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A question of of old BX and code when upgrading existing circuits

A question of of old BX and code when upgrading existing circuits

Old 02-14-14, 07:57 PM
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A question of of old BX and code when upgrading existing circuits

I'm in the process of slowly upgrading the wiring in my house (it's about 75% romex but still about 25% BX without the bonding strip... so functioning in ungrounded mode). The previous owners had "upgraded" all the receptacles to grounded receptacles, so my concern is that some of that old BX could heat up if there's a ground fault. I've labeled all those receptacles "no equipment ground".

I'd love to replace all the existing BX with romex but some is just beyond my ability (all the ceiling lights-- 8 in this house-- are running BX and about a dozen spidered outlets, all off of two circuits, and getting access to the attic is extremely difficult). We also just had our ceiling re-plastered and I really don't want to have to perturb them.

Since many more receptacles were added with dedicated circuits since then, I'm considering only upgrading the old BX ones that are easily accessible from the basement (those being the first floor receptacles), and then decommissioning the upstairs receptacles. That would leave only the ceiling lights hooked up to the BX circuits and I'd call it good (and with CFL bulbs there's not a lot of draw on those circuits).

So I have a couple of questions. First, what's the code-correct way to disconnect the upstairs receptacles from the BX circuits? Since they spider from the ceiling light circuits it's not possible for me to disconnect them from where they spider. Is it acceptable to remove the receptacles, nut the individual wire ends, and install a blank metal faceplate? The wires would remain live. Do I need to label anything?

Second question, for the downstairs receptacles that are fed by BX and that I have access to, I can rewire them with romex. But these too spider from other circuits from junction boxes along the joists in the basement. Is it up to code to keep the same spider routing and junction boxes, but with all new wire? Or do new runs need to be made from the breaker to the first receptacle to daisy chain from receptacle to receptacle, the way it would be done with new installations?
Old 02-14-14, 08:05 PM
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I would try to daisy chain where possible, but either is fine as long as the splice box is sized correctly. You may be able to install the new and then decommishion the old without loosing power for too long.

Blank covers over the old boxes are fine. The boxes cannot be buried.
Old 02-15-14, 05:57 AM
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The old wire ends, if still live, must remain in the box where the original receptacle is/was. Depending on the size of the box, it may or may not be possible to re-use the box with a new cable and new receptacle. If you cannot re-use the box and must install a new box and new receptacle next to it, you might as well leave the old receptacle in place, live, and usable.

Some old boxes, even if rid of the old wires, are too small to support daisy chaining i.e. a feed cable, the receptacle, and a continuing cable. Hence the spidering down from the ceiling, although I have seen this with the ceiling box overfilled by today's box fill rules.

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