decomisioning old outlets

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Old 09-17-07, 06:58 AM
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decomisioning old outlets

I'm in the middle of a kitchen upgrade. It's a small kitchen in a house that was built in 1949. When I got rid of the refrigerator I noticed it was plugged into an old two pronged outlet using a cheater. I'm going to run a brand new circuit for the new fridge, but I dont know what to do about the old outlet.

The circuit starts at the panel, and travels through the basement where it supplies my washer and dryer. Here it is grounded. It then travels to the kitchen, where it supplied 3 outlets, two of which are counter top.convenience types that are grounded, and the fridge one that is not. It finally supplies one random un grounded outlet in the living room. It would be nice to keep what I can. what I'd really like to do is just kill/ remove the fridge outlet, and use that box for the new circuit while leaving everything else alone. Is this possible?....or do I have to start everything in the kitchen from scratch?
 
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Old 09-17-07, 07:13 AM
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How is it that the refrigerator is NOT grounded, and some others are? Is there a ground wire in the box, just not used?

To answer your question, you can leave the existing wires in the box connected together, but NOT to a receptacle. You can then install a blank cover plate and install a new receptacle in a brand new box.

Or you can feed a new cable into this box and install a receptacle from the new cable. Getting the cable into the box may not be easy, and you may run into box fill issues.

Now some additional comments.

Current code requires a dedicated circuit for the laundry receptacles. Current code does not allow the kitchen receptacles to be elsewhere, at least not the laundry items in the basement or the living room.

I suggest that you terminate this existing circuit at the laundry area. If it is ungrounded I would replace the cable with new 12 gage cable and make the circuit 20 amps. if it is grounded I would leave it as is.

I would run proper circuits for the kitchen. This means at least two 20 amp circuits serving the counter top. Depending on how extensive your upgrade to the kitchen, you are required to do this.

Finally, I would put the living room receptacle on another circuit.
 
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Old 09-17-07, 07:28 AM
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This is what I was thinking. The outlet at the washer is properly grounded. I can terminate there. So next step....

I'll now have 3 outlets that are essentially dead. I don't want to tear out the plaster, anymore than I have to. I have full access in the basement....

I guess if I make some holes in the plaster around each box, I can give myself enough room to work, but running new wire is going to be painful. Using an up and down pattern from each outlet and back to the basement could make things manageable, but I don't think that is up to code.....or is it?

I feel like I'm asking silly questions, but I dont see this sort of thing in the books I've been reading.
 
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Old 09-17-07, 07:34 AM
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Yes, you can go up from the basement to each box. If the existing cable is properly grounded and 12 gage copper wire you can use it. If it is not, then cut it and push it out of the boxes. Leaving it in the wall is okay, as long as it is not in a live box at either end.

You can, if you want, run a single cable up to each box, attaching all the cables together with the power source in a box in the basement, as long s the box remains permanently accessible.
 
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Old 09-17-07, 07:55 AM
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Thanks for the help so far. I know you are supposed to have an outlet every 4 feet on a counter. A large window makes this difficult at best for a large section of a wall. If I don't put outlets there, and assume the range doesn't count for the every four feet requirement, I only come up with 3 counter top outlets. Do I really need two 20 amp circuits for three outlets?
 
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Old 09-17-07, 08:04 AM
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You need a receptacle every four feet, and within two feet of each counter top edge. The sink does not count (and space on each side is treated separately). The range does not count (and space on each side is treated separately). The window may cause problems, but it still needs (a) receptacle(s) under it, unless it is over the sink or range.

Yes, you still need two circuits even if you only have three receptacles.

Note that the dining room receptacles must also be on these circuits, as must receptacles in pantries or breakfast nooks.
 
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Old 09-17-07, 08:57 AM
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Don't get too carried away trying to reuse the box containing the existing refrigerator receptacle. Just install a new box nearby. It's all going to be covered up by the refrigerator anyway.
 
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Old 09-17-07, 09:06 AM
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I guess if I make some holes in the plaster around each box, I can give myself enough room to work
Rather then make new holes you can probably just remove the existing boxes to give you room to fish then replace with plastic old work boxes.

If it really is plaster, not Sheetrock, and the boxes are metal they may be fastened to the lath. Old work boxes are slightly larger so a bit of plaster can be removed at top and bottom to reveal the fasteners. Of course your installation may very. You will need to play it by ear. They may have nailed a board behind and fastened through the back of the box or .... well you just have to look. Then there is going all away around the box with a Sawzall and/or hitting the back of the box with a metal drift and hammer till it falls in the wall.
 
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Old 09-17-07, 04:59 PM
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**Note that the dining room receptacles must also be on these circuits, as must receptacles in pantries or breakfast nooks***

Racraft, I think you had a typo here, These receptacles MAY be on the same ckt. Not must.
They MUST be 20 Amp.

##Rather then make new holes you can probably just remove the existing boxes to give you room to fish then replace with plastic old work boxes.##

This may be the best solution. Not easy, But best for the novice.

If you have access to the basement, A good tape measure, sence of direction, steel snake and ALOT of patience. You will need no holes in the wall.

Then after 20 yrs, you will still need the practice!
It gets no easier!
 
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Old 09-17-07, 06:42 PM
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Okay, what I meant was that the dining room and pantry circuits are small appliance circuits. They don't have to be the same small appliance circuits as serve the kitchen, but they must be on small appliance circuits.
 
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Old 09-22-07, 12:51 PM
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Decomission old fan power supply

I think I have a good plan for the outlets, so now its on to the lighting.....kinda. I'm not going to re-wire my lights. I'm happy with what I have.

On a separate curcuit from the one described before, i pretty much have all the lights of the downstairs of my home. In addition this circuit powered a ceiling mounted vent fan that I've removed. The fan was hard-wired from a switch that controls my ceiling light and the fan. The wire terminated at the fan, and did not go on to power other lights.

The following link shows the switches. The one on the left controls the fan. The one on the right controls the ceiling light. I want to remove the left switch, while retaining the functionality of the right switch, and the remainder of the circuit. I feel like I'm dismantling a bomb. Are the pictures clear enough to describe what needs to be done? Or do I need to explain how everything is hooked up?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottre...7602114148188/
 
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Old 09-22-07, 03:45 PM
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Those boxes look in bad shape. I'd replace them with a 4-square (aka 1900 box), with a single device plaster ring. Also, if possible, split up your one "most of the floor" lighting circuit.I'd feel more comfortable withthat.
 
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