Routing Romex and other questions

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  #1  
Old 12-31-05, 01:25 AM
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Routing Romex and other questions

Can I run romex across the roof rafters? I would like to run some wires in my attic and would like to staple the wires to the rafters supporting the roof near the lowest part of the attic. Is this acceptable? I am also going to be putting some romex in the garage where I currently have 1/4" perf board. Is it generally acceptable to run romex behind perf board? Or do I need to run armored cable? I promise I won't ever stick anything sharp into the holes and pierce the cable.

I'm also relocating the meter on my house and have read in several places the grounding wire gets hooked up to the water line. Problem is there are no water lines near the new meter location. I do plan to drive a 8' grounding spike for the new meter panel as well as one for the new subpanel. What is the requirement for grounding the water main? One depiction showed the main ground connected to a water pipe which was then connected to a grounding spike.

I also don't think the water meter has a grounding strap connecting both sides of the meter, either. The water meter is out by the street with a good 20 feet of copper pipe underground between the meter and the house. Does that make any difference?

Thanks. You guys are saints.

Steve
 
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Old 12-31-05, 04:51 AM
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routing romex and other questions

Local regulations would dictate whether or not you could externally mount the cables to the rafters. Ideally you should run them 1 1/2"+ from the surface of the wood in case a remodel requires a ceiling, etc.
If you solemnly promise....No don't run the romex behind the perf board. Your promises aren't any good to the next home owner who will invariably drive a nail into the cable. The cable, likewise has to be run through the studs at least 1 1/2" from the surface, or you could run it through conduit, but I don't think your perf board would allow it.
I believe above the border all bonding is done via water pipe. But with the advent of pvc primary water lines, there is no grounding available, so a grounding rod is required. Here again, check with local authorities to see what they will require. It will be easier to do it their way first rather than doing it again. Good luck.

Larry
 
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Old 12-31-05, 07:12 AM
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WOW! Lots of issues here.

Yes, if the attic is unfinished you can run the NM along the roof rafters down near the crease. Make sure they are up a few inches from the ceiling joists.

You can snake wires behind wall finish without support but be very careful in this case.

NO ground wires should be connected to ANY water pipes from devices!!
You MUST run a water bond/ground from the MAIN panel to the water pipe, and in your case it mutst be connected within 5' of where it enters the house, and the meter must be jumped around with another clamp, IF it is in the house. As long as the meter is more than 10' away from the hosue outside nothing needs to be done with it.
You DO in any case need a ground rod to supplement the water pipe.
You do not and must NOT add a second ground rod for ANY sub-panel within the same structure.
This is just a start for the codes involved. I truly hope you have a good grasp on what you are doing before you start this project. The way it sounds now you need to do quite a bit more research.


Here is a good link regarding services and grounding:
http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/homew...eter/index.htm
 
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Old 12-31-05, 07:56 AM
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You state that you are "re-locating the meter". This statement implies that the that the enclosure that contains the Service Dis-connecting Means remains in place.

IF the Grounding Electrode Conductor (GEC) that connects the Service Neutral Conductor to the Grounding Electrodes ( water-service line, rods ) terminates in the meter-socket, it's best that the GEC connects to the Service Neutral inside the enclosure that contains the Service Dis-connect, instead of inside the meter-socket.

The NEC permitts Grounding the meter-socket to the Service Neutral.

Good Luck, & Learn & Enjoy from the Experience!!!!!!!!
 
  #5  
Old 12-31-05, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
Yes, if the attic is unfinished you can run the NM along the roof rafters down near the crease. Make sure they are up a few inches from the ceiling joists.
Originally Posted by chandler
Local regulations would dictate whether or not you could externally mount the cables to the rafters. Ideally you should run them 1 1/2"+ from the surface of the wood in case a remodel requires a ceiling, etc.
I guess I'll ask my inspector. There is no way this attic could ever be finished and it would be nice to use the surface of the roof rafters rather than trying to drill through all the ceiling joists or running guard strips, especially since most would be close to the crease anyway.
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
You can snake wires behind wall finish without support but be very careful in this case.
Originally Posted by chandler
If you solemnly promise....No don't run the romex behind the perf board. Your promises aren't any good to the next home owner who will invariably drive a nail into the cable. The cable, likewise has to be run through the studs at least 1 1/2" from the surface, or you could run it through conduit, but I don't think your perf board would allow it.
Actually I'll be taking the perfboard down and running the romex as if I was putting up drywall (going through studs, using nail plates, stapling as necessary, etc.) and putting the perfboard back when I'm done. I'm looking more for a response as to whether the perfboard is considered a finished surface that romex could be run behind. I guess I'll have to ask my inspector about this also.
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
NO ground wires should be connected to ANY water pipes from devices!!
Wasn't planning to. Did I say something the convey I would be doing this? Next you'll be telling me I can't use a gas pipe as the main grounding electrode.
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
You MUST run a water bond/ground from the MAIN panel to the water pipe, and in your case it mutst be connected within 5' of where it enters the house, and the meter must be jumped around with another clamp, IF it is in the house. As long as the meter is more than 10' away from the house outside nothing needs to be done with it. You DO in any case need a ground rod to supplement the water pipe.
Okay. The house originally wasn't done that way but it's almost 60 years old so that should be no surprise. My inspector and the utility company didn't say anything about it either. Well, what I'll probably do is drive two ground rods - one in the back yard by the meter panel and one in the front yard where the water entrance is located - and with one continuous #4 copper wire I'll connect the meter panel, the grounding rods and the water main. I realize I probably don't need to drive the second rod and my inspector said as much but you can't have too much of a good thing.
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
You do not and must NOT add a second ground rod for ANY sub-panel within the same structure.
That's interesting because I had someone else tell me I should do that. I know I need to run a ground wire from my main to my subpanel and that the neutral doesn't get grounded at the subpanel but why would it be wrong to have an additional grounding rod connected to my subpanel? Isn't there a saying "Ground is ground the world around"? Except when it isn't.

It doesn't appear to be mentioned in Wiring Simplified. Does NEC forbid grounding the subpanel?
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
This is just a start for the codes involved. I truly hope you have a good grasp on what you are doing before you start this project. The way it sounds now you need to do quite a bit more research.
I know you guys are sensitive to the insurance agent/weekend DIY guy biting off more than he can chew and that's why I've been reluctant to tell you the extent of the work I'm doing. I'm actually doing a full rewire of the house from putting in a new meter main/service disconnect outside with the attendant riser, weatherhead and grounding electrode system, to the subpanel inside with all new lighting, outlets and breakers. But I think I'm a bit more qualified than the average guy to take this on. For one thing, I've been an electronics engineer for the last fifteen years and was an electronics technician for fifteen years before that. I learned how to solder on my Dad's knee and built projects with him when I was a kid. I have a deep and abiding respect for electricity. I've done serious electrical and mechanical work on cars and boats and have done my share of remodelling in my homes. For another thing I'm completely anal when it comes to doing things right. I don't do shortcuts.

In other words, I'm a professional - just like you guys. I just have a slightly different background.

I've been researching a lot of the electrical for about a year now and have a full electrical diagram for the house. I know how to wire up three- and four-way circuits and how to size an electrical box and an electrical circuit. I've got all the right tools but with starting the project I'm coming up with questions I haven't thought about, mainly about standards of practice, not with the technical aspects of it. I could go with overbuilding everything (armored cable everywhere, etc.) and asking less questions but would rather go with what makes sense. My inspector is a good guy but I don't want to go to him with questions I should know the answers to and if he asks me questions I want to be able to provide them with some sense of authority. That's why I'm asking about running the romex here. Some of these things aren't explicitly explained in Wiring Simplified or in the NEC and the only real way to find out is to ask guys like you who do this day in and day out. There is no substitute for that kind of experience. I may ask what seems to be a newbie question sometimes but it is because I am committed to doing it right that I ask the question. In all my technical training the instructors told me the only dumb question is the one you don't ask. I'd rather be thought dumb and do it right than do it wrong.
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
Here is a good link regarding services and grounding:
http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/homew...eter/index.htm
That is a good link and it's now in my bookmarks. Thanks.

Steve
 
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Old 12-31-05, 06:03 PM
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So it sounds like you are doing your homework. That's good.
I must say with all respect, your engineer/electronics background is about 10% helpful in the world of line voltage electrical wiring. Practical knowledge and hands on experience cannot be taught in a classroom, and knowledge of the code is just as, if not more, important. These things are far removed from even related fields.
That being said, the fact that you can wire three and four way's puts you far beyond most DIY'ers and even some early electricians.

The ground rod issue. You do not need to separate them so much if you do not want. 6' apart is fine and if the wire is run only to the rods, and is kept free from harm, #6cu is all that's needed. You can then run a #4cu to the water pipe.
As far as the sub-panel goes, assuming it is in the same structure, all you need to do is run the ground with the feeder as intended. No sole ground rod should be hooked to it. If you did sink a rod for it you would need to bond the new rod to the others, this makes this an unwise and unneeded choice.

Good luck and keep up the good work.
 
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Old 12-31-05, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
I must say with all respect, your engineer/electronics background is about 10% helpful in the world of line voltage electrical wiring. Practical knowledge and hands on experience cannot be taught in a classroom, and knowledge of the code is just as, if not more, important. These things are far removed from even related fields.
I realize that which is why I ask questions when I don't know something. But practical experience comes in many forms and even though I don't have the hands on experience with line voltage wiring, I have a lot of practical experience which lets me know when I don't know enough about something. Just smart enough to be dangerous but also smart enough to know when I'm dangerous.
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
That being said, the fact that you can wire three and four way's puts you far beyond most DIY'ers and even some early electricians.
When I first learned of three way circuits I actually sat down and drew a circuit from scratch and figured out how the switches had to be designed in order for them to work. After that I confirmed it by looking it up somewhere. When you do that it makes it a little easier to wire it up.
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
The ground rod issue. You do not need to separate them so much if you do not want. 6' apart is fine and if the wire is run only to the rods, and is kept free from harm, #6cu is all that's needed. You can then run a #4cu to the water pipe.
It's actually easier to drive the ground rod by the water main than 6' from the meter panel ground. And 6' apart is the minimum so I don't have any problem doing it farther apart. But I thought all the bonding had to be done with an unbroken wire. From your response saying to use two different sized wire I'm guessing that it has to be unbroken between each grounding source and the meter panel, not unbroken between all the grounding sources and the panel.

Steve
 
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Old 12-31-05, 08:22 PM
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You must use the water as your main electrode. This requires #4. You can then either continue to the rods with the #4, or tap #6 to the rods, or use #6 to just the rods from the panel (or meter in some areas).
The run to the water must remain unspliced. If you tap from the rods to the #4 these taps are "bonding jumpers", not GEC's.
 
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