New work / old work advice needed!

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Old 12-29-02, 03:26 PM
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New work / old work advice needed!

Hi all-

I need some advice on a wiring project. Here's the deal - recently purchased a 33 year old house that had a 500 ft/sq, single story addition put on in the early 70s. We ripped down all of the tacky paneling and a partition wall, and want to modify the wiring before installing drywall. There are 2 rooms - family and dining - in the space in question.

The pre-existing wiring to the addition includes 2 220v lines for baseboard heaters and a 220 v line for a wall mounted A/C that I removed. All of the wiring runs from the breaker panel in the basement portion of the main house and up a stud wall into the "attic" of the addition. There is no access to this space other than peering through the rafters (and there wont be access once I put up the drywall).

I noticed that the wiring goes up to this space and then runs over the joists and down to the subsequent recepticals, switchs and the lone ceiling fixture. The cables are stapled to the rafter above the wall drop, but not affixed to the other rafters -- they are just strewn accross. Is this okay? The wiring justs runs down along side the studs and into the various boxes. I assume that is still an accepted way of doing it rather than drilling through the studs?

I would like to add 8 recessed cans to the family room and 6 cans to the dining room. I will also be adding new switches to control these lights. My main hesitation is that I am worried that the inspector (yes - I got a permit!) will not pass me with the old wiring. Any thoughts?

Also, assuming that I will have about 75 watts per can (1050 watts total) I should be okay using 14 guage wiring on 1 15 amp circuit breaker? (I plan on removing the 220 volt A/C line and replacing the 20 amp breaker with a single 15 amp for this circuit).

Lastly, since this will be inspected, am I supposed to make the connections at the breaker panel and run all the wiring to the fixtures and switches and just not connect the wiring until the inspection? (except grounds?)

Am I over my head here, and if so, about how much would it cost me to hire it out? Like I said, I already paid for the permit and I have the wiring, fixtures etc.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 12-29-02, 04:37 PM
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Depending on the area this is being done in might depend on what the inspector will deem as having to be brought up to todays codes. Certain jurisdictions claim any area where extensive remodeling is done the electrical in that area must also be brought up to code. From what you've described it might be a wise idea to call your local inspector and get his veiws on what he would expect done. He will have the last word on it and most inspectors are only too happy to help out, especially before the work is done it saves them alot of looking afterwards. A suggestion I have for you is if you think you might be over your head then you just might be, read a few books on the subject and get comfortable with what your doing. Leave anything you done understand or are not comfortable with to a professional.
 
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Old 12-29-02, 06:32 PM
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Thanks gard. I've read a few books -- just stuff not specifically covered is my problem - eg the wires running ontop of the joists not connected to anything.

I am in the Philly Burbs (Abington Twp) if it helps... I guess that since it will be inspected before the drywall, I can do it the way I think it ought to be done, and just not make the final connections to the panel.
 
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Old 12-29-02, 06:54 PM
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The wiring methods your describing is almost typical of a house that origionally didn't have any electricity and had it added later. I would suggest for the extra cost to run #12 wire instead of #14 that way in time to come if you need to add something to that circuit you can go up to a 20 amp breaker, instead of running a whole new circuit for the sake of one receptacle or something.
 
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Old 12-31-02, 07:09 AM
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The house was built in 67 and the addition in the early 70s. They had electricity back then I think... :-)

I guess my description wasn't clear enough. Anyhow, I talked to the inspector, and they told me that I should be fine, and that laying the wires accross the joists is fine provided there isn't access to that space once the walls / ceiling are finished, and that my junction boxes remain accessable.

He did tell that I would have to bring the whole addition up to current code though, because I have removed all of the paneling and exposed all of the wires. AFAIK, everything else in the addition appears to meet code except for the 1/2 bath needs a GFCI which is no problem. Should I just make sure that the recepticals meet the 12/6 rule? That just means that there has to be an outlet every 6 lf of wall space right?
 
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Old 12-31-02, 08:30 AM
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"Should I just make sure"-----Please know that the 12/6 rule is a minimum requirement. Since this appears to be a "custom" design you may need receptacles for certain purposes such as an "entertainment" cabinet.Please consider telephone and other communication cables while you have the framing exposed.-----Good Luck!!!
 
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Old 12-31-02, 04:40 PM
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Wink

Run in conduit from 2 1/8"deep 4" square boxes to the attic for communications-3/4" pvc conduit, or ENT (corrogated flexible stuff lowes & HomeDepot sell.)
If you could, run new romex all the way back to the panel, use 12 not 14AWG.
The gound wire in the old wire may be undersized in the old stuff, rip it out. (keeping it up to code )
Everything else sounds fine.

gj
By chance, I live nearby (Blue Bell)
 
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Old 01-01-03, 03:55 PM
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Thanks for the replies! I finished drawing out my wiring plan and traced the existing circuits back to the panel. I think I should be all set now that I know what all the wires are going to and what not. My new lighting circuit should be pretty easy now.

I will also run my coax and telephone lines. I assume I should keep them away from the romex in order to minimize interference?

I'll post back once I finish the rough in. Thanks again!
 
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Old 01-02-03, 08:31 AM
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One more quick question-

I noticed that there aren't separate neutral and gound buses in the main panel. Is that okay?
 
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Old 01-02-03, 09:23 AM
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Seperate terminal bars for Neutral and Grounding wires are required only in sub-panels which are feed from the Service-panel.
 
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Old 01-02-03, 06:27 PM
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210-52(a)(1) Spacing. Receptacles shall be installed so that no point along the floor line in any wall space is more than 6 ft. (1.83m), measured horizontally, from an outlet in that space. Receptacle outlets shall, insofar as practicable, be spaced equal distances apart.

This requires the receps to be located every 12 feet. the spot in the middle is thus "no more than 6 ft".

That said, put them every 6 feet. It is cheap and easy know, prevents extension cords for lights, and makes life a lot easier.
 
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Old 01-02-03, 07:26 PM
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Well, being that my vacation is over and I had to work till five today, I learned how little one can get done in 5 hours!! I managed to run the 12/2 for my 3 new receptacles and not much else. It is a real PITA to try running wires with existing insulation in the way! I got back to my appartment and realized I was covered head to toe in tiny bits of fiberglass.

So, speaking of insulation, what is the proper procedure for installing my recessed cans (they are IC rated) - do I cut holes through the kraft paper face and stuff the can inside, or do I push the whole bat up above the can? I had planned to remove the old bats where the cans are to be placed and then cut new insulation to fit around them. Does that sound right?

Thanks for the help!
 
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Old 01-03-03, 06:14 AM
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One point that hasn't been mentioned is the bathroom recepticle. I beleive it has to be on its own circuit. You can't put it on the same circuit as the other rooms. You can put it on the same circuit as other bathrooms though. You can also put other stuff like lights and fans that are in the bathroom on this circuit.
 
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Old 01-03-03, 06:32 AM
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comgenboy:
There are 2 different-rated cans. One can have insulation touching it, the other needs to have some breathing room. Check the rating on the label. I forget the exact wording, but it's pretty obvious which is which.
 
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