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Old 11-06-2009, 09:51 AM   #1
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


Hello, I'd like advice on my attached image of the wiring plan. I have a 1 story house that has 200 amp service, but all of the outlets are two wire with no grounding wire. Metal boxes but paper romex so it's ungrounded.

I'm starting this project just to fix all the outlets first, and eventually (at a much later date), I'll fix the wiring in the walls to the lights... for now, I'm just updating the outlets & switches so that they are grounded.

I've run low-voltage cabling before, and I know the basics (nothing stabled to the bottom of joists, no as-the-crow flies -- all 90 degree angles). For ease of identifying I put double lines for the main home runs back to the box, and the rest are at angles so I can see it on this map. I plan on running 12/2 for most of the home runs, a couple runs of 12/3 between certain outlets, and a couple of "dedicated ground" outlets for computers that will also use 12/3.

My question is I get confused when it comes to the kitchen & outdoor runs. How do I run the wiring for the garbage disposal, oven, and dishwasher? I haven't had problems with any of them, and I'm hoping to not have to wire the oven (I counted it as 2 runs on a circuit). Also, how do I run cable to the thermostat & the doorbell (or do these even need to be grounded?)

Please review and let me know what you think!

oh, Key is D is Duplex outlet; S is Switch; L is Light or Fan/Light Combo
in the Kitchen, GD is Garbage Disposal, DWS is Dishwasher
in the Hallway, TH is THermostat, DR is DooR bell
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house-electrical.jpg  


Last edited by jdm001; 11-06-2009 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Added key at the bottom.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:13 PM   #2
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


I'm not a pro, just a lowly homeowner, but i would suggest you consult an electrician. I'm not sure I completely understand the layout, but what i think I'm looking at doesn't look right (way too many "devices" on the kitchen circuit, bathrooms need dedicated runs, GFI's not identified, and I believe the 2008 NEC requires Arc Fault protection almost everywhere now). Plus the code defines some requirements for lights vs outlets and what can and can't be on the same circuits....especially for bathrooms and kitchens. At a minimum, you should check out the applicable version of the residential NEC. You're looking at a pretty big project to tackle with what appears to be a somewhat limited knowledge of the subject.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting you can't learn it and do it, but I am suggesting you do some additional research before starting.

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Old 11-10-2009, 07:27 PM   #3
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


Some points you need to know. There are many more
Kitchen counter receptacle must be 20 amp GFCI. Nothing else can be on those circuits.
Bathroom must have a 20 amp circuit to serve the receptacles. Only other thing within the bathroom can be on this circuit.
Receptacle in bedrooms and living room must follow the 6/12 rule. There must be a receptacle within 6 feet of a door and then every 12 feet after that as measure along a wall. There can be more if you want. This is the minimum.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:27 PM   #4
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


Your diagram is kind of hard to read
Where are you located? Local codes can vary
I'd put all the lights on one circuit instead of adding them onto each rooms circuit
Kitchen needs 2 dedicated small appliance circuits, no lights, GFCI protected
Dishwasher is usually dedicated, built in micriwave is
What kind of oven ? Gas, electric ?

Bathroom requires a dedicated 20a circuit
It can include lights, circuit if just for the bathroom
I prefer to have bath lights & fan on another lighting circuit as that is where hair dryers are used

Dining room also requires a dedicated 20a

Outside is also GFCI protected - you can't tap off any dedicated room circuit

Thermostat is wired to the HVAC unit, no direct 120v power on any that I have seen

Doorbell has a specific setup, depends upon the setup & where the transformer is located

Yup - AFCI is also required in a lot of areas

So....you need to rework your plan
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:32 PM   #5
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


Instead of thinking in the sense of the whole house, break it down to each room. The lighting for the bedrooms can be one circuit, if using just an overhead, but if you wire in ceiling fans, then you will have to calc. load. I would personally pull 12/3 if it was me, and for the outlets, look at how beds are set up now, along with computers, and TV sets. I would personally put two outlets on each wall, and keep them on a separate circuit for each bedroom.

If I was to personally rewire my home, I would have 3 panels (Main with sub disco's, Load panel, and Lighting panel). Look at least having ACFI for the outlets to bring into more modern codes, GCFI for Kitchen, outside, Garage, laundry, Bath. For the hallway, look at least having two outlets min, because you never know when you have to plug in a drop light to work in the bath when you shut power off, and also may need to vacuum on the other side. Those you can come off of a bedroom.

For the living room, and any place there will be a TV, Satellite receiver, Computer, plan on running Ethernet (min. 2 per plate), Coax (min. 2 per plate), Telco (1 is enough, can at the most per jack, you can have 3 lines). Also, look at running wire for wired Smoke detectors. Cost is going to be high, but do not go for the min, because it will bite you.

Since the house is an older home, you could probably get by also figuring in new Insulation, Vapor barrier, and also you would have no Gypsum in the way to pull the wires how they should be.
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:59 PM   #6
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


Jdm001 (Poster #1, Post#1, Original Poster, OP, etc.) (Sorry about the long opening title) With the plethora of advisers, I will only address my answer to the very short term. (As you said yourself that your goal of rewiring the entire house is in the very long term). Namely, fixing the grounds in your receptacles and other outlets. I'm assuming ,() that, since your house is an older one, the boxes are metal, not plastic. Please look inside the box. I'm certain you will find (even in old Romex cable) a bare Copper wire. If that wire is mechanically attached to the box you need to do nothing further. Just get the Three prong (self-grounding) receptacles and install them instead of the old ones. (Just to be extra sure, you can double check by removing the panel cover (with caution, of course) and see if the bare copper wire is attached to the Grounding/Neutral bar. Menawhile, It would be a great idea to pick up a book on Residential Wiring Projects at any major home center. That will give you a great advantage on understanding the entire project no matter at what level you want to approach it. Good Luck! Eliminate confusion Through Education! Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:57 PM   #7
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


Don't forget about smokes.
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:46 AM   #8
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


Quote:
Originally Posted by jdm001 View Post
a couple runs of 12/3 between certain outlets, and a couple of "dedicated ground" outlets for computers that will also use 12/3.
Why are you running 12/3 between certain outlets?

Why are you running 12/3 to a "dedicated ground" outlet, all this will accomplish is money out of your pocket and an extra conductor at your plug. If your thinking you can make an isolated ground(orange plugs, at least in Canada)its not going to happen. There is alot more to makeing an isolated ground then putting an orange plug on instead of a white one.
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:23 AM   #9
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


Wow, I was out of town on vacation, came back and realized on vacation i deleted the email with the link. Luckilly, I got a status email that showed me the way back to this webpage! Can't believe I didn't bookmark it, and sorry for replying to late-- thanks to all who helped!

I should start off by saying I'm experienced (a pro) at running low-voltage and I know the techniques, I can fish cable with the best of them, it's the electrical codes I wasn't sure about. I should have stated better what I was doing.

The picture wasn't my cable paths or actual drawing, it's just something I drew up to show the paths I was going to use (but not as-the-crow-flies like the lines in the drawing), I was mainly using it to show all the "points" I was installing.

There was no metal conduit so I had to rerun everything. Took me 2 days to do 90% of the house and I had an electrical pro help. Here's what I did (for other people searching on this):

1) Ran 14/2 from the basement to the ceiling, ran it to all the overhead lights in the bedrooms & hallway. And from Lights to Switch plates.

2) Installed Arc-Fault circuit breaker and ran 12/2 to the main bedroom & it's bathroom (GFCI's in bathroom and "exposed" outlets not hidden behind walls)

3) Installed Arc-Fault circuit breaker and ran 12/2 to each bedroom and installed all tamper-resistant GFCI outlets.

4) Installed 12/2 wiring to living room with tamper resistant GFCI outlets (I know not needed, but code in the next few years will be all GFCI outlets).

5) I now only need to redo the wiring in the kitchen by putting both lights and the far wall outlets on one circuit. The two kitchen outlets (microwave & appliance) on it's own circuit. Rerun fridge and rerun oven.

Total Cable Used:

14/2: About 200 feet (roughly $40 bucks)
12/2: About 500 feet total ($50-70 bucks)
12/3: (for dual-switch outlet/light and for dedicated grounds) about 100 feet

Took me about 20 hours of pro help while I was drilling holes, installing outlets, and stapling cable pathways-- pro did some of the trickier fish work & all the work in the attic. Cost was $40 per hour so roughly $800, total project so far including buying electrical tools (good stripper, drill bits, the works) about $1200 and that rewired 90% of my house. I was quoted $4000 by an electrical company.


To address the questions:

Steve, thanks for the advise. I have a relative who is a commercial electrical inspector, he helped me with code and the basics; but I was more looking for the most efficient way to run the cable. The pro I hired helped with that.

Joe, thanks I wasn't aware of the 6/12 rule, but this was just replacing existing outlets. I'm now doing the kitchen rewire and finishing my basement and adding NEW electrical lines in there. I've already rented out a half dozen electrical books at the local library.

Scuba Dave, I did almost everything on there. The only thing I didn't was on the GFCI's in the kitchen, I put the microwave outlet on the same circuit as the other outlet near the sink. I know it should be one dedicated, but we don't do much microwaving at the same time as using a blender, and the run was really tricky. One day I might tackle it, but for now we've never had a problem.

Greg, great points. I actually installed a couple "Dedicated Ground" outlets for the computers. Not much more expensive (some people think they're useless) but for $20 for the outlet (a nice orange one that stands out), I was able to install a couple Dual Gang Decora & Electric plates. The standard electric for the whole house was Decora style (the rectangular ones) and the Orange Electrical dual circle ones really stand out. It's also got a little LED light to let you know if anythings wrong. I then hook my computers up to Battery Back UPS-350 's so that if there's a surge it'll stay on, protect the computer, and allow me to power down without damaging anything. (Only hook up your monitor and computer to the "battery" side, the "surge" side can take printer, etc since you don't want battery to run down quicker for your printer if the power is cut off).

Spark Plug-- no luck, it was all 40 year old paper romex (the stuff that falls apart when you pull on it, jacket freys easily) with no conduit or ground so there was no metal connection. Found a TON of code violations when we were gutting out the old wire-- took out as much of it as we could but there were a few stubborn lines we couldn't get to that were tied off in wall and left dead. Funny thing was the 200 amp service was installed and grounded properly, its like they did that but then didn't update the wiring, not sure how it passed inspection.

Oh, and a cool tip, the local library had all the books from the past couple years from Home Depot, Loews, Black & Decker with awesome pictures showing common wiring configurations. I highly recommend stopping at your library (dusting off the old library card, hadn't used mine in literally 15 years, and I had a $.50 cent fine lol), before starting any project. Really helped out a ton!

Darren, yes, the Isolated/Dedicated ground was what I was referring to, they're installed by running 12/3, you hook up the ground to the box and the grounding bar (as normal), you then install the black & whites as normal.. it leaves you with an extra RED conductor line. This line is hooked up to the GROUND (while the Ground was grounded to the box) and also grounded on a water pipe or somewhere else near the box. It's basically double grounded since it has a better conductor for ground. I mainly used it cause it stands out, gives a better ground, and gives me a nice dedicated outlet just for my expensive equipment. I don't have to worry about 'load surges' when someone turns on a light or plugs in a vaccum in the living room while I'm on the computer. Little extra cost, but $50 bucks is little to me when it protects my thousands of dollars of equipment.


Thanks for everyones help!

I've got one other tricky run, I have about 3 lights in my basement I'm going to rewire. Two switches (one at top of steps & one at bottom) turns on 4 of the lights at once, and the other 3 lights are controlled on their own switch. I'm not sure how to efficiently run the wiring to all the switches from the lights without wasting cable.... might be posting for some pro advice in the next week!
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:50 AM   #10
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


The bathroom receptacle needs to be on its own circuit. It can't be on the circuit with the bedroom.
Kitchen lights can't be on the same circuit as receptacles.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:10 AM   #11
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


The NEC code is to protect the next person tha owns the house & what they may use the space for
They are Min codes to be met & you have not done that

Code is AFCI protected....GFCI is for wet areas
Bedroom requires AFCI on everything, including the lights - so now the lights need an AFCI breaker
Main room requires AFCI on everything, including the lights

Kitchen counter top requires (2) dedicated 20a circuits, no lights
And they must be GFCI protected
As stated the bathroom can't be on the same circuit as the bedroom
It requires a dedicated 20a circuit

You can replace a Main panel without replacing all the cituits in the house
It's done all the time & meets code

Ground is required to be green/bare, using red seems to violate the code
A ground is a ground, they all lead back to the same place
As stated what you did probably violates code (red wire) & really doesn't achieve what you think it does

What electrician did you use that was OK with ignoring basic codes ?



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Old 12-21-2009, 10:42 AM   #12
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


Hey guys thanks for the reply. I wanted to update your questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
They are Min codes to be met & you have not done that
Where do you get that idea? Everything was done to code, with very strict standards and there is only one current code violation that I haven't fixed yet (the kitchen) which I will eventually tackle.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave
Code is AFCI protected....GFCI is for wet areas
Bedroom requires AFCI on everything, including the lights - so now the lights need an AFCI breaker
Main room requires AFCI on everything, including the lights
I did all GFCI outlets, and I did all Arc Fault Circuit Breakers for the bedrooms and bathroom. I haven't rewired the kitchen yet. I did all GFCI outlets in the bathroom (and kitchen even though I haven't rewired it yet), and I put GFCI outlets on the first run in each room. This isn't required for current code, but it does provide protection throughout each run so that it will trip much faster than regular outlets. Even if no water is present, I understand that this will still offer shock protection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave
Kitchen counter top requires (2) dedicated 20a circuits, no lights
And they must be GFCI protected
As stated the bathroom can't be on the same circuit as the bedroom
It requires a dedicated 20a circuit
Yes, this is the tricky one. The wire was run horizontally in the wall around a corner and behind the stove wall. I'll have to re-run each, but as of right now I have two GFCI outlets in the kitchen in one circuit. The microwave is the main, and at most we've only hooked up to a toaster and have yet to have anything go out.

For the bathroom in the main bedroom, it's a tiny bathroom that only has one light and no outlets. I should have clarified this. Since there is no outlet, no shower/tub, I put the light onto the circuit with the bedroom. This puts one light and 3 outlets on one arc fault protected circuit breaker. It seems extreme to hook up a dedicated line for just a light, but I understand a future homeowner may want to drop a circuit below the light switch.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave
Ground is required to be green/bare, using red seems to violate the code
A ground is a ground, they all lead back to the same place
As stated what you did probably violates code (red wire) & really doesn't achieve what you think it does

What electrician did you use that was OK with ignoring basic codes ?
That is true, but using the red wire for a ground coded for ground (green electric tape) is actually the correct method. See this link:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...IsolatGnd.html

Not that Lowes is the bastion of wiring diagrams, but this was also in two books I read on wiring outlets (Black & Decker Wiring Book had the best pictures showing the wiring of this type of outlet, the other was from Leviton).

Now, there is a hard to find 3 wire that has a Black, White, bare ground and the 3rd wire is Green/white; but both books say most people use 12/3 and code the red for hot.

The dedicated outlet with the isolated ground is just to mainly signify a direct connection back to the box for sensitive equipment, the conductor for the ground is still put to the box (grounding the box to the grounding bar in the circuit panel), but the conductor wire is just a better conductor to bring the ground back to the box. Yes it goes to the same place, and the benefits of the iso outlet can be argued; but it is not wired incorrectly.

I do have one other question, I want to wire one more box with an isolated ground, but the box was an old work box and is plastic. Since I cannot ground the bare grounding wire to the box, what can I do?

Thanks again for all the help guys!

James
jdm001
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:12 AM   #13
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


I was just reading your post and have a question. You mentioned that you connected the isolated ground to the existing ground bar in the panel. Is this the same ground bar that has the neutral (white) and ground wires attached?
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:39 AM   #14
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


You think Lowes knows the NEC code ?? Really ? I have a bridge to sell.....
You are allowed to recode a red as a hot...because red is used as a hot
You recoded it as a ground...not allowed

A bathroom requires a dedicated 20a circuit, OR needs an outlet fed from another bathroom circuit that does not include lights, that is code
Not running an outlet in a bathroom, no matter how small..is a code violation
That requirement is so the next homeowner doesn't have to run a circuit
Because it is already required by code as a MIN standard

So, No you have not done everything to code or Min standards required by Code

And you are planning on putting the lights on a kitchen outlet circuit
Again that does not meet code
Your standards were not "strict" you ignored the code where you chose to
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:12 PM   #15
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Correct wiring diagram for 1 story house


Quote:
Originally Posted by HIVOLT View Post
I was just reading your post and have a question. You mentioned that you connected the isolated ground to the existing ground bar in the panel. Is this the same ground bar that has the neutral (white) and ground wires attached?
What if it is?

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