This ole house: re-wiring strategy

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Old 07-09-08, 02:36 AM
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This ole house: re-wiring strategy

Hey,

I am a relatively handy person and have for sometime been wanting to remove the knob and tube rats nest from my basement and attic. Here are some basic stats.

1910 house, 1600 sq ft total, basement, main floor, attic with 2 x4 (not 2x6) joists and rafters. Basement joists (2 x 6) are all exposed with decent access.

- Stove , Hot water heater, dryer appear to be up to code.

-There is one main 20 amp circuit which almost literally has the entire house on it (fridge, washer, most lights, and outlets)

- I do have some dedicated modern circuits and wiring for my for Microwave, and computer.

Any thoughts on this strategy:
- New dedicated 20 amp for Fridge
- New dedicated 20 Amp for Washer
- New dedicated 20 amp for basement zone
- New 20 amp dedicated for all ceiling lamps and swithes.
- Wire the house based on these 2 zones:
The basement zone does lights and switches for basement plus outlets for the main floor above.
The attic zone does all ceiling lights/fans and their appropriate switches on the main floor.

Questions:
Should I try to pre-wire next to the old knob and tube and when the time comes just make the switch?

How should I route the wiring in the attic since they are only 2 x 4's. I would think drilling a hole would weaken the stud.

Is it legal to put more than one Romex wire through the same hole in a floor joist or should i do separate holes for each one?

Is it legal to put pvc pipe from the bottom of my breaker box and route some of the romex wires down into the basement inside the wall? At present there are 7 different wires all making their own path through the insulation and down into the basement.

Thats some of my initial thoughts, any advise would be great thanks.

Patrick
 
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Old 07-09-08, 06:04 AM
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Oddly enough I did this last summer (with my 1st floor anyway).

I put my dedicated circuits in for my refrigerator, computer, etc first. I just put new runs in for those. The old outlets they were using were abandoned or changed to a general use outlet on a shared circuit with something else.

At that point I disconnected the knob and tube circuit and went on my way. I removed as much of the knob and tube as I could (if it was in my way). I double checked it all with a non-contact test before I cut it.

I ran the essential lights the first weekend, and worked from there. Make sure you can work during the daylight

All my 1st floor lights ended up on the same circuit. I would have divided them up, but I was out of room in my panel and I didn't think this warranted a sub panel when in reality those lights would never

As for code issues, I'll leave those to someone who knows with 100% certainty. I don't want to steer you in the wrong direction.
 
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Old 07-09-08, 10:55 AM
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I am slowly doing this myself, as time and cool days permit.

I really don't care where the electricity currently is. When my house was originally wired with K&T, they put one outlet per long wall, many not having anything at all. The ceilings got light fixtures initially, and someone came back at a later date and put switch loops on them.

I'm just approaching it like I was wiring a house for new construction. I'm following "Wiring a House" by Rex Caufield(sp?) and doing the "above code" suggestions.

The other day, I was running a really, really beefy drill and my lights dimmed, which used to happen all the time at my old, new construction house. It was odd to see that happen, and I realized that I had forgotten that I temporarily energized the new lights off my receptacle circuit in the basement.

Do it yourself, follow the books, post questions on here. But don't limit yourself to what was, just abandon it and make the finshed product look pretty.
 
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Old 07-09-08, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by seapadrik View Post
Any thoughts on this strategy:
- New dedicated 20 amp for Fridge
- New dedicated 20 Amp for Washer
- New dedicated 20 amp for basement zone
- New 20 amp dedicated for all ceiling lamps and swithes.
All good.

- Wire the house based on these 2 zones:
The basement zone does lights and switches for basement plus outlets for the main floor above.
The attic zone does all ceiling lights/fans and their appropriate switches on the main floor.
I'm a little concerned about the receptacles from the main floor all on the basement circuit. How many receptacles and in what locations? It's not specified in code, but a good rule of thumb is about 12 receptacles on a 20A circuit. If you're doing any recepts in the bathrooms or kitchen, you'll need some more dedicated circuits.

Should I try to pre-wire next to the old knob and tube and when the time comes just make the switch?
No, it's usually best to just install the new and abandon the old. The old wire and box locations are most likely not sufficient to meet either modern code or design practice.

How should I route the wiring in the attic since they are only 2 x 4's. I would think drilling a hole would weaken the stud.
Nail a 2x4 perpendicular on top of the joists and run the new romex alongside this running board.

Is it legal to put more than one Romex wire through the same hole in a floor joist or should i do separate holes for each one?
You can do two or three through a 7/8" hole.

Is it legal to put pvc pipe from the bottom of my breaker box and route some of the romex wires down
You would need to terminate the pvc conduit in a sealed junction box. I think it's better to just run the cables separately and seal the penetrations through the bottom plate with fire caulk.
 
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Old 07-10-08, 06:21 PM
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Thanks to all for the answers. One point of clarification. You stated:

"Nail a 2x4 perpendicular on top of the joists and run the new romex alongside this running board."

So I am reading this to be wherever I run my new wiring in the attic just nail it to this new series of 2x4's that are sitting ontop of the existing rafters edgewise. I guess the idea of this is to keep wiring away from errant nails hit through the ceiling, and to keep it obviously visible and not buried by insulation. Is this correct?

Thanks
 
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Old 07-10-08, 06:32 PM
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It can be flat, easier to nail it down. I say "nail" but I would probably screw it down. Never know what vibrations of nailing could do to the celling and using a heavy duty drill to screw it just about as quick.. Of course if you have a nail gun that should be OK to.
 
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Old 07-11-08, 09:03 AM
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It's also there to protect you and the wiring from tripping on the wire when you're crawling around the attic or moving items in and out of storage.
 
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