Rewire 1954 House

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  #1  
Old 07-03-06, 10:10 AM
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Rewire 1954 House

I recently purchased a 1954 home (987 sq. ft.) that I'm remodeling. The main panel is 125 amp but most of the house is wired with old romex (silver colored fabric?) w/o ground.

I have to check the wire size, but I would think it's #14 and I know if that's the case then I will need to change a lot of the circuit breakers because they are 20 amp.

I'll be rewiring the kitchen, laundry and baths to current code, including GFCI protection. I'll do all of this with complete new wire, boxes and devices.
The kitchen will have a Refrig/freezer, DW, Disposal, MW/Hood and a Gas Range. I plan on just 2-3 110v 20 amp circuits for the kitchen and 1 each for the laundry and each bath. I will not need any 220 volt circuits.

I'm hoping to leave the living, dining and bedrooms alone except for replacing the outlets and cover plates. Since those rooms have only 2 prong outlets, I plan on replacing them with new 2 prong outlets. Is this the correct procedure?

Any other suggestions?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-03-06, 12:34 PM
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By the date of your house and the fact you are seeing fabric on the wire, you probably have knob and tube. You are correct in stating that all of it is 14 awg. And yes you should change out the breakers to 15A.

Your plan for # of circuits does not reflect the current NEC. My advice would be to pick up one of the many great books on wiring out there and research this a little more closely.

The laundry can have 1 circuit for both the washer and dryer. The bath must have a dedicated circuit with GFCI protection for the receptacles. You can share this circuit with receptacles in other bathrooms, but nothing else. Lighting must not be on this circuit.

And if you have only two conductors coming into a receptacle, you can either use a two-pronged receptacle or a three-pronged, with 'no equipment ground' clearly labeled on the receptacle face. This may be more practical if you ever want to plug in a three-pronged device into the receptacle.
 
  #3  
Old 07-03-06, 01:03 PM
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You are not planning on enough circuits.

The laundry needs a 20 am,p circuit which cannot feed lights.

The kitchen, by my estimated needs 4 or five circuits. You need two for the counter, one for the microwave hood, one for the refrigerator, and at least one (preferably two) for the dishwasher and disposal.

Depending on what you do in the other rooms, you will need to bring them up to code. Any significant remodeling would mean doing so. Simply painting and new carpets would not require it, but any work on removing walls would.
 
  #4  
Old 07-03-06, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by fuente
By the date of your house and the fact you are seeing fabric on the wire, you probably have knob and tube. You are correct in stating that all of it is 14 awg. And yes you should change out the breakers to 15A.
It's not knob and tube, but it is older romex type wire. I will definitely change out the breakers on all circuits with this wire type and/or size

Originally Posted by fuente
Your plan for # of circuits does not reflect the current NEC. My advice would be to pick up one of the many great books on wiring out there and research this a little more closely.
Originally Posted by fuente
The laundry can have 1 circuit for both the washer and dryer. The bath must have a dedicated circuit with GFCI protection for the receptacles. You can share this circuit with receptacles in other bathrooms, but nothing else. Lighting must not be on this circuit.
I'll review the circuits with the NEC. I know I need two circuits in the kitchen for outlets, but I wasn't aware that MW, DW & Ref all need separate circuits. I will provide lighting for the bath on a general lighting circuit. Since the house is so small, I probably can get by with only 1-2 lighting circuits.

Originally Posted by fuente
And if you have only two conductors coming into a receptacle, you can either use a two-pronged receptacle or a three-pronged, with 'no equipment ground' clearly labeled on the receptacle face. This may be more practical if you ever want to plug in a three-pronged device into the receptacle.
I didn't know you could do that ('no equipment ground' label) with a 3 prong outlet. Thanks.
 
  #5  
Old 07-03-06, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft
You are not planning on enough circuits.

The laundry needs a 20 am,p circuit which cannot feed lights.

The kitchen, by my estimated needs 4 or five circuits. You need two for the counter, one for the microwave hood, one for the refrigerator, and at least one (preferably two) for the dishwasher and disposal.

Depending on what you do in the other rooms, you will need to bring them up to code. Any significant remodeling would mean doing so. Simply painting and new carpets would not require it, but any work on removing walls would.
OK, I'll take another look at the code requirements.

Bedrooms are only going to be painted and get new laminate flooring. I will be moving the ligth switch for the ceiling light in one of the bedrooms, but that's it.
 
  #6  
Old 07-03-06, 03:05 PM
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Remember that bedrooms now require AFCI protection on both lighting and receptacles.

The microwave definately needs it's own circuit. You can share the disposal and DW on one circuit. I don't think the refrigerator requries a dedicated circuit, but it's a good idea.

Go by the NEC and you can't go wrong.

Good luck.
 
  #7  
Old 07-03-06, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe.Carrick
I didn't know you could do that ('no equipment ground' label) with a 3 prong outlet. Thanks.
The circuit must be GFCI protected before you can replace ungrounded receptacles with 3-prong receptaces.

The typical way to do this is to find the first receptacle on each ungrounded circuit and replace it with a GFCI receptacle paying attention to the LINE and LOAD connections to provide protection to downstream receptacles. You may then replace the old 2-prong receptacles with new 3-prong receptacles labeled "no equipment ground." Brand-name GFCI receptacles will come with a sheet of stickers in the box just for this purpose.
 
  #8  
Old 07-03-06, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by fuente
Remember that bedrooms now require AFCI protection on both lighting and receptacles.
Only if extensively remodeled. I'm not doing anything other than cosmetic work on the bedrooms.
 
  #9  
Old 07-03-06, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe.Carrick
Only if extensively remodeled. I'm not doing anything other than cosmetic work on the bedrooms.
yep. correct. In fact, the wiring you are not going to replace does not need to come up to code either. Only what you are replacing.

I assume this will be permitted?
 
  #10  
Old 07-03-06, 08:46 PM
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if you not gonna run new romex with a ground then alls you can do is use new outlets with out a ground
 
  #11  
Old 07-03-06, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by kdrifter440
if you not gonna run new romex with a ground then alls you can do is use new outlets with out a ground
Not quite. A GFCI an be installed, or GFCI protection can be provided, or a single ground wire can be run.
 
  #12  
Old 07-03-06, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe.Carrick
OK, I'll take another look at the code requirements.

Bedrooms are only going to be painted and get new laminate flooring. I will be moving the ligth switch for the ceiling light in one of the bedrooms, but that's it.

CONTRADICTION! Once you touch the ckt,
Now you MUST bring it up to current code (AFCI)!!!! Any "outlet" smokes , lights,rec. IN a bedroom must be AFCI. If you change the panel all ckts must meet current code.
Unless no one knows, It's your family.....Do what you must.....
I assume sleeping well is necessary.
 
  #13  
Old 07-03-06, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee
CONTRADICTION! Once you touch the ckt,
Now you MUST bring it up to current code (AFCI)!!!! Any "outlet" smokes , lights,rec. IN a bedroom must be AFCI. If you change the panel all ckts must meet current code.
Unless no one knows, It's your family.....Do what you must.....
I assume sleeping well is necessary.
That is absolutely not true in all locations. In my city, a panel upgrade does not require all circuits to be brought up to code. I imagine a lot of other cities are like this also.

Also they may not require AFCI protection, as not all city codes require this yet, I know mine does not as of yet.

They may also not require you to bring the entire circuit up to code; if you are not extending the circuit some cities/inspectors will allow you to replace or add to the circuit and tap into the existing circuit.

I verified all of this when my panel upgrade was inspected.

I cannot imagine upgrading my panel and having to also upgrade all the wiring, to the current NEC, just to get the new panel approved. That doesn't really make sense, but it's revenue for the city, so....

These are broad statements that you should verify with the local city inspector, if in fact you are going to pull a permit. You might be biting off more then you can chew.
 
  #14  
Old 07-03-06, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by fuente
That is absolutely not true in all locations. In my city, a panel upgrade does not require all circuits to be brought up to code. I imagine a lot of other cities are like this also.

Also they may not require AFCI protection, as not all city codes require this yet, I know mine does not as of yet.

They may also not require you to bring the entire circuit up to code; if you are not extending the circuit some cities/inspectors will allow you to replace or add to the circuit and tap into the existing circuit.

I verified all of this when my panel upgrade was inspected.

I cannot imagine upgrading my panel and having to also upgrade all the wiring, to the current NEC, just to get the new panel approved. That doesn't really make sense, but it's revenue for the city, so....

These are broad statements that you should verify with the local city inspector, if in fact you are going to pull a permit. You might be biting off more then you can chew.

VERY GOOD POINTS:

In MA.
Any panel change or addition to existing ckts (adding a switch) SHALL bring existing ckts into code.
We don't however have to re-wire the house (as of yet). Ckts feeding bedrooms must be AFCI. Bathrooms etc need to be GFCI etc. I don't feel this is all bad... But to some extent it's tough on the guy trying to make a living and the homeowner trying to get by.

No doubt this is a big ole country (world), So it is best to check with your local AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) On what they require. This state(("Commonwealth".)..yea right.. TK & JK are the only ones with it (wealth))Tends to try to be ahead of the curve on alot of this stuff, Pain in the ears, sure, good.. debateable.
 
  #15  
Old 07-03-06, 11:12 PM
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not to get too off topic, but I never understood the AFCI requirement in bedrooms only, and here's just one reason why:

Receptacle A is on the bedroom side of a common wall, shared with a hallway. Receptacle A, per NEC, must be AFCI protected.

Receptacle B is near Receptacle A on the common wall, but on the hallway side. It does not require AFCI protection.

Makes absolutely no sense. None. In either situation, if an arc fault occurs, and lets say a fire occurs, the wall still burns down.

It's more money for somebody though.
 
  #16  
Old 07-03-06, 11:22 PM
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TRUE, But they do work.
I feel a good solution would be to gfci or afci the main, Now your done with it.

I predict this is only a few code cycles away.

Build a good mouse trap...You get a better mouse.

I could go on but I'm tierd, Have a good night and then some..
 
  #17  
Old 07-03-06, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee
TRUE, But they do work.
I feel a good solution would be to gfci or afci the main, Now your done with it.

I predict this is only a few code cycles away.

Build a good mouse trap...You get a better mouse.

I could go on but I'm tierd, Have a good night and then some..
yeah they do work, but it only solves half of the problem, as in the above example.

Tired as well. good night
 
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