In over my head. Need advice.

Old 11-18-03, 05:14 PM
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Unhappy In over my head. Need advice.

Sorry about the length of this post, but this is a complicated problem and some context is in order.

I'm looking for some advice from some professionals on how to proceed with a problem situation.

The aluminum wiring in my 1970 house was over-extended badly by the original homeowner and has become unsafe.

In fact, I came home from vacation one day to find the upstairs without power. Pulling the outlets apart, I discovered copper and aluminum wire-nutted together everywhere. Two circuits in the same outlet box had arced together, probably caused by the copper/aluminum wire-nut becoming such a good insulator over time.

I'd done a lot of reading, I'm not afraid of hard work, and I understand computer circuitry (DC anyways), so in the interests of getting power back, and being able to sleep at night, I pulled the entire circuit apart, mapped all the wires, and re-pulled a mile of #12 solid copper through, replaced switches and outlets with new 'contractor-grade' hardware, ensured that everything was actually grounded this time, and hooked everything back exactly the way it was before through a new 15AMP breaker. I then put the rest of the circuits in the house on my list of things to do. Yes, pulling wire through to the junction box was a little scary.

The work I've done is a _heck_ of a lot safer than the existing mess the previous owner left me...

But that voice in the back of my head is starting to remind me that I'm in over my head, am not trained to do this work, and it wouldn't be very fair to my wife to 'check-out' early by doing something stupid.

So... I need to bite the bullet and hire a professional electrician to inspect and take care of at-least the problem areas.

My concern is with the existing work and re-work that I did. Even if I can find a qualified electrician to take this one, are we going to have to start over and pull everything apart that I did so that it can be inspected?

Does anyone have any experiences "getting to code" from a situation like this? I'd appreciate any hints or tips on how to get going.

Old 11-18-03, 05:32 PM
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You fished new cable through finished wall spaces? If so, there's no reason you'd need to pull it out. The inspector isn't going to watch you while you work anyway, and he can inspect everything right now that he would be able to inspect if you did it over again.

Or did you cover up some of your work that was exposed during the work?
Old 11-18-03, 05:34 PM
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Nope. It's all in existing conduit, and everything has an access. I just put the circuit into service and did the work without a permit.
Old 11-19-03, 10:05 AM
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since it's all in existing conduit, even if an inspector were to flag you for not getting a permit and/or being licensed, as long as the wire is accesible and you're able to pull it all out (not that you would have to pull it out), you likely will not have to re-do everything. but, that's up to the inspector, ultimately.

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