Codes, Insurance, wiring, etc...

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Old 12-14-14, 06:57 PM
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Codes, Insurance, wiring, etc...

I recently had a big loss at my house. I had an extension cord get hot and start a fire. The fire wasn't big but it busted a big fish tank, and it flooded my entire house...both floors. The basement is now completely gutted down to concrete floor, wall studs, and the joists above. We found a few wire nuts behind walls, as well as junction boxes. I know this is not to code.

I suspect there are many other violations in the house wiring. It's a mess, and I'm not an electrician. There is a big breaker box outside, and a pretty big one on the inside. Both are in use. There are more breakers in the inside panel (amperage) than there is a breaker in the outside box. I think the biggest in the outside box is a 100, and the inside box is likely a 250amp. Off the inside box are all the 220 appliances, as well as all the 220v outlets in the house (yeah, it's old).

None of the 110v outlets are grounded, and have only the 2 prong outlets.

Many of the wires still go into areas I can't trace them. It would take hours to trace them down and see how many outlets and lights on each circuit, based on my knowledge. If there is an easy way to do this, it would be appreciated. Maybe if I can run them all down, it would make me feel more safe with it.

My insurance has "code upgrade" clause. However, none of the wiring was harmed in the loss. With the walls being open and all wiring exposed, does code allow them to bring it to current code before closing it up? I'm in TN and they go off of IRC 2012. I can't find anything in there about when upgrades have to be made.
 
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Old 12-15-14, 05:41 AM
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House Wiring

Hire an electrician to bring your wiring up to code while the walls are open.
 
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Old 12-15-14, 07:16 AM
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Regardless of who pays for this it should be done and will never be cheaper than it is now with the walls open.
 
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Old 12-15-14, 07:20 AM
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In many areas it would be required to upgrade the wiring while the walls are open. It's a local code enforcement issue though -- check with the inspector's office.
 
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Old 12-15-14, 09:17 AM
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Even though insurance might not pay for the electrical upgrade, as the other have said there is no better time to do it. I realize with deductible and other costs it might not be a good time financially but there is probably a lot you can diy [ask the insurance contractor] to make it more affordable.
 
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Old 12-15-14, 09:45 AM
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If the sum of the amperes ratings of the breakers in the panel exceeds the amperes rating of the main (usually top) breaker or the breaker in an upstream panel that is not a problem. The main breaker limits the total current that can be distributed in different ways among the branch circuit breakers within the ratings of the latter.

The fact an extension cord overheated does not imply that there is a problem with the wiring in the walls. One common problem is the plug fitting loose in the wall receptacle and that can cause a lot of heat even when the amperes being drawn is far below the breaker rating.
 
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Old 12-15-14, 09:46 AM
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None of the 110v outlets are grounded, and have only the 2 prong outlets.
To me that is an issue that should be rectified.
 
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Old 12-15-14, 10:05 AM
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You can upgrade the wiring in the portion of the house or basement where the walls are open without having to open up additional walls to complete the rest of the circuits to the farthest receptacles. You will however need junction boxes with exposed covers where the new wiring ends and old wires are tied in.

No wiring additions or extensions may be made except to new wiring that went all the way upstream to the panel.
 
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