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Old 11-26-2011, 11:58 AM   #1
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External Pipe to Replace Knob and Tubing?


I would like to get insulation installed but have knob and tubing in 2 bedrooms and in ceiling fixtures in my living room, dining room, kitchen, etc. I live in a 3rd floor condo unit that was converted from a house. I've had several electricians give estimates and possible approaches and one suggested disconnecting the knob and tubing and running a steel pipe outside from the basement, up to my unit, and back in, so as to prevent going through the 2nd and 3rd units which would be a major hassle. Is this an acceptable approach? My entire unit is not knob and tubing so I think that some of the wiring would still be inside.

Another electrician said that there is enough power from my electric dryer to supply everything that is currently being supplied by the knob and tubing and thought the best approach would be to convert the dryer to gas (I have a gas stove) and run wiring from the dryer to everything else.

What are the merits of these 2 approaches or should something else be done?

Thanks!

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Old 11-26-2011, 12:09 PM   #2
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External Pipe to Replace Knob and Tubing?


Unless you have a 4 wire dryer feeder you will not be able to convert that to feed a subpanel.

Will the building owner allow exterior conduit?

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Old 11-27-2011, 02:46 PM   #3
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External Pipe to Replace Knob and Tubing?


I'll find out if it is allowed (it most likely will be) but I was wondering about the soundness of the approach.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:52 AM   #4
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External Pipe to Replace Knob and Tubing?


I received an estimate from an electrician and just looked at it, he describes converting it to feed a subpanel so perhaps it is a 4 wire dryer feeder. He looked at the panel in the basement so presumably the number of wires can be determined from there.

I received estimates from 3 electricians, all of whom are licensed and insured, and all got positive reviews in the past. 1 recommended converting the dryer to a subpanel (but also considered running wiring from the basement), 1 recommended running new wiring up from the basement and to go through the other 2 units, and the 3rd recommended running an external pipe outside from the basement, up to the 3rd unit, and then running it back in (estimate significantly lower than the other 2, not sure if it is because of the electrician or his approach). So 3 different approaches from 3 persons. I'd like to go with the cheaper person but was wondering about these approaches. I am one of the owners of the building, I sent an e-mail to the other ones but haven't heard back, but I noticed there is already an external pipe outside running up to what seems like the 2nd unit so it seems like it should be okay.

If the dryer is converted, how much work/expense is involved in converting the dryer to gas? I'm guessing I would need another service provider?

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:43 PM   #5
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External Pipe to Replace Knob and Tubing?


It would be cheaper to buy an electric dryer if I understand your question.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:08 PM   #6
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External Pipe to Replace Knob and Tubing?


If you are planning to live there a long time, I would run the pipe up the outside wall. As a rule more and more electricity is used. So if that pipe could add a bit of extra electrical "elbow room" for the future, then anything you might need to add later would be easier. Say an additional circuit elsewhere.

The only concern would be if this was ok with your neighbors. (So far as appearance goes.)

Last edited by Billy_Bob; 12-04-2011 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:15 PM   #7
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External Pipe to Replace Knob and Tubing?


Thanks for the responses. Jim, I did some more reading and it doesn't seem possible to convert an electric dryer to gas, I would have to get a new one.

As for the appearance, there is already an external pipe so it would just be a 2nd one, but I will check with one of the neighbors just to make sure. Thanks!

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