Tips for a gradual rewiring

Old 04-07-04, 08:50 PM
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Tips for a gradual rewiring

I need to rewire my house (built in 1959). It has all cloth two-wire throughout and the original panel (mostly rust now). I want to rewire completely, including a new panel and a sub-panel at the garage (the original owner ran power to the garage illegally according to my home inspector).

I have done a fair amount of research on how to get wire down to my existing receptacles (I have a one-story with a fairly accessible attic) and I think I can get new cable to everything. The kitchen is going to be redone at some point so that will make proper GFCI and multiple 20A circuits easier.

What I'm a bit stuck on is where to start? Not so much what to do, but how to do it over the space of a number of weeks or more? I can't have the power out for extended periods of time (certainly not weeks) and I work full-time. What approach can you recommend for the weekend DIYer on a big rewiring job like this?

I had thought to install a new panel and associated hardware to the side of the house and start wiring to that (with no power) but at some point I'll want to activate the newer circuits while not having gotten to all of the old ones. Essentially I'd want both the old and new panels active. Is there a way to do this safely?

I'm at the preliminary planning stages on this but it is probably the first project on my list.

Thanks for any input.

PS - I live in Houston, TX, so anyone that knows anything unusual about the code here or Reliant please let me know.
Old 04-07-04, 11:57 PM
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You are on the right track, of having new and old at the same time, given that you will be doing the work over a period of time.
Given the age (design) of the existing equipment, the most logical solution is to have a new service drop and panel installed. The old service will be removed, and a breaker installed in the new panel to feed the original panel as a sub-panel for a temporary period. I advise you to consult the local AHJ to find out what their responce is to configuring the panels for a temporary period. Keep in mind there are other methods, however introduce buying additional equipment that will only be used for, say, 1 years worth of time. All new circuits go back to the new panel, and at the end all of the old circuits will be gone and the old panel will be disconnected and removed from the new panel.
I noted that you would like to start the new panel off dead, do part of the house, and then are perhaps how to make a smooth transition? That is fine. Start the new wiring out dead, and when you start running out of places to plug in appliaces etc, have the new panel energized, depending on how fast you can get all of the large essential circuits transfered to the new panel from the old, you could entirely eliminate the need to have both panels energized simultaneously.
Think it over twice, then I'm sure you will have more to ask.
The placement of the panels, routing of cables, load requirements, and overall timeline in conjuction with tollerance for inconvenience all determine the best order of steps for what to do.

Old 04-09-04, 09:41 AM
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Excuse me for asking perhaps a dumb question.

What does "the local AHJ" mean? What does AJH stand for?
Old 04-09-04, 09:43 AM
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Authority Having Jurisdiction. The local electric authority (inspector).
Old 04-09-04, 09:53 AM
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Ahhhh, thank you. Learn a new thing every day.

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