Wiremold woes..


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Old 08-16-22, 08:36 PM
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Wiremold woes..

Hello folks.

My job of twenty some years was auctioned away to the highest bidder, and I ended up working as a maintenance man in two jacked up 110 year old dorms. They want me to do everything.. You should see all the parts and tools I'm responsible for, and I practice my quittin speech daily.

Anyway, the old cloth wiring is gone, but they have allot of wire mold in the dorm rooms where the old wire in the wall was extended another 6" to reach the new outlets in the 1-3/8 deep 2 gang wiremold boxes. Cramming all this wiring into the old boxes while passing through the mounting plate and into the 1-3/8 deep 2 gang wiremold is difficult. Sorry, not sure on the wire gauge, but seems to me if we used stranded wire, we wouldn't have as many shorts where the wires are pushed against the edges of the back plate, of ends of the wiremold conduit. Thank god for breakers, but even those are ancient looking, and from what I understand require more and more amperage to trip each time. Yes we are working under a licensed electrician, but we are so short handed because the private sector is paying more, he doesn't work with or inspect anything we do and I don't like it.

Can someone give me a link to, or explain the limitations of 1-3/8 deep 2 gang wiremold boxes? Seems like the deeper boxes would be a better choice, except for the fact that children and custodians are always knocking the boxes off the plaster walls moving furniture around.

Thanks!
 
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Old 08-16-22, 08:57 PM
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Questionable work in a dorm or anywhere there are sleeping quarters is literally playing with fire. I could tell you some horror stories. Better pray those breakers trip.

When bringing the wire out of an old box.... you should be using new wire not the old cloth covered crap. Yes... .those back plates are sharp. I think we were using slide-on grommet material. Also called caterpillar grommet or grommet edging. It slips on the sharp edge and insulates it. I left you a search link to get an idea.

Grommet edging
 
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Old 08-17-22, 03:44 AM
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Thanks Pete..

Always new wire, but maybe to thick. Is there a date printed on circuit breakers? Or how can I prove they need to be replaced?
 
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Old 08-17-22, 09:46 AM
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#12 or #14 THHN/THWN shoudn't be too thick.

There may be a date code on the breaker but I wouldn't count on it.
It's pretty hard to test circuit breakers for proper operation.

If I see an old panel with old breakers I'll push for breaker replacement but there isn't anything in the code that requires they be changed unless known defective.

It wouldn't surprise me if the codes changed and all dorms were required to have AFCI (arc fault) breakers.
 
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Old 08-17-22, 06:18 PM
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Multiply the box length x width x depth to find the cubic inch capacity. Then see NEC table 314.16(B) for how many cubic inches per wire you need. If the box is an extension box that goes over an existing box you can see the existing box cubic inches as well. The extension boxes tend to be very shallow. I will buy a deeper box and attach it to an the extension box back plate.
 
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Old 08-17-22, 07:25 PM
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The extension boxes have a large cutout in the back which allows the original box to be used as well as the Wiremold box.
 
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Old 08-18-22, 04:06 AM
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Problem with the back plate is the large hole is smaller than the box in the wall, thus the grommet edging. But the previous jacklegs didn't use any.. I didn't even know about grommet edging until now. The conduit needs it to, but doesn't look like wiremold makes any..

How do i figure out if AFCI (arc fault) breakers are required in johnson county Iowa? .
 
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Old 08-18-22, 06:26 AM
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How do i figure out if AFCI (arc fault) breakers are required in johnson county Iowa?
You can call your local building department and ask what version of the NEC they use. But, AFCIs are most likely not required regardless unless you're adding or replacing a whole circuit. Just working on a circuit wouldn't trigger a need to upgrade the circuit breaker to current code.

Many locales have rules for adding GFI protection in bathrooms and kitchens in certain cases, but I've never seen anywhere require AFCI outside of new circuits being installed.
 
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Old 08-18-22, 10:11 AM
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You should not be relying on your supervisor or the licensed electrician to inspect your work.

You should learn and know all the facts and rules you need to do the job. It is okay to ask a licensed electrician on the job but do expect to be referred to a manual (such as the NEC) or a city department or office to call.

There are some things that apply regardless of whether you are using Wiremold or EMT conduit or even Romex. Conductors or cables must be protected from sharp edges on boxes, clamps, or conduits. Box fill has to be observed.
 
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Old 08-18-22, 10:23 AM
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There is no current code requiring AFCI breakers in all dorms but many times based on actual events codes can be updated. In places where there are dorms... like in a school.... there would be yearly inspections made by several organizations like fire safety, insurance, etc. They would make it known if something required was not present.
 
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Old 08-18-22, 05:58 PM
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My job description says, performs skills and semi-skilled work in the repair, servicing, and maintenance of residential halls and electrical, mechanical, plumbing and air conditioning equipment. Ive already had to tell my lazy lead that my job description doesn't say anything about new installation, after he wanted me to install conduit, pull wire and tear out an entire tile floor and re-tile. He's jealous because I make more $ than he does since my job was auctioned off and Ive been there for 24 years. If I had time I might consider installation, but people are leaving the university in droves because the pay isn't keeping up with the private sector so now I'm responsible for over 1000 beds after I was told at hire I would have one building of 500.

Anyway, I'm writing the cover letter I never needed so I can apply for another job even though it would be about $6K less.

Sorry for the rant, but I cant stand being a jack of all trades and I'm not spending personal time on researching what my supervisor doesn't even know.
 
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Old 08-19-22, 10:16 AM
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With other employees quitting and your workload going up, I would let "extra" work get just a smidgen behind while doing research on brand new topics like tiling(?), and ask for overtime pay for any significant hours needed to catch up..
 
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Old 08-19-22, 06:27 PM
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Sorry, I over reacted the other day.. My new supervisor has now realized I'm the real deal and my lead if full of it after dragging my name through the mud.

I cant change my ways and slow down on purpose because the parents have now left and these are my kids now. If I had a computer at work I might do some research, but yesterday I used the one hour of down time I had to solder wires back on LED light strips instead of buying new ones.. Today I had to replace new water stop valves and a new faucet in the office break room and another six work orders..

I do mostly like the people I work with, and most of the students are great. Most.
 
 

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