Re-Wiring House

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  #1  
Old 10-05-13, 11:55 AM
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Re-Wiring House

I'm going to re-wire a house that has aluminum wire I'll be replacing with copper. It's a small house and will take about 1,500 feet of 12 ga. wire. I purchased five (5) 250 ft. rolls of 12-2 NM wire and one (1) 250 ft. roll of 12-3 NM wire. Not sure what I'll use the 12-3 for but am wondering whether or not I can use it to help do the following (or should I return the roll for 12-2 or 10-2?).

Wife would like to have the option of turning on lights normally and also be able (if she chooses) to turn ALL overhead lights on throughout the house upon entering house at front or side door. I'm thinking a red-colored switch for ALL on at the same time. Is SHE the only person on earth who's ever thought to do this, or is it something that someone else has done before? Could I use the 12-3 NM to help achieve this, and if not what else could I do with the 12-3 other than return it for 12-2 or 10-2?

Thank you!
 
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Old 10-05-13, 01:43 PM
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I would use 12-2 for wiring the receptacles and 14-2 for lighting. 14-3 will be used as runners between 3 way switches for your convenience lighting. For every switch loop you will run a 14-3 to the switch box from the source wiring in the ceiling and cap off the white wire, which is an available neutral for future use.

Don't know what a red colored switch is, but you will use 3 way or 4 way switches, depending on how many locations she will require.

From your statements, I firmly believe you should buy the book Wiring Simplified at most home centers or Amazon. It will help you immensely in determining what will be required for your home's wiring.
 
  #3  
Old 10-05-13, 01:44 PM
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I'm going to re-wire a house that has aluminum wire I'll be replacing with copper. It's a small house and will take about 1,500 feet of 12 ga. wire. I purchased five (5) 250 ft. rolls of 12-2 NM wire and one (1) 250 ft. roll of 12-3 NM wire.
You only need 12 AWG copper on 20A circuits. Any 15A circuits, which typically include lighting circuits, only require 14 AWG copper conductors.

If you have the option, wiring lights with 15A 14-2/G circuits and receptacles with 20A 12-2/G circuits provides a better supply for each and lessens the chance that you'll be totally in the dark.

Your higher-draw 240V electric appliances, such as your range, clothes dryer, water heater and A/C condenser, will require heavier wire. A water heater, for example, usually needs a 30A 240V circuit wired with 10-2/G cable.

Not sure what I'll use the 12-3 for but am wondering whether or not I can use it to help do the following (or should I return the roll for 12-2 or 10-2?).
xx-3/G cable is needed for connecting a pair of 3-way switches. The 12-3/G you bought is of limited use in most homes, unless a 20A lighting circuit with multiple control points is needed or there's a reason to run a multiwire branch circuit, where two hot wires share one neutral conductor. You may want to return it.

Wife would like to have the option of turning on lights normally and also be able (if she chooses) to turn ALL overhead lights on throughout the house upon entering house at front or side door. I'm thinking a red-colored switch for ALL on at the same time. Is SHE the only person on earth who's ever thought to do this, or is it something that someone else has done before?
It's not done everyday but she's probably not the first to think of it.

If you try to hard wire this you'll have to do one of two things: Either put all of the lights in your house on one circuit and wire that circuit through the "kill switch" at the front door before going to any other switch or light outlets, or install a switch by the door that controls relays that open and close the lighting circuits. Either way, turning that switch by the door off will have the same effect as turning the breaker for your lights off would - no lights will work until it's turned on.

A better way to do what she has in mind is to install remote controls for your lights and have a master controller at the door. You can also each have handheld controllers that will actuate the switching. X10 is one of the better-known companies making those controls.
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 10-05-13 at 08:28 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 10-06-13, 07:32 AM
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Chandler and Nash hit on the main points about your plan. Also be sure you're up to speed on current code requirements for kitchen, bath, and laundry. Just because your house is currently wired one way, now that you're rewiring, you may need to add some new circuits, GFI, AFCI, etc.

For what your wife wants, I would highly recommend looking into X10, or what I feel is superior, an Insteon system. I just set one up in a new (to me) house and it works great. Many of the lights work normally via their local switches, but at the entry door there are a few extra buttons. The 'Welcome Home" button turns on a group of lights at certain dim levels to make it warm and inviting. Also at sundown, certain lights go on to give the house the lived-in look, and off at 11pm. Well worth the time and cost in my opinion, and will probably work better than a bank of 3-way switches when you walk in the house. I'd be happy to tell you more about it if you're interested... but I'll save my breath (keystrokes) for now.
 
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Old 10-06-13, 11:42 AM
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now that you're rewiring, you may need to add some new circuits, GFI, AFCI, etc.
Hear, hear.

For what your wife wants, I would highly recommend looking into X10, or what I feel is superior, an Insteon system... Many of the lights work normally via their local switches, but at the entry door there are a few extra buttons. The 'Welcome Home" button turns on a group of lights at certain dim levels to make it warm and inviting. Also at sundown, certain lights go on to give the house the lived-in look, and off at 11pm. Well worth the time and cost in my opinion, and will probably work better than a bank of 3-way switches when you walk in the house.
I think you and I are each talking about the system that is more familiar to us, Zorfdt. Everything you describe as a feature of your Insteon system is also true of our X10 system, and more, including programmability and control over the internet. Our eldest son uses his system to control their boiler from a portable keypad, if he wants to override the presets, for example.

Smarthome has been advertising their Insteon system as "superior to" or "better than" or "the next generation of" Z10 ever since they introduced it. I've yet to be convinced.

Back to topic

The point, though, is that an automated set of controls is probably the best solution for achieving the level of control your wife has asked for, Zeringue, especially when contrasted with trying to do that with standard wiring. The system and components you choose are up to you. If you want more advice specifically on those controls, you might start a thread in our Home Automation forum.
 
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