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Old 10-09-2008, 02:27 PM   #1
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


Tell me what you think of this plan. If it's stupid then tell me it's stupid. I have no grounds on my second floor. What I'd like to do is pull three 14-2's and one 12-2 from my basement into my attic to be used for one 20A and three 15A circuits. The 20A would be for a bathroom, one 15A would be for the lights (I believe there are 8) on the second floor, one would be used for all receptacles (there are currently 8. I might bump it up to 10.) and the other would be for future use.

For an electrician to do this work he would either have to spend a lot of time or have easy access (taking out large parts of my walls). I would rather not have to take out large areas of drywall and I basically have all the time in the world. Once the wiring is pulled the electrician can come out and connect it all to the panel, wire the bathroom, and terminate the three 14-2 romex lines in junction boxes. Over time I can start pulling lines from the junction boxes to replace the existing wiring. I can tackle it one light/receptacle at a time.

The things I'm not sure about...
Will an electrician just hook up romex that he didn't personally run?
I realize that electrical is normally ran in serial from outlet to outlet but I want to run to one junction box and then run individual lines from that. Is that ok to do?

If this is a stupid plan, can you suggest an alternate plan that doesn't involve me a) tearing down my walls and b) lets me do most of the work myself.

Thanks.

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Old 10-09-2008, 02:40 PM   #2
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


Some will and some wil not. You will need to call around and ask them.

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Old 10-09-2008, 03:00 PM   #3
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


Hey, the other thing you can do is get a conduit from the basement to the attic, I would be thrilled to have that done for me in advance.
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:26 PM   #4
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


What size/material conduit? That might be tough. It's one thing to fish flexible romex but PVC or the like would be tough.
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:50 PM   #5
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


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What size/material conduit? That might be tough. It's one thing to fish flexible romex but PVC or the like would be tough.
I would find a stacked closet and just run it exposed and box in after, or if you feel you can snake the wires to the attic go for it... this is what I would pull from the panel area to the attic area... just my opinion of course...


14/2/2 - two circuits for bedroom receptacles and lights, (AFCI compatible.)
14-3 for smokes (unless you have an alarm system)
12-3 for bath receptacle and a future spare.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:05 PM   #6
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


I don't have stacked closets and I only have one shared interior wall between floors so my options are limited but I do have a raceway that I've been working with for low-voltage that I can share. It's not ideal but power trumps low-voltage.

I don't understand the spare for the 12-3. I was under the impression that a bathroom has to be its own circuit. It's kinda stupid in my case. The bathroom is tiny and I can't imagine it ever drawing 20A.

I don't have an alarm system and I'm not sure if there's anything on the second floor currently. I know there's one in the kitchen. I should probably know that.
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:32 PM   #7
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


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The bathroom is tiny and I can't imagine it ever drawing 20A.

Hair dryer = 10-12 amps alone.


The idea of running individual cables from a j box to each outlet will be a mess. Theoretically it is fine but homeowner don't seem to be able to make clean junction boxes. They just wad and cram everything in and leave a mess for somebody someday.
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:15 PM   #8
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


Also, don't fall under the age old wives tale that "the connections" are the hard part.
We hear this all the time. "I'll run the wires and have the electrician make the connections."

Knowing what to run, what size, to where and WHY is the part that takes skill and knowledge. Tying in the panel is the easy part, at least for us.

I agree about the J-box method. Another common DIY mistake (for lack of a better term), or misunderstanding. Rarely will we wire a room or area like that.
It absolutely is not easier that way.
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:17 PM   #9
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


Don't assume that doing some of the work ahead of time will save you money. The reason being, alot of folks see that as trying to cheap them out. An electrician may charge you MORE because you did some of it.

Personally, if someone called me and asked if that would be OK, well, I might go for it, but it would have to be a tip-top install. And I would require that you don't make the taps in the boxes. Only run the wire and secure it, but I will make the splices up.

It's a liability thing as well as a cheapo issue. If you run a wire, and I connect it, then your house burns down, I may be held responsible, even though the fault may have been in your run.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:04 PM   #10
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


You might a better response if you just pull a rope for the electrician to use as a pull for his cables. He can attached the required cables to the rope and pull them.
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:57 AM   #11
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You might a better response if you just pull a rope for the electrician to use as a pull for his cables. He can attached the required cables to the rope and pull them.
That's actually a good idea. How do the electricians out there feel about that? In that scenario the electrician is pulling all of the lines and making connections on both ends.

Believe me, this isn't the topology I want for my wiring but without removing the walls I don't see a better way. If you have suggestions then please share. I'd even considered removing the drywall on the interior walls but the framing is really out-of-line and I know that if I take it down then I'm going to try and shim everything back into plane and I'm going to make this a lot more work for myself.

Point taken on the hairdryer but the bathroom where my wife blow dries her hair actually shares a circuit with our giant mounted microwave. That's also on my list of things to fix and unfortunately is going to involve a lot of cutting.

My true issue is that I have a lot of work that needs to be done and I'm trying to find the most pragmatic way of doing it. I'm trying to fix the safety issues first, followed by useful/practical, and finally the circuits that could be overloaded but probably won't be.
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:05 AM   #12
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


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Hair dryer = 10-12 amps alone.


The idea of running individual cables from a j box to each outlet will be a mess. Theoretically it is fine but homeowner don't seem to be able to make clean junction boxes. They just wad and cram everything in and leave a mess for somebody someday.
Agree here. Having more than 3 sets of wire in a J-box is a mess. Much easier to daisy-chain receptacle to receptacle.
What you can do, and what I am planning in my home is to daisy chain from a receptacle, which will later go to another, but for now I cannot access the wall from the attic (too much junk), so I'm going to pull the wire up from the live receptacle, estimate the length of cable needed to reach the 2nd receptacle, add a few feet to that, and run it into a J-box in the attic where it will be safe until I can access the wall space, and drop the cable down to the receptacle.

I got lucky in that I have an upstairs closet that has an interior wall below.
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:07 AM   #13
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


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Agree here. Having more than 3 sets of wire in a J-box is a mess. Much easier to daisy-chain receptacle to receptacle.
What you can do, and what I am planning in my home is to daisy chain from a receptacle, which will later go to another, but for now I cannot access the wall from the attic (too much junk), so I'm going to pull the wire up from the live receptacle, estimate the length of cable needed to reach the 2nd receptacle, add a few feet to that, and run it into a J-box in the attic where it will be safe until I can access the wall space, and drop the cable down to the receptacle.

I got lucky in that I have an upstairs closet that has an interior wall below.
So you are going to daisy chain from the attic down the wall, back up the wall, through the attic, down the wall to the next outlet, back up the wall, and so forth. Am I correct in saying that? I guess that does keep everything in series.

Let me think about that...if I have to drop one cable, then dropping two is just as easy. It would require more romex but that's not a big deal.

Instead of terminating the downstream side in a JB could you just cap the wires in the outlet (making sure you have more than enough wire to reach the next outlet) and then when you go to wire the next one just uncap and connect. Obviously I wouldn't want to leave it in that state for very long but my plan is to finish all the wiring for the circuit over several days.
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:15 AM   #14
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


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Instead of terminating the downstream side in a JB could you just cap the wires in the outlet (making sure you have more than enough wire to reach the next outlet) and then when you go to wire the next one just uncap and connect.
Yes. That would also be a valid option.
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Old 10-10-2008, 01:00 PM   #15
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Can I pre-run romex before the electrician shows up?


If I had to wire from the attic down I would use a star configuration. One or more junction boxes in the attic and then down to the receptacles. You would use twice a much wire going down and back up the wall to the next receptacle.

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