Recabling an old house


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Old 11-14-03, 06:19 PM
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Recabling an old house

We've owned this 130 year old victorian beauty for only 3 months.
The previous owner had the old tube and peg wiring replaced for most of the main floor, but the second floor is still the old T&P, and I'll assume that all ceiling fixtures are also still T&P.
Question #1
what is the best method in running new wire to the second floor? A friend suggested running 2' conduit from the basement panel up the outside of the house and bring it into the attic crawlspace to feed down into each room as needed.

#2
Is there a limit of how many wires can be fed through the conduit?

#3
Is there an easy way to run the wire to the main floor ceiling fixtures short of knocking big holes in the old plaster? From my experience here so far, a small hole gets a lot bigger really fast in old plaster as it tends to crumble.

Advise?
 
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Old 11-14-03, 07:02 PM
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(2) Because of ampacity derating concerns, you aren't going to want to run more than 9 current-carrying conductors through the same conduit.
 
  #3  
Old 11-15-03, 09:47 AM
brickeyee
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I usually sacrifice a first floor and second floor stud cavity and cut the plaster. If you have a place on the second floor a sub-panel is a good option, otherwise open the wall once, run as many 12/3 cables as you might need, and then a few extras, and close it up. Run the cables from the basement to the attic, and leave a bunch of extra in the attic. Leave enough extra in the basement to reach the panel. Split the circuits in junction boxes in the attic and drop into the rooms.
It takes a lot of practice to run wires in old houses without doing a lot of plaster damage. Often the path is longer to minimize damage. The problem spots are usually top plates, bottom plates, and any firestops between them. You can cut a taller narrow hole to drill through top plates, and then fish from a fixture opening. The tradoff is plaster repair time against wiring time. You will learn how to repair plaster before you are done.
 
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Old 11-15-03, 05:31 PM
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Thanks for the reply gentlemen
Now a stupid question perhaps?
Would feeding wires up the same route as the heating vents allowed?
They would likely be in contact with the outside of the vents at some points.
That'd probably be the easiest way now that I've looked again.

As a side note, I did install an outlet on an outside wall in a porch, and using a 14" masonary bit, I still was'nt through to the cellar! Had to borrow a 24", and even that just made it through with nothing to spare.
 
  #5  
Old 11-15-03, 05:54 PM
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Installing wires along side the heating vent is OK. Installing wires inside the heating vent is not OK unless the wire is Plenum rated. That means ot won't burn and give off toxic fumes that the ventilation system would spread.
 
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Old 11-16-03, 07:29 AM
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Cool

Also, I've seen a basement-to-attic rewiring job solved by installing conduit from top to bottom inside closets (upstairs closet happened to be offset but above ground floor closet), if you have any opportunity such as that.
 
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Old 11-16-03, 10:34 AM
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Installing cables alongside forced air heating ducts is fine, because such ducts don't get much more than warm. Installing cables alongside a furnace or water heater flue, however, requires much more caution.
 
 

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