K&T in attic, service in basement

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  #1  
Old 05-10-11, 10:42 PM
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K&T in attic, service in basement

I just bought a new place and want to add a few receptacles to the second bedroom, add lights to the closets and ultimately replace all the knob and tube. I replaced the existing service with 200 amp service in loan closing process.

In sum, the service comes into the basement, all the lights and receptacles for bedrooms route through one corner and then through the attic.

My question: As I add an outlet here and there, am I ok to route receptacles through the basement vs. the attic? Seems nonsensical to route up, then back down again to the wall.

Also, my old fuse box was gutted and now is acting as a junction box 1' from new main service panel with all new wires. Can I splice into the existing circuit for bedrooms (15A L&R) at this junction box and start my new basement receptacle circuit? To be clear, pigtail off new wires to the junction box, not K&T.

Finally, K&T doesn't crumble--mine's in pretty good shape and I've crawled all over and not seen one exposed wire. It seems to have held up for the last 70 some years.
 
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Old 05-11-11, 07:33 AM
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As I add an outlet here and there, am I ok to route receptacles through the basement vs. the attic?
Yes. Go the easiest route.

Can I splice into the existing circuit for bedrooms (15A L&R) at this junction box and start my new basement receptacle circuit?
While it may not be required in your area yet latest NEC requires AFCI breakers for bedrooms. I'd say best practice unless the panel is full would be to install a new breaker.
 
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Old 05-12-11, 10:13 AM
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I would consider new circuits/breakers for the lines you're running. Chances are that your current circuits will be easily overloaded by all the new fangled appliances they didn't have 70 years ago. By adding additional receptacles to a circuit that has a bunch of receptacles already on it is tempting breaker trips.

Also, this may be a good time to start replacing some of the K&T. While it is in good shape, as long as you're pulling wire, cutting holes, etc. it's a great time to replace some of that K&T. That way you won't have to worry when you plug in a space heater or hair dryer... and if/when you do sell the house, you'll have one less thing for the perspective buyers to be wary about.
 
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Old 05-12-11, 06:08 PM
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As much as I hate saying so, rip out any abandoned k&t wire. When we bought our house, the appraiser would not appraise the place until all of the k&t in the attic was ripped out and wirenutted where it was not accessible, although it was abandoned. The k&t even had loom on it.
 
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Old 05-12-11, 07:07 PM
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Just because one aprasier was an idiot doesn't mean all are.
 
  #6  
Old 05-15-11, 09:16 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions and I don't plan to add to any of the existing k&t circuits.

Question, is it possible the insulation is asbestos? I didn't think they used for insulation in non-commercial applications.

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-15-11, 11:02 PM
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Well, now you've gone and done it. The rule with asbestos is that IF you think something might contain asbestos then it does contain asbestos until proven otherwise. Now you need to take a sample of the insulation, using all proper procedures to ensure no asbestos fibers are released to the atmosphere, and send the sample to a testing laboratory for analysis. Until the report comes back as negative you must use all the required procedures for asbestos abatement whenever disturbing this suspected asbestos-containing material. Depending on your local regulations this could mean that you need to get certified abatement workers and a permit from some governmental office, often the health department.

Seriously, NEVER voice (or write) an opinion of the possibility of anything containing asbestos. For things that often were manufactured with asbestos the proper procedure is to take a sample for analysis and await the results of that test before proceeding.

Now for the good news. It is extremely unlikely that any asbestos was used in the manufacture of the wire insulation in your house. If you forget about asking I will forget you asked. Asking if any material in your house might contain asbestos is okay but don't ask if a specific material contains asbestos.

For what it's worth my opinion of asbestos is that it IS a dangerous material BUT the dangers to the general public have been overblown into hysteria. You will receive far greater exposure to asbestos (from the dust of brake linings) driving a busy highway with the windows rolled down than you will removing electrical wiring from your house.
 
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Old 05-16-11, 05:08 PM
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Seriously, NEVER voice (or write) an opinion of the possibility of anything containing asbestos. For things that often were manufactured with asbestos the proper procedure is to take a sample for analysis and await the results of that test before proceeding.
Could you please explain why? I'm just curious as to why.
 
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Old 05-16-11, 06:04 PM
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If you ever had to pay for testing and abatement you wouldn't be asking the question.
 
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Old 05-16-11, 08:27 PM
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Anytime a person expresses an opinion that some substance contains asbestos from that point forward the substance MUST be treated as if it does contain asbestos. A sample will need to be taken from the material (under proper containment procedures) and submitted to a testing laboratory to determine if it does indeed contain asbestos. Any demolition prior to this lab analysis MUST be done in accordance with the LOCAL regulations concerning asbestos containing materials (ACM) and these local regulations may be quite onerous and expensive. If the lab result comes back negative for asbestos then everything done to comply with the regulations has been a waste.

Now there are some substances that are commonly presumed to contain asbestos and these substances must be sampled and tested prior to any other work. Some "popcorn" ceiling materials contained significant amounts of asbestos and some drywall compounds contained a minimal amount of asbestos. Vinyl-asbestos floor tile contains significant amounts of asbestos as one would assume by its name. Since most drywall compound does NOT contain any asbestos it is not commonly presumed to contain asbestos and as long as no one expresses an opinion that it does it is legal to remove it without going through the procedures necessary for ACM. The same would be true of many floor coverings other than vinyl-asbestos.

I have worked with and around asbestos containing material for the better share of my adult life yet I cannot simply point to something and state that it is an ACM. I have seen (and used) rigid pipe insulation that most lay people would immediately call asbestos yet the material contained no asbestos at all and was an approved replacement for asbestos containing pipe insulation. You just can't tell by visual inspection alone. Depending on the substance, where it is used and the approximate date of its manufacture an informed person CAN make a fairly good guess as to whether or not a particular substance is likely to contain asbestos but ONLY a lab analysis can tell for certain.

The following is MY OPINION. The average person has about as much to fear from the moon falling out of the sky and crushing them as they do from any random exposure to asbestos. The only cases of problems directly related to asbestos exposure I have known of personally or through credible news sources have happened to people that worked decades in an industry where asbestos was commonly used, did not use personal protective equipment (respirators) and were also heavy cigarette smokers. I believe that if a person uses common sense and is not a smoker then casual exposure to asbestos is no more a health risk than is a sunburn. But as state, this in MY OPINION and the laws are not in accordance.
 
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Old 05-17-11, 12:46 PM
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Thanks, guys.
 
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