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Old 01-07-2013, 02:34 PM   #1
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Conduit up the outside of the house to 2nd floor - what kind?


Well, as you may have seen me rant about in other threads, the "contractor" who "remodelled" the upstairs bath in our house (before we owned it) thought it would be an awesome idea to tie the bathroom into the old wiring.

In addition to that, I now have a 9 month old daughter who will be sleeping in her own room (also upstairs next to our room) next summer so an air conditioner will be going in there for those really hot days.

Add to that our own air conditioner..... This is adding up to MORE POWER!

I need to get circuits upstairs, the walls are impossible to deal with, my electrician even spent 1/2 hour in my attic and 1/2 hour in my basement and came out with the reponse "no way" to the idea of trying to sneak it in next to the main stack. Apparently they really liked cement back in the day when they put pipes in.

So .... I'm leaning towards piping up the outside. If I put it on the side w/ the chimney, nobody will even see it except my neighbor and I don't think she cares

So ... do I use the same type of conduit I used when I buried a separate run to my garage or something else?

If I do use the same stuff, will paint hold on that type of conduit?

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Old 01-07-2013, 02:55 PM   #2
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Conduit up the outside of the house to 2nd floor - what kind?


I would drill and cut holes and fish the wire before I would put conduit on the side of my home. All wires inside the conduit will have to be wet rated and depending on the amount of circuits it may end up being a large piece of conduit.

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Old 01-07-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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Conduit up the outside of the house to 2nd floor - what kind?


Lots are narrow here. If I put it behind the chimney on the side of my house, my neighbor is literally the only person (well besides me) that will even know the conduit is there.

The only way it's going through the inside is through the floor in one closet and then at some god awful 45 degree angle into another closet through a hail mary pass and then through another closet both of which i will need to remove the contents and shelves from.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:22 PM   #4
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Conduit up the outside of the house to 2nd floor - what kind?


The wet rating requirement makes exterior conduit runs very annoying. You'll have three options for how to run this: 1. Use conduit as a raceway all the way from the panel to each point of use and pull individual wires (THWN). 2. Use conduit as a raceway from the panel to the second floor and pull THWN through it, but set a large box at the end of the conduit at the second floor and transition to NM cable for the interior part. 3. Use conduit as a sleeve from the panel up to the second floor, running UF cable through the conduit sleeve and then into the interior of the second floor without conduit. Option 1 requires a lot of conduit work, but fewer splices and only one type of wire. It would probably involve tearing up some of the interior on the second floor to run the conduit. Option 2 avoids running interior conduit and lets you use easy-to-handle NM cable on the second floor, but involves a mess of splices. Option 3 avoids the splices and the interior conduit, but requires you to use UF cable all the way, which is really annoying to work with.

Then there's option 4: Build a small pop-out chase up the side of the house and run NM through it. Since the chase is part of the structure, not a conduit, it would not be a wet location and you can just run the NM straight up and through the wall. Just frame a rectangular chase out of a few 2X4's and cover it with T1-11 or similar sheet siding.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:15 AM   #5
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Conduit up the outside of the house to 2nd floor - what kind?


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The wet rating requirement makes exterior conduit runs very annoying. You'll have three options for how to run this: 1. Use conduit as a raceway all the way from the panel to each point of use and pull individual wires (THWN). 2. Use conduit as a raceway from the panel to the second floor and pull THWN through it, but set a large box at the end of the conduit at the second floor and transition to NM cable for the interior part. 3. Use conduit as a sleeve from the panel up to the second floor, running UF cable through the conduit sleeve and then into the interior of the second floor without conduit. Option 1 requires a lot of conduit work, but fewer splices and only one type of wire. It would probably involve tearing up some of the interior on the second floor to run the conduit. Option 2 avoids running interior conduit and lets you use easy-to-handle NM cable on the second floor, but involves a mess of splices. Option 3 avoids the splices and the interior conduit, but requires you to use UF cable all the way, which is really annoying to work with.


By the way I forgot to mention something. I would want to do this coming into my attic and then just going down into the individual locations from there. The Bathroom is nice and easy since it was rewired and I need to just remove the new wire from the old junction box the morons tied it into. As far as the bedrooms go I believe it would be very doable to get a run from a new outlet up into the attic.

By my calculations this still means option 2 would be the better one. A junction box would be fine up in the attic.

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Old 01-08-2013, 08:30 AM   #6
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Conduit up the outside of the house to 2nd floor - what kind?


Is this a walk up attic with standing room or a low crawl space type? If it is an easily accessible attic I would probably put a sub panel up there and run the circuits from there down to the second floor.
I know the electrician said "no way" but he may have said "no way" because he didn't want to bother with running the cables through the walls. There is always a way and if it were me I would use the outside conduit run as a last resort. Maybe nobody can see it but it is still the easy way out.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:42 AM   #7
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Conduit up the outside of the house to 2nd floor - what kind?


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Is this a walk up attic with standing room or a low crawl space type? If it is an easily accessible attic I would probably put a sub panel up there and run the circuits from there down to the second floor.
I know the electrician said "no way" but he may have said "no way" because he didn't want to bother with running the cables through the walls. There is always a way and if it were me I would use the outside conduit run as a last resort. Maybe nobody can see it but it is still the easy way out.
I can't stand up in the attic, my wife might be able to in the middle but not me. Also .. no ladder/stairs - it's a "go and get the ladder in the garage" type attic. Not hard to get up there, but not so easy I would want a breaker up there either.

My electrician said "no way" to the idea of running the cable in the cavity that contains the drain stack (remember, cement-happy people built my house, you should see the chunk of cement we took out just to get out the old vent for the upstairs bathtub).

I'm sure he could find a way to get the wire up there, he just said it wasn't going to happen by the stack. If I told him I wanted it up there at all costs without a conduit he would do it, he just might be at my house for a while, I was trying to minimize his hours and maximize my own. I trust him fully, he replaced my panel, rewired my kitchen and all the heavy duty stuff on the first floor, he knows my house pretty well - he would find a way if he needed to.

He said piping up the outside would be easier and since nobody will be abl to see the conduit I just liked the idea, that was all.

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Old 01-08-2013, 09:13 AM   #8
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Conduit up the outside of the house to 2nd floor - what kind?


Okay the panel wouldn't work up there so you'll need individual circuits in conduit. I would oversize the pipe for future circuit runs.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:09 AM   #9
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Conduit up the outside of the house to 2nd floor - what kind?


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Okay the panel wouldn't work up there so you'll need individual circuits in conduit. I would oversize the pipe for future circuit runs.
UF in the conduits?
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:01 PM   #10
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Conduit up the outside of the house to 2nd floor - what kind?


UF cable? No. You should use individual conductors: THHN/THWN.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:41 PM   #11
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Conduit up the outside of the house to 2nd floor - what kind?


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UF cable? No. You should use individual conductors: THHN/THWN.
That depends on how he wants to do this. UF may be the right choice. If he uses THWN, then he has to transition to cable at each end of the conduit. UF can run all the way to the destination.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:08 PM   #12
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Conduit up the outside of the house to 2nd floor - what kind?


I personally would rather patch some drywall than run conduit outside. It's not only having the conduit outside but I also worry about having to making sure there is a good permanent seal between the conduit and outside of the home. Since the conduit can expand and contract with temp change it's hard to make a decent seal. You can help this by having expansion joints on each end and permanently attach your LB conduit bodies to the house.

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