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tigereye 02-26-2010 08:41 PM

Drywall damage necessary when fishing wire?
I've got mostly AL wire in my house. I was getting ready to start a project of slowly replacing the existing circuits with new copper wiring. I'm starting to wonder, though, if I've missed something during my research.

I had an electrician out today to look at a problem with a breaker that was tripping. We started talking about the AL and I told him my plans, and he said that what I wanted to do wasn't possible without stripping the house down to the studs. While he was recommending a CopAlum repair at the time, so I took it with a grain of salt, I've actually read some similar thoughts on here and another forum over the past couple of days.

I've only got a main floor and basement and have access to my entire living area from above, below, or directly, I had assumed that it wouldn't be much more involved than cutting back the AL, replacing the boxes with 22 cu old work boxes and fishing the copper either up or down.

Not that I assumed that would be trivial or necessarily easy, I realize there are plenty of issues fishing wire... fireblocks, pipes, etc, but I did assume it could be completed without massive amounts of drywall damage.

Just wondering if I've overlooked something during my planning and research process that I need to take into account?



Bob Mariani 02-26-2010 09:03 PM

no if you have access it can be done. Faster with drywall holes as needed but not required in most cases. Long flexible drill bits are available to get through the blocking. But you electrician is also correct. only issue with AL was at the connections. splicing to copper with the correct splices will resolve you issues for much less work and cost.

frenchelectrican 02-26-2010 09:14 PM

To use the CopAlum compression connectiors this item is not a typical DIY project due there is a specail producure to deal with this and also need properly calbarated crimper to work with this.

Now let get to the main point at the moment senice you mention alum branch conductors so I am pretty sure this house is builded in early 70's or late 60's era and yeah expect some firestop along the way I doubt you will find firestop in intetior wall but yeah exterail wall you will expect to find it and they are typically at about 4 feet AFF { above finish floor level } to combat this we use very long fexibale drill bit it called Diverson bit or simuir and you should able find this in big box store in electrical section.

you may have to open couple spot of drywall but not a whole alot something like 4 by 4 square or simuair size nothing more bigger than it need to be.

Oh yeah typically most Alum cable or conductor are upsized over copper verison so if you see 4.0mm˛ { #12 AWG } alum it will mean it will match the same as 2.5mm˛ {#14 AWG } copper ditto with 6.0mm˛ { #10 AWG } size


Jupe Blue 02-26-2010 09:23 PM

If you have access from above and below I think your house can be done with minimal drywall damage. It will go way easier if you have a helper to help pulling the wire. Also, you might want to open the wall around your panel to more easily get the homeruns in.

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