Re: attic of doom

I feel your pain. As a single homeowner, I try to do most things myself. In last summer's heatwave, I decided to install a ceiling fan in the hallway of my second floor. All seemed to go well except the blades would not turn. I basically had a fan-shaped light. I decided to go up into the attic (first time in the 1.5 years of owning it) to see what might be the problem. What I found was an attic with no insulation! I couldn't make heads or tails of the electrical box - wasn't even sure I was at the right box for the fan. It was about 158 degrees and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. There are now two attics of doom in PA.
Old 10-14-02, 12:47 PM
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Regisgreen have you insulated the attic yet? I spent my sunday insulating a small greenhouse/potting shed i built ( last year ok so im a little slow) with Rfoil insulation from Home depot. The stuff is great! No itch, easy to cut and work with. They had 500 sq ft for 100 dollars. A great deal. I wish id bought more, im sure ill need it for??? something. My problem is I like to mess with stuff, then break it, then have to fix it 5x better than any normal person. In the end its a good result, but sometimes i should leave that loose railing alone. Just with this attic situation, theres one light right in the middle, no switch just a pull chain, so if im going to be up there fixing, well i need 5 lights, an unswitched receptacle for a power gable vent when i decide to put that puppy in, and a light switch by the door to make it easy. I buy those 200 packs of insulated staples , and run out all the time! Im working too hard. maybe i should move to the carribean and own a tent and a hammock, not much can go wrong with those -josh

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