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Old 11-05-2008, 01:26 PM   #1
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


Ok, One project that i have in the works is to redo my 2nd bedroom to make it into an office. Right now I have primed it, and have the paint to finish painting it. Ir currently has 1 plug in it, and it's two prong

I would like to add 3-4 more plugs and put them on their own circuit. I would also like to replace the box for the light, as it looks odd and very old. I was planning on having an electrician do the work, but finding one at a decent price is taking a long time, and I am about ready to do it myself, so I wanted to know what the best way to go about it would be if I did do it myself.

Here are some pictures of the room:

Before:


After priming:


I wans to place one plug on the wall to the bottom right, and one just to the right of the window here.


I want to place another plug to the left of the window here (sorry for the orientation.) the current plug is in the baseboard just out of view in the middle of the wall without the window.


And I was to place a plug to the right of the heat vent here. There is one in the hall just to the left (from this view) of the heat vent. Again, the only plug in the room is just to the bottom right of the picture in the baseboard.


The only plug.

And lastly, here is the ceiling box that is currently there. All the ceiling lights have the same box minus the kitchen and bath.



I have access to the attic above this room, but the walls to the left and right of the window have the rafters resting on them, with a peak over the window.

I also believe that I have a space next to my sewer vent pipe that I can run new cables up to the attic to get power up there.

My current thought is to run power up there, then run the wires down to the plugs in the walls, either individually from a junction box, or in series, but that requires more wire.

Are there other options other than busting up the wall more then just the boxes? Also, could I put the new boxes in the basebaoard like the other one instead?

Thanks.

Last edited by jimmyfloyd; 11-05-2008 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 11-05-2008, 01:33 PM   #2
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


Some time you can remove the baseboard and gt access the wall cavity. The cables could be run through the wall studs at floor level all the way around the room.
Accessing from the attic is a good option as is accessing from below if you have an open ceiling like a basement or crawlspace.

You should do this before you paint. You could have repairs to do to the walls.
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:10 PM   #3
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


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Some time you can remove the baseboard and gt access the wall cavity. The cables could be run through the wall studs at floor level all the way around the room.
Accessing from the attic is a good option as is accessing from below if you have an open ceiling like a basement or crawlspace.

You should do this before you paint. You could have repairs to do to the walls.
I have considered the baseboard idea as well, as this is a 2nd story bedroom, but am unsure if it will damage the baseboards.

I plan on pausing at this point and trying to get a plan for doing the electric before doing the final paint coats.
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Old 11-05-2008, 03:30 PM   #4
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


That ceiling box looks like it needs some attention! Id run new wire for that. You need a bigger box for that, old fabric is very fragile.
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Old 11-05-2008, 03:48 PM   #5
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


If you have access to a table saw you could make a false baseboard and mount it on top of the original and run the cable in the space between the two. This might get you part way there.
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:39 AM   #6
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


Yeah, I don't like the looks of the box at all, and do plan to replace it. I've not seen anything like it before, so it was intriguing. Luckily for this one, I can get into the attic space to replace it, and the rest of the ones on my second floor (which will all be on their own circuit.)

I have a table saw, and I do like the idea of notching the baseboards, but they are the old Chestnut woodwork, and I'd rather leave them as much intact as possible. I think if I notched them, it'd probably weaken them and I'd end up breaking one at some point.
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:20 AM   #7
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


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Yeah, I don't like the looks of the box at all, and do plan to replace it. I've not seen anything like it before, so it was intriguing. Luckily for this one, I can get into the attic space to replace it, and the rest of the ones on my second floor (which will all be on their own circuit.)

I have a table saw, and I do like the idea of notching the baseboards, but they are the old Chestnut woodwork, and I'd rather leave them as much intact as possible. I think if I notched them, it'd probably weaken them and I'd end up breaking one at some point.
Could you fish down from the attic? I think there is a special way to cut plaster walls for old work boxes...Id have to look that up. The easiest way is to find the joist space your going to use, cut a box hole in the plaster, drill a hole in the attic, push wire through, feel for it in the box hole and grab it, insert old work box, and install old work box.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:40 AM   #8
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


If you have access from the bottom you could use floor boxes. Never touch the walls. They make adjustable plastic floor boxes. Chris75 has a link from another thread.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:00 AM   #9
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


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If you have access from the bottom you could use floor boxes. Never touch the walls. They make adjustable plastic floor boxes. Chris75 has a link from another thread.

I just read about the plaster, its possible-but too much work. Floor boxes are the best way to go.

Link to Carlon adjustable residential floor box


http://www.carlon.com/Product_Adjust...lFloorBox.html
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:28 PM   #10
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


Floor boxes unfortunately will not work for this, due to it being on the 2nd floor.

I do have access from above in the attic, and am figuring that i will be dropping the wires in from there.

The big question is the best way to determine where to mount the boxes and how to cut the holes for them.
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:38 PM   #11
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


Well I would stay away from the studs using remodel boxes. I have found that using a drill about 1/8 inch diameter drilling many holes around the perimeter of the box works the best.
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:50 PM   #12
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


Reminds me a lot of my own house, which had one outlet and pull chains for lights in each of the second floor bedrooms when I started. I assume your electrical panel is in the basement and that you can get new cable into the attic.I found it easier to run my power to a centrally located junction box/es. It is then fairly easy to fish down into the room from a junction box or boxes(which you will NOT bury into a wall or floorboards later). Wanting to stay away from cutting holes in the plaster,I cut holes into the baseboard(looks nicer too,mounted sideways),being careful to stay away from studs.After drawing your box locations on the baseboard, use a spadebit to drill holes through the baseboard at all four corners. You can now easily cut these out using a jigsaw.Fish your cable down,with a helper and feed into an old work box and you're golden. The ceiling light box looks familar too, a lot of BX(?) cable stuffed into an undersized box. I removed these and installed proper sized boxes. I know that braided wire looks bad,but often it's just the old insulation.Buy some good quality colored electrical tape if you're sure that this is the case and use it to replace that old falling apart junk, strip it back until it's sound and tape with appropriate color. If the integrity of the cable is in question,you'll have to run new.Good luck.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:23 PM   #13
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


Since you cannot use floor boxes and you say you cannot access the sill over the walls, you are going to have to cut up some plaster. If you can find a way to drill a hole in the sill above where you want the recepts, then all you have to concern yourself with is the box cut outs. A Dremmel tool with the right attachment may be a good way to cut in the boxes.
As said before along the bottom may be a good way to go. This way you can see the studs.
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:20 PM   #14
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Adding Electric outlets to bedroom with plaster walls


Sorry for the confusion. I do have access to the top sill on the wall with the windows and the wall with the door/heat vent (opposite ends of the room). I am pretty sure I do not have access to the sill for the side walls (one with plug currently and one with closet) I could live without a plug on those walls if necessary since I'll be able to reach plugs on the end walls without much issue.

I am going to try and climb in the attic and get some pictures of what I am actually dealing with so people can see.
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