Rewiring project questions

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Old 05-12-08, 06:49 AM
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Rewiring project questions

I am in the precess of rewiring the second story of my 80 year old home home (knnob and tube). In order to get the wires from the basement to the attic, I have opened up the wall in a first floor closet for easy access to the chimney so I can run the new wires along the gap that is framed around it. I have several questions before I run any wires, but I am at the point where I need to get this project finished to stay out of the dog house.

1. Would it be better to run conduit with loose wires or romex? I have 4 rooms to rewire upstairs and I have a spool of 12-2 to make the home runs with. I'm sure I can do both, but I'm looking for input on which way to go.

2. I also need to run a line of coax up that same chase. I'm using quad shield, but I donít know if there will be interference in the signal. Will this be a problem if I use romex? What about conduit?

Thanks
Jeremy
 
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Old 05-12-08, 07:28 AM
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Have you considered a sub panel for the second floor? It would give you more flexibility for future un-planed circuits you might need and reduce the number of wires in the chase. If you go with individual circuits use conduit so you can in the future add wires. A foot or so spacing for the coax should be enough but you may want to include a conduit for data and phone cables also..
 
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Old 05-12-08, 07:45 AM
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I am just replacing the wiring at this point. When the wiring is all replaced and happy, I will be having the service box replaced. I don't want to have a sub panel in the attic because it is not an easily accessible space. I can just run 2 lengths of conduit (one AC one data) and that should do it. This brings me to another question then:

If I am rewiring 4 rooms upstairs and running conduit, I was told to run 4 Hot, 2 neutral, and one ground up the chase.

The rooms to be wired are

Main Bedroom: 3 outlets and a light (one used for TV, DVD, the rest are pretty much not used)
Second Bedroom: 3 Outlets and a light (one outlet for a sewing machine that bareley gets used and that's it)
Office: 2 outlets, 2 lights (Computer, ironing area)
Bathroom: 1 outlet and a light (I would like to eventually put in a vent fan)

If I am correct on the wires that need to be fished up the conduit, should I be using 12 or 14 gauge?
 
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Old 05-12-08, 09:43 AM
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Bedrooms require AFCI so I would not use multiwire branch circuit(shared neutral) for them. AFCI double pole are expensive.
 
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Old 05-12-08, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by emoboy44 View Post
Would it be better to run conduit with loose wires or romex?
If you already have the wall open, just pull four runs of 12/2 romex and use stacker staples to hold all of them in place. Pulling romex through conduit is a pain because of all the code rules involved, and switching to THHN/conduit for one short section adds unnecessary splices and junction boxes.

I also need to run a line of coax up that same chase. I'm using quad shield, but I don’t know if there will be interference in the signal.
Coax is quite resistant to interference -- keep about 1 foot separation in the chase and you will be just fine, same goes for phone or cat5.

I was told to run 4 Hot, 2 neutral, and one ground up the chase.
You can't do this anymore, because the bedrooms will require AFCI breakers which are incompatible with shared neutral circuits. Best just to stick with 12/2 in this case.

It would be okay to combine the main bedroom and second bedroom on one 20A circuit reducing your overall need to three circuits. The bathroom requires a dedicated 20A circuit, the office it's a good idea.

Also would be a good idea at this time to install hardwired smoke detectors in the bedrooms interconnected with 12/3 cable. These can be powered by one of the bedroom circuits.
 
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Old 05-12-08, 11:32 AM
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What an incredible waste of $ to spend on AFCIs when the wires are just going to be dangling in the wall cavity. There's no way you'd drive a screw or nail in a way that AFCIs would make a difference.

I would check to be sure you are required to use them, isn't it a 2008 NEC? Just call your city and find out what revision you're using. Even over at Mike's they bash on them pretty good.
 
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Old 05-12-08, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Fubar411 View Post
What an incredible waste of $ to spend on AFCIs when the wires are just going to be dangling in the wall cavity. There's no way you'd drive a screw or nail in a way that AFCIs would make a difference.
The AFCI is to protect frayed cords at point-of-use moreso than in-wall wiring.

I would check to be sure you are required to use them, isn't it a 2008 NEC?
AFCI protection has been required in bedrooms since NEC 2002, NEC 2008 has expanded that requirement to additional rooms in the house. I don't think there are any states that still use NEC 1999 or earlier, but you're correct that some regions do not enforce AFCI requirements. A call to your building department will resolve that.
 
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Old 05-12-08, 01:24 PM
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Wow, thanks for all of the greeat info, but now I'm getting confused. I know what GFCI is, I have those in my kitchen and downstairs bathroom (and soon upstairs) but I've never heard of AFCI. Is this another type of recepticle? I bought a big pack of outlets at Menard's but I think they're just run of the mill outlets. What is the difference?
 
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Old 05-12-08, 01:45 PM
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Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) is type of special protection much like Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).

The difference is that AFCI will turn off power when it detects the type of sparking hazard caused by damaged cords, and GFCI turns off power when it detects the electrocution hazard produced by mixing water and electricity. Additionally, all AFCI devices provide some level of GFCI protection, but not enough to meet the GFCI protection requirements for bathrooms and kitchens.

Currently, AFCI is only available in breaker form. The debate that Fubar alluded to in his message centers around the fact that AFCI breakers are still quite expensive ($35), and it's not entirely clear based on objective studies that they actually reduce fires or prevent deaths. Furthermore, the AFCI technology is fairly new and was the subject of multiple recalls with false nuisance tripping, but most of these issues have been resolved in the past few years. It basically boils down to the fact that many professionals believe AFCI is not worth the money, but nonetheless it is required by code in many areas for the time being.
 
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Old 05-12-08, 01:55 PM
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Would I still have to do this even if I am just changing the wires, but not the actual panel (for now)?
 
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Old 05-12-08, 02:08 PM
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Depends on how your jurisdiction enforces that requirement, but in most places yes. Replacing the wires counts as a new circuit. However if the panel replacement is imminent, the inspector may let it go with the understanding the AFCI breakers will be in the new panel. Basically, it's up to the inspector.
 
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Old 05-12-08, 02:12 PM
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I have an OLD panel in my house. I don'e even think they make breakers for it. Would replacing the panel with a nice new Square D one count as changing the service or is that another form of DIY electrical?
 
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Old 05-12-08, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by emoboy44 View Post
Would replacing the panel with a nice new Square D one count as changing the service or is that another form of DIY electrical?
Changing the service panel is generally not a task for DIY electrical. This should only be done by an advanced DIYer or professional electrician. Some areas require an electrician for this job.
 
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Old 05-14-08, 10:45 AM
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Have someone replace your panel. I wouldnt' take it on and I've wasted a lot of time here as well. You'd need a couple guys if you wanted to get it done in a day. Neatness counts a lot, you don't want to be wading in spaghetti trying to trace down a circuit. Pros do this very well.
 
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Old 05-14-08, 12:10 PM
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Thanks. My girlfriend's dad is a Pro. I just wanted some questions answered before I decided which route to go. I think I am going to pull all of the wire, cut out what I can live without for a while and let him make the final connections. If needs be I can live with half of the electricity available in my home. Do I have to remove the old knob and tube if de-energize it, or can I leave it dead in the wall?
 
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Old 05-14-08, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by emoboy44 View Post
Do I have to remove the old knob and tube if de-energize it, or can I leave it dead in the wall?
As long as both ends are disconnected and not accessible in an electrical box, you can just abandon it inside the wall. Or you can rip it out and sell it to your local metal recycler.
 
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Old 05-14-08, 12:28 PM
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I amy just do that. Are the knobs worth anything?
 
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Old 05-14-08, 12:44 PM
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Nope, they're junk.
 
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Old 05-14-08, 12:52 PM
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The knobs and tubes can be made into good knife sharpeners.
 
 

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