Re-wiring: what about old wiring?

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  #1  
Old 08-31-07, 11:44 AM
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Re-wiring: what about old wiring?

I'm re-wiring an early '50's bungalow.

I plan to tear out as much of the original 14 gauge no-ground wiring as I can get to without completely gutting the first floor, then cut off and abandon whatever is left in the walls. I'll have access from both basement and attic, none of what's left will be connected to anything and all remnants of the old fuse panel will be gone.

Is that basically a good way to go?

Mike D.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-31-07, 11:46 AM
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Yes. Cut out and remove the wiring that is exposed in the attic and basement. Leave the rest in the walls. At the junction boxes cut off the ends and push the wires out of the boxes.
 
  #3  
Old 08-31-07, 11:56 AM
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Rewiring outlets in finished wall...

Thanks, Racraft!

Next question:

Wherever I have a ground floor receptacle, I intend to run cable or conduit from a junction box in the basement, so that no wiring has to be run horizontally through the studs. This will minimize the amount of holes I have to bust in the plaster and leave everything accessible from the basement.

Is that okay?

I know that cable is supposed to be secured with a staple within 6" of a box. If I'm drilling a hole up from the basement into the finished wall under an outlet box, do I have to open the wall below the box to secure the cable with a staple?

If so, is there something else I can do to avoid making more holes? Some kind of conduit?

I know making holes isn't a big deal, normally, but some of our friends did a really nice rag textured paint job in a bedroom for my daughter's birthday. I'd really like to avoid wrecking any paint in that room, at least.

Thank you!

Mike D.
 
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Old 08-31-07, 12:02 PM
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> Wherever I have a ground floor receptacle, I intend to run cable or
> conduit from a junction box in the basement

This is fine. Code does not require wires fished into finished walls to be stapled. The stapling rules do apply to the sections of wire that are exposed in the basement ceiling.
 
  #5  
Old 08-31-07, 12:02 PM
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Please do not make separate threads for the same issue.

You do NOT need to attach this cable to the stud. The already finished wall counts as support for the cable.

Do not place junction boxes in the basement. That increases the possibility of a failure and takes longer. Just run two cables up to the box, one bringing power in from the previous location and the other taking it out to the next location.
 
  #6  
Old 08-31-07, 12:19 PM
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Thanks Racraft and Ibpooks.

That is VERY good news!

Racraft, I thought they were separate enough questions to justify the new thread. Thanks for moving the posting. I've edited it to clean up the flow of the thread a bit! <LOL>

Thank you for the rapid response, both of you.

Be well,

Mike D.
 
  #7  
Old 08-31-07, 12:27 PM
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Racraft, you wrote:

"Do not place junction boxes in the basement. That increases the possibility of a failure and takes longer. Just run two cables up to the box, one bringing power in from the previous location and the other taking it out to the next location."

If I'm going to connect power in to power out and short jumpers to the receptacle, anyway, is that any different from making the jumpers a couple of feet long and making the connection in the junction box, at least in terms of the number of connections? Or are you talking about running the power in one side of the receptacle and out the other?

I agree that it's more time consuming, but I've got time to burn that a contractor wouldn't.

Mike D.
 
  #8  
Old 08-31-07, 12:44 PM
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Every connection is a potential failure point.

If you maker all your connections at the receptacles and do not use extra junction boxes then you will have fewer places to check when a problem occurs.

Further, if you place junction boxes in the basement then you will not be able to finish the basement ceiling with any sort of permanent material, unless the boxes protrude through the ceiling or you use a drop ceiling.
 
  #9  
Old 08-31-07, 03:05 PM
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Hi Racraft,

You write:
"If you make all your connections at the receptacles ... you will have fewer places to check when a problem occurs."

One author I've read doesn't like feeding power through the receptacles and suggested connecting wire-to-wire with jumpers to the receptacles. So that's why I asked...

Do you generally trust wire under a screw terminal more than a twisted connection with a cap?

"if you place junction boxes in the basement then you will not be able to finish the basement ceiling with any sort of permanent material, unless the boxes protrude through the ceiling or you use a drop ceiling."

Good point. I'm even more glad now I'm putting in a drop ceiling system. I want to be able to access and *service* stuff in the future; plumbing, electrical, data, cable, whatever!

Thanks again!

Mike D.
 
  #10  
Old 08-31-07, 03:48 PM
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If you have two cables in a box that need to be connected and a duplex receptacle that also needs to be connected, you have two choices for the hot and neutral wires. You can connect each pair of wires together with a wire nut and add a short pigtail to the appropriate screw on the receptacle or you can simply connect one wire to each screw terminal. (The ground wires need to be pigtailed, as there is only one ground crew on the receptacle.)

Either method is allowed by the NEC and either method works.

Using the screw terminals has the advantage of NOT requiring wire nuts and pigtails. But wire nuts are cheap and you usually have plenty of scrap wire around for making pigtails.

Pigtailing has the advantage that if something goes wrong with the receptacle, it is easier to replace and (depending on the problem) nothing else on the circuit will be effected when a problem occurs.

I personally prefer using the screw terminals. There is less to fit into the box and in the rare event that a problem occurs it takes more time to open the box and pull out the receptacle than it does to remove it, so any time saved by pigtailing is minimal.

But this is not relevant to the decision you are facing. Pigtailing is done at the receptacle. All connections, regardless of what they are, are in a single junction box. Adding a junction box in the basement and running a single cable up the wall puts the connections ihn the basement. Meaning possibly TWO junction boxes to open and check.
 
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Old 08-31-07, 06:48 PM
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Bob,

You write:
"Pigtailing has the advantage that if something goes wrong with the receptacle, it is easier to replace and (depending on the problem) nothing else on the circuit will be effected when a problem occurs."

That's what the author of the book gave as his reasoning, yes.

"Adding a junction box in the basement and running a single cable up the wall puts the connections ihn the basement. Meaning possibly TWO junction boxes to open and check."

You're right.

Okay, thank you for the explanations, Bob. I'll be able to make a more informed decision once I'm into it.

Mike D.
 
  #12  
Old 08-31-07, 06:53 PM
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With all due respect to Bob, it is considered more proper (at least where I'm from) to pigtail your wires. A lot of residential electrians use the screw terminals because it's quicker. In residential quick and easy is the name of the game. It is true that a bad splice could cause a problem, but I've seen more outlets go bad than splices. One thing I always do is twist my wires together (whether solid, stranded, or both) with a linesman's pliers before adding a wire nut. Then I twist the nut on by hand. When it's hand tight, I give it a couple more twists with my pliers. This should assure a good splice. And like Bob said, by pigtailing your wires, nothing else downline should be affected if the outlet goes bad.

I would also say that if you are going to put in a drop ceiling and you are confident in you wiring abilities, then juntion boxes would be a good idea. I am a commercial electrician and that's how we normally do it. Residential doesn't because more splices = more time. I've done remodels for family and even in my own home where time wasn't of the essance and I put in junction boxes for every room. I also labeled the cables to identify what circuit they're on and what they feed. Adding junction boxes leaves you easy access to add on to that circuit later if you wish. If you want to put in an extra outlet, whats easier: to fish from your new outlet to an old one or all the way back to the panel? OR, to just come out of a junction box in the basement? Also, if you label your cables and they all go back to a junction box, it's much easier to troubleshoot any problems that way than to have to pull a bunch of outlets out of the wall.

If you're not worried about the time and you want to make life easier for the future, I'd even suggest putting in an electrical chase. Say you're gutting a wall to do some remodeling, you could put a piece of 1" or 1 1/2" EMT in the wall to get from the basement up to the attic. You just have to make sure you seal the floor penetrations and the pipe with fire putty or fire caulk. This will make your life MUCH easier if you need to add circuits to the second floor in the future.

Bob is a knowledgable electrician and I respect his posts. I just have a difference of opinion in your situation. There's more than one way to skin a cat and both ways are legal.

Best of luck!
 
  #13  
Old 08-31-07, 06:59 PM
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Whether to pigtail or use the receptacles along with the use or omission of intermediate junction boxes can be debated until the cows come home and leave for the pasture again the next morning.

Each practice has its advantages and disadvantages.
 
  #14  
Old 08-31-07, 08:13 PM
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Yes, it can all be debated, but........

Industrial and commercial wiring more often than not has large boxes with plenty of room for pig tailing and devices - with the device(s) usually in a mud ring that has enough cubic inch capacity (think box fill) for the devices all by itself.

In residential work the extra volume of the pigtails and wire nuts can make installing some things impossible (think GFCI receptacle). There is also clearly not the "need" to keep a residential circuit in operation when a receptacle fails that there is in a commercial or industrial application. OSHA rules not withstanding, it is far more common to see the advantages of pigtailed receptacles when engaging in some highly questionable maintenance practices in these "professional" environments than in a residence.

Receptacles with a listing from a recognized testing lab are tested for "passing through" their rated current to the next device in line. Personally, I prefer setscrew type terminations for wire over twisting. Seems odd that the connection type used in the panel all of a sudden isn't good enough for the same wire after it leaves the panel. Anyway, that's the mileage I get - yours will vary.
 
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Old 08-31-07, 08:18 PM
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Brewcityc,

Thank you for describing what you've done, there. That's exactly the idea that I started out with.

IF I use pigtails, then there's no difference in the number of splices or connections if the "pigtail" is 6" long or if it's a few feet of cable between junction box and outlet box. It'll cost a little more, take more time, and, as Bob points out, give me another box (and ceiling panel) to open when I'm troubleshooting someday. Still it has the advantages you've stated.

Well, you've both given me good reasons for doing it either way. If it's ultimately a matter of opinion and taste, then now I have the freedom to make my choice, knowing it'll be "right" whichever way I go.

Thank you!

Mike D.
 
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Old 08-31-07, 08:41 PM
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If it is done correctly and carefully the first time, there should be no to little trouble shooting needed.

In a residential application planning is important. You can only put so much on a ckt, regardless of how many junctions you have. After all, how many machines are you going to need further down the line?

In a commercial application These junctions and conduits are over sized for expansion, something not typicaly found in the home.
Contrary to some advice, the more splices and junctions can actualy take much longer to diagnose. (see above)

Additionaly, if the ckts you have are not enough for what you need. You will have to add and snake wires anyway. Unless of course you run conduit to it all.

Keep it simple,and logical.
 
  #17  
Old 09-01-07, 07:55 AM
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Hi 'lectric lee,

Probably the biggest reason I'm willing and eager to do this otherwise ... umm, annoying job is that I'm going to end up with a house with new wiring and all the circuits I can imagine and room for more when I think of 'em. <grin>

At least for now I've got good access from above and below. I need to make sure I plan for everything I need in ground floor lighting, smoke detectors, etc., before burying it again with attic flooring. Everything else is completely accessible.

There's a ceiling system I'm going to try in the basement that's only a couple inches deep, but easily removable for access to utilities in the rafters. Worth the money, I think, if it proves durable enough over the coming years.

Yep, for once I can indulge myself; a whole house with enough outlets, lighting, circuits, and room for more... Ahhhh!

<LOL>

Mike D.
 
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Old 09-01-07, 08:40 PM
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Sounds great. I'm not opposed to junctions, but as noted here, limit them.
Also (maybe a misunderstanding) you may not have junction boxes beneath attic flooring. All boxes MUST be accesable.

Good luck with your endeaver.
Keep us posted.
 
  #19  
Old 09-02-07, 06:22 PM
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'Lee,

You wrote:
"Also (maybe a misunderstanding) you may not have junction boxes beneath attic flooring. All boxes MUST be accesable."

Yep, I realized that. Thankfully, all the lighting can be done with direct runs to the cieling and switch boxes. There aren't as many compared to all the outlets I'm going to have to wire, so I was giving that a bit more thought.

Thanks!

Mike D.
 
  #20  
Old 09-04-07, 01:17 PM
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Also remember, while it's always good to plan for the future - try not to over-plan. There will always be things that come up in the future that you didn't think about, so do plan, but just because you *might* need to run an arc welder, don't waste the time and $$ to run the feeder now. It won't be much harder to do it later.

Just think - how many people envisioned 10 years ago that we'd be hanging TVs on the walls and would need outlets at head-height?

One of the wonders of residential construction is how easily it's upgraded.
 
  #21  
Old 09-12-07, 07:09 PM
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Thank you Zorfdt. Good advice. I haven't the time or cash to spare on "just in case" right now.

Mike D.
 
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