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forcedreno2012 12-29-2012 04:48 AM

Attic fan code question
 
For the last week I have been pulling all the bs wiring in the attic and am now the proud owner of two (yes I said two) 50 gallon buckets full of wiring that didnt need to be there, must have been 9 million miles of intercome/phone and coax siiigh.

While deconstruction the rats nest, I noticed a couple of things on the attic fans. There are three of them and the 12/2 leads from the switch in the attic and then to the first fan and then on to the second and third. The connections from each fan junction box (thermosat box) are just connected to the incoming wires ie the connections are taped and then nutted.

My question is that if I remember correctly, you cannot have live wires that are not in a juntion box even if they are taped and nutted. Does this hold true for attic fans as well?

If it is required it looks like I would be bunching the individual wires from the attic fan box into a regular juntion box and then connecting them to the incoming wire. ie the wires from the fan box are already split and not encased in the nice standard white sheathing. I hope that makes sense. In other words it would be like if you split the wires from the main sheathing before it reached the junction box with 3 wires leading into the box instead of one that you then split to the connections. I hope I am not butchering this but before I change this all out I want to make sure I dsont have to re-wire the attic fan boxes.

Mucho thanks and yes you know you are bored when you are wiring in the attic at 4am in the morning.

RJ

NJMarine 12-29-2012 07:31 AM

The splices in the attic have to be in a box. The feed from the switch to box and than feed each fan from that box.

forcedreno2012 12-29-2012 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NJMarine (Post 1081714)
The splices in the attic have to be in a box. The feed from the switch to box and than feed each fan from that box.

Thanks NJ - was reading on this again last night. About the switches. Currently there is one switch that controls the lights and the fans are fed from that junction box with no dedicated switch for the fans themselves. That switch is located at the top of the attic stairs. Based on what I am reading I think the current code is a switch dedicated for just the fans. From my reading this is so that if someone is working on the fans no one can just flip the switch while they are being worked on.

I have already broken the switch out of the box for the lights so that I have one switch for the lights and one for the fans and now I am worried that I need a switch for each fan or will one dedicated switch work for all three on the same run? Both the light switch and the fans are currently on the same breaker.

Thanks

kreemoweet 12-29-2012 02:59 PM

Unless this is some kind of home-made juryrig, fans come equipped with either a junction box/wiring compartment, or a flexible conduit whip intended to be
connected to a premises wiring JB. Individual wires, not in conduit or a cable assembly, is not a recognized/legal wiring method.

forcedreno2012 12-29-2012 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kreemoweet (Post 1081909)
Unless this is some kind of home-made juryrig, fans come equipped with either a junction box/wiring compartment, or a flexible conduit whip intended to be
connected to a premises wiring JB. Individual wires, not in conduit or a cable assembly, is not a recognized/legal wiring method.


Kreem - each fan does have the conduit to a thermostat box. Its the wires from the thermostat box that have been separated if that makes sense.

forcedreno2012 12-29-2012 03:25 PM

Okay I just went up to the attic and pulled on of the boxes from the fan. I see what they have done now and we can correct it by adding a proper wire to from the thermostat box to the junction box so now the only remaining question is do I need a switch for each fan or can their be one switch for all three.

Thanks

fa_f3_20 12-29-2012 07:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by forcedreno2012 (Post 1081927)
Okay I just went up to the attic and pulled on of the boxes from the fan. I see what they have done now and we can correct it by adding a proper wire to from the thermostat box to the junction box so now the only remaining question is do I need a switch for each fan or can their be one switch for all three.

Thanks

Presuming that the switch location is visible from the three fan locations, then there can be one switch for all three fans. And actually, I think you can leave it alone if you want based on it (presumably) meeting code when it was installed.

forcedreno2012 12-29-2012 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fa_f3_20 (Post 1082060)
Presuming that the switch location is visible from the three fan locations, then there can be one switch for all three fans. And actually, I think you can leave it alone if you want based on it (presumably) meeting code when it was installed.

Fa Fa yes the switch will be visible. Thanks for your response - As much as I would lke to leave it as is, I don't think this wiring would have ever met code so we will tidy it up.

NJMarine 12-30-2012 08:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fa_f3_20 (Post 1082060)
Presuming that the switch location is visible from the three fan locations, then there can be one switch for all three fans. And actually, I think you can leave it alone if you want based on it (presumably) meeting code when it was installed.

In my area the most times the fan switch is located either in the attic or about 6 feet high on the wall by the attic access .

forcedreno2012 12-30-2012 04:22 PM

Well I am glad I took the time to re-wire them and add the junction boxes..NONE of them were grounded they had stuck the wires up in the fan boxes but never connected them to the ground.

I re-wired all of them added three junction boxes and added a switch on the joist support nearest the first fan. All done and up to code. Also took the time to staple the wires to the joists and got rid of the last junk wiring - so the attic is all done. :thumbsup:

Robyn

fa_f3_20 12-30-2012 07:47 PM

Just out of curiosity, how did your attic come to be so full of abandoned wiring? I've seen that in commercial and industrial spaces that have been re-purposed a lot, but I've never seen it in a residence.

forcedreno2012 12-30-2012 09:31 PM

FA

It's an interesting story. The house was built in 1971 and built well. The house was bought by Mississippi Power when they built the power station and converted to their construction office. It was then sold and moved to its current location when the powerstation was done.

When it was in use by the power folks it was hard wired with intercoms and phones and cables with commercial grade wiring to every room....yes there were even intom and cable outlets in each bathroom. (not sure why unless power peeps need an intercom while on the throne lol).

When it was moved it was put on a brand new slab so we have the best of both worlds. Great constuction but new plumbing and wiring. This is why we had a million miles of stuff in the attic. Love the husband but don't particularly want to talk to him via intercom in the shower lol. When I get the camera back from the kid I will post some photos..it was like a spiders web up there.

Robyn

forcedreno2012 12-31-2012 12:04 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Here are a few pics to give you an idea of what we "were" dealing with... Its all clean and redone now. These were after I had removed a lot of the wires. Next is the ducting and then new blown insulation.

fa_f3_20 12-31-2012 01:14 AM

Wow, yeah, that looks like stuff I've seen in the attics of office buildings. Whenever they convert a space to a new use, they usually just abandon whatever wiring is in the attic and run all new.

Some years ago I worked in a NASA control center facility that had been in use for different programs since the early 1960s. They had a raised floor with about two feet of room underneath that was totally full of abandoned wiring of all sorts. They finally had to pull it all out since they needed to run some new cables and there was no more room. The scrapped wire made a "mountain" about 30 feet in diameter and 15 feet high behind the building.


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