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Old 04-07-2012, 06:51 AM   #1
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Couple electrical code questions in renovation


So I am the proud 24-hour old owner of a 1930s colonial, and I know one of my first major projects is going to have to work on is the electrical.

1). I have 100A service coming in. Does anyone know roughly how much a power company would charge to bring 200A in?

2). Luckily I don't have knob and tube wiring, but I have a real mix of old 30's BX wiring along with some old Romex with some newer (I'd say circa 60s or 70s Romex). Am I just going to have to trash all this wiring altogether?

3). Almost all of the recepticals are done in the baseboard/crown molding, maybe 8-12" from the floor:



When I do my electrical project, are there code I may have to worry about that would force me to relocate those outlets to a more standard height?

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Old 04-07-2012, 07:48 AM   #2
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Couple electrical code questions in renovation


If you are not capable of doing a 100 to 200 amp service upgrade you would have to hire an electrician for the upgrade. The price can vary quite a bit usually about $2,000 - $5,000 but depending on your area and what is involved may be more or less than those numbers.

If you have little ones maybe a good idea to invest in tamper resistant receptacles.

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Old 04-07-2012, 08:03 AM   #3
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Couple electrical code questions in renovation


1) Prices vary greatly from place to place and depend on many factors. Underground or overhead? Exposed SER or conduit? Will you be required to have a main outside by the meter? There are too many variables to give you anything better than what was stated above...$2000 to $5000.

2) You probably wouldn't have to trash it all, but that would depend on the how far you wanted to go, if the existing wire was installed correctly and if it is grounded (romex can be ungrounded).

3) There is no NEC code requiring a minimum height for an outlet. The outlets in the baseboard are fine. If you replace ungrounded outlets to grounded you will have to determine if there is a ground at the box. If there is, you will install a tamper resistant receptacle. It is code. If there is not a ground at the box, you will either have to rewire that outlet to a j box with a known ground (recommended), install a tamper resistant GFI, or a tamper resistant ungrounded recept.

One more thing to consider. If you do plan on rewiring, you will then be required to bring things up to code. 20 A recepts for the kitchen counter. 20 A circuits to bathrooms. AFCI breakers for just about everything except kitchen and bathroom circuits.

What I'm trying to say is that when you rewire a house, there is much more to it than just replacing some wire.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:40 PM   #4
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So I discovered something I did not want to discover today. We started working on two of the bedrooms to tear down the wallpaper, and in these rooms (and the two other bedrooms):



Ugh not 100% sure if this is some really old cloth Romex or even older Knob and Tube. I know that into the basement there is no Knob and Tube, just flex and some other Romex (some cracked some a little newer) but nothing cloth.

Can anyone ID this for sure?
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:42 PM   #5
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can't say for sure with all the wires tucked in like that, but I'm gonna guess that it is not knob and tube. There are too many splices in that box. K and T was spliced in walls and ceiling without boxes.

I'm guessing that is BX without the cloth sheathing being removed.

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Old 04-07-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
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i have seen plenty of this wire in my old home. im currently re-wiring the entire house.
not absolutely necessary, but if you start fooling with one area, youre bound to
run into a much larger project than anticipated.

thru the years(before NEC, and some after), folks would add on to existing wire
without much concern for order. you may find many junction boxes.

if the insulation is still in good condition, i wouldnt mess with it too much.
you could use wire heat shrink tubing to protect against a short in the box.

before playing with outlets, you may consider buying a handy tool called "circuit detective"
if your panel is mismarked, this will help you locate the circuit breaker for each outlet/light.

the wire above looks to be old BX style.
tread with caution and good luck
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:55 PM   #7
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k_buz, there is no real requirement in putting in AFCI breakers, unless your area requires you to pull permits to rewire a home. My area does not, due to it is considered grandfathered, even if you replace the panel. As for the OP question regarding the picture of the wiring, that is typical of BX wiring. Really the only way that the OP can find out what is required when updating their wiring is to contact their AHJ.

As for updating from 100a to 200a, unless you are going with all electric, there really is no need to make the change.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:02 PM   #8
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If you run new circuits, which rewiring the house would require, you would be required to put in AFCI breakers for those circuits.

Now, if you are saying that by not pulling a permit, you don't have to install them. You are correct. You don't HAVE to, but if your state/area has adopted the NEC 2008/2011 you would be required to. I am not going to tell someone to do something non compliant just because they are not pulling a permit.

If you are saying that if you just replace the panel, and no other wiring is done, then you are correct. You would not be required to install AFCI's.

But if you reread his questions and how I answered the questions, I was referring to if he rewires his house he would need to install AFCIs.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:20 PM   #9
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Couple electrical code questions in renovation


Actually it doesn't. I finished redoing mine in 2010, and the only requirement I was to do, was put in GFCI in those areas requiring (Kitchen, Bath, outside, garage, basement). Because my system is grandfathered, even though we updated the wiring from 70+ year old BX, with the panel changed out in 2003, I am not required to install AFCI breakers in my panel. Besides, I would never install those Beta Crap, even if I was told to do so. Checked with State Farm, and they even stated that it is not a requirement with updating the wiring.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:30 PM   #10
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I can only relate information that I am knowledgeable about...the NEC and my local codes.

The NEC states in 210.12 (B)

Branch Circuit Exgtensions or Modifications-Dwelling Units. In any of the areas specified in 210.12 (A), where branch-circuit wiring is modified, replaced, or extended, the branch circuit shall be protected by one of the following:
(1) A listed combination-type AFCI located at the origin of the branch circuit
(2) A listed outlet branch-circuit type AFCI located at the first receptacle outlet of the existing branch circuit.

Now, if your community doesn't require it or you didn't pull a permit so you didn't install them that's great for you. However, many places do require it, and I was just pointing out that the OP may be required to do so.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:36 PM   #11
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k_buz, that is why I stated that they need/should check with their local AHJ. Most of the time the city/municipality website will state what limitations there are for homeowners updating or doing their own wiring, etc..
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:04 PM   #12
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AFI's are part of the NEC, but i believe it is left to your township to adopt this code.
they are not required in my locale either.

i agree with @gregzoll, 200amp main is not necessary unless you run a lot of 220v appliances.
under nomal circumstances 100amp is plenty for most homes.

if you're a real PITA like me, upgrade to 200amp and put in a 2nd floor 100amp sub panel. LOL

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