Exposed wiring in garage ceiling - legal?

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Old 01-13-10, 06:49 AM
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Exposed wiring in garage ceiling - legal?

Folks,

I'm fixing up my fathers home in PA for sale in a few months, and have discovered a few issues due to his lack of knowledge in a renovation 25 years ago.

When renovating a bathroom to install a ceiling ventilation fan and heater, my father ran Romex across the ceiling of the garage which is below the bathroom. The ceiling is a sand coated plaster.

The electrical panel is in the garage, about 15 feet from where he drilled a hole and ran the wiring into the wall cavity of the bathroom.

My question is - is this illegal? If so, should I run PVC or metal conduit from the panel to shield the Romex to the point where it enters the ceiling?

Thanks,

Chris
 
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Old 01-13-10, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by chris_nj View Post
My question is - is this illegal? If so, should I run PVC or metal conduit from the panel to shield the Romex to the point where it enters the ceiling?
No, it is not legal if the cable is run on the surface of the plaster. Yes, you should protect it using PVC or EMT (metal conduit). If you use a metal box, you will need to attach a ground screw to it.
 
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Old 01-13-10, 06:59 AM
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Thanks for the fast reply Tolyn!

If I use PVC, do I end it in the hole in the ceiling? After that, its in the wall cavity.

Chris
 
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Old 01-13-10, 08:55 AM
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Another option would be to build a wood channel over the cable. If you use conduit, just run your LB fitting into the wall cavity so no cable is exposed.
 
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Old 01-13-10, 10:19 AM
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Thanks ibpooks,

On a similar note, he has extension cords running from an outlet to the garage door openers. If I hard-wire this correctly I am assuming I can run PVC conduit to the openers, and surface mount a receptacle in a PVC box on the ceiling correct?

Thanks!

Chris
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Last edited by chris_nj; 01-13-10 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 01-13-10, 10:21 AM
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Yup, that would be fine. If you on 2008 code the receptacle would be required to be GFCI protected.
 
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Old 01-13-10, 10:32 AM
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Whoops, I didnt even think of that. His home was built in the 50's and nothing is GFCI protected, including his bathrooms and kitchen receptacles.

I can use a GFCI receptacle in the box. A GFCI breaker is too costly.

Excellent, thanks!

Chris
 
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Old 01-13-10, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by chris_nj View Post
I can use a GFCI receptacle in the box. A GFCI breaker is too costly.
Absolutely!

(Now I have 25 characters.)
 
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Old 01-13-10, 11:19 AM
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No GFCI is one of the first things a home inspector will flag, so you might as well put those in now rather than have them demanded by a buyer during the sale. Any receptacle outlet in the bathroom, kitchen coutertops, garage, unfinished basement, crawlspace, outdoors, workshop or near a pool or spa needs to have GFCI protection.

I will also add based on the age of the home, that GFCI protection is recommended on any ungrounded (two prong) circuits, and required before any two prong receptacles are replaced with three prong receptacles.
 
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Old 01-13-10, 11:42 AM
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ibpooks,

I agree with your thinking, and that's why I'm doing this work, however, I have to disagree that the buyers would demand GFCI's be installed prior to settlement.

When you buy an older home, there are many aspects of that home that aren't up to current code (interconnected smoke alarms for example). There's no requirement to retrofit a home's electrical system prior to sale.

However, to make the house more salable, I will install them to take the issue off the table.

Thanks!
 
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Old 01-13-10, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by chris_nj View Post
When you buy an older home, there are many aspects of that home that aren't up to current code (interconnected smoke alarms for example). There's no requirement to retrofit a home's electrical system prior to sale.
That's my opinion too, however passing a home inspection is a condition of sale for many buyers. Buyers are currently in a position to make all sorts of demands, and I've seen this issue come up a lot. GFCIs, smoke detectors and fuse panel replacements as condition of sale.
 
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Old 01-13-10, 12:03 PM
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You are so correct!

Question - there are multiple receptacles over the kitchen counter. To properly install an GFCI, I need to find the first receptacle in the line. How do you recommend this be done?

My thought is to pull the receptacles out of the boxes, disconnect the wires, and restore the power. The "hot" wire will be coming into the first box. Make sense?
 
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Old 01-13-10, 12:41 PM
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Generally a good guess at where to start is the receptacle closest to the panel box as electricians do not like to waste wire.

Your procedure is correct. Disconnect the hot wires from the suspected first receptacle then switch the breaker back on. Make sure all the downstream receptacles are now dead so you know you got the first one. The power supply cable goes on the LINE side of the GFCI, and the downstream cable goes on the LOAD side.

If you come across any red and black wires at the kitchen recepts, be very careful because one breaker may not turn off power to both wires. Next, check back for information about a multiwire circuit which you might have based on the age of the house.
 
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Old 01-13-10, 12:45 PM
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Tracing Wires

Procedure removed. Reply above was submitted while I was typing.
 
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