Running New Wire In Old House

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  #1  
Old 08-27-04, 05:37 PM
pjbosch
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Running New Wire In Old House

I have a 1949 built 1 1/2 story house. Much of the wiring is old, only two wires with a sticky black coating. 2nd floor only has one outlet, and 4 light fixtures (two overhead, two bare bulbs in closets). That same circuit also runs 3 overhead fixtures on the main floor. I want to put in a new circuit and split up some of this mess. I think I can access (with difficulty) the wiring once the run gets to the upstairs (the wiring runs thru the open spaces under the eaves). But how do I pull a new run (planning on using 14/3 for this so I only have to do it once) up from the basement where the panel is located? The wire seems to be stapled down where it goes thru the wall or something, also it's very stiff and won't pull anyway. I have a fish tape, but if I can't get the old wire to move, what good is that? Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 08-27-04, 06:22 PM
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Here are my recommendations:
  • Leave all the existing wiring and outlets exactly as they are. Simply add new circuits and wiring to what is already there, putting new outlets between the old ones if you want.
  • Don't use 14/3 unless you're exceptionally familiar with the ins and outs of multiwire circuits. Do you know about the effects of multiwire circuits on GFCI? Do you know about pigtailing neutrals? Do you know why you should use a double-pole breaker?
  • Don't use any 14-gauge wire. Use all 12-gauge. If you want more power, you might as well get 20 amps for the same work as 15.
 
  #3  
Old 08-28-04, 07:25 AM
pjbosch
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Thanks for the advice, but let me clarify a little. The old wiring is not grounded. The insulation seems to be crumbling in some instances. I would like to think I can replace all this old wiring over time, but it is especially a concern with all these different things running off the same circuit. I guess these have run fine for years without problems, but I still worry about a couple things. 1) single, elderly women were the previous two owners of this house, for some 40 of the 55 years it has existed, and I'm doubtful they made much use of the upstairs. 2) No ground means that I can't hook up new fixtures in the existing locations correctly. 3) How do I run a new circuit up to the second floor from the basement? Do I use an interior wall and hope there are no impediments between the top and bottom of the framing on the main floor? Sorry to be so long winded, but the book I bought on wiring doesn't address any of these issues for me. Maybe I need a different publication. Thanks again.
 
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Old 08-28-04, 07:53 AM
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  #5  
Old 08-28-04, 09:27 AM
pjbosch
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Thanks again. That second article is great, exactly what I was looking for. I think I've pretty much decided to leave the light fixtures alone for now and worry about a new circuit for the outlets. Maybe I'll run two wires up from the basement so I can replace all that wiring when I get around to it. I'll let you know how it goes.
 
  #6  
Old 08-28-04, 11:24 AM
pjbosch
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One more question: the easiest way I've found to run wires up to the 2nd floor is alongside the chimmney. There is a narrow space there that goes right up to the unfinished space along one side of the upstairs. There was a piece of metal sealing that space off on the second floor, probably mostly to keep the blown in cellulose from drifting down. Any reason I can't use this space to run wires? I have a furnace and water heater that vent thru the chimmney, but nothing else. Thanks.
 
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