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Old 03-19-2011, 07:43 PM   #1
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How difficult would it be.........


To cut a groove into the 2x4s on the left and tack the electric line into it and then move the light switch down to the bottom drywall panel and just get rid of the light that's at the top?

In the photo the light switch is the bottom left box and the light itself is the top right. The other electric line goes to a light at the top of a dark stairwell so I do need to keep it, which is why I need to move the light switch down.

The wall is between my hall that leads to the stairs that go up to the second floor guest rooms and my den. The great room on the other side of the hall from the den is really dark but the den is solid floor to ceiling windows with 9 foot walls. I'm *hoping* that removing that wall and moving the entrance to the room to the far right of the hall (other end from where the electrical stuff is) that it will flood that area with light and let some light into the dark, dreary living room in the process.

The 2x4s will all be cut to the level the bottom panel of drywall is at and I'll add a half wall and drywall to the old doorway. I'll top it with a decent looking railing cap. From the hallway side it will be a little lower than I'd like, but from the den side it will be about shoulder high for me.

As for building codes, we don't have any. People here (rural middle TN) build their homes themselves, bottom to ceiling and never have to pull a single building permit for anything. Not even plumbing or electrical. If this is an easy job - hubby can install lights and ceiling fans but that's as much talent as we have - we'll try to do it ourselves. If not, the neighbor - who pull all that in anyway - is an electrician and can come down and do it for us. I"m just hoping to avoid any expense.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:51 PM   #2
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How difficult would it be.........


The NM (wire) running down the 2X on the left will have to be protected by conduit, some serious metal, or at least 1 1/4" of wood. Other than that, sounds like a plan.

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Old 03-19-2011, 09:45 PM   #3
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Ok. So if we got a router and dug out a groove in those 2 2x4s that it's running along side now and then 'capped' (for lack of the proper word) the other side of it, it should be ok?

And does that mean the way he has it - where it's just tacked against the 2x4 - is dangerous? It's been that way a couple years. If that's not correct and could cause problems...........I wonder what else could be wrong? He re-wired the entire house and put in the breaker box and all. Until then the house still had the really old screw in fuses.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:56 PM   #4
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It isn't dangerous the way it is now because it is not within the 1 1/4" from the edge of the 2X. If you remove the sheetrock and the 2X the NM is now on becomes a column, it will be right behind whatever you use to face that 2X.

You are changing what is now in the middle of the wall to what will be a face. You need to have the NM recessed far enough or protected well enough so you cannot run a nail or screw into it.

btw, that is not the best job and per the National Electrical Code is not legal. You must attach NM when it leaves a box within (and for the life of me I cannot remember the exact dimension) either 8 or 12 inches The NM going to the light you will be removing is not attached anywhere that I can see.

Last edited by nap; 03-19-2011 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:04 AM   #5
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First, building codes have been developed over time for a reason. That reason is your safety. They exist everywhere. They may not be enforced by any government agency but they still exist. Electricity behaves the same in Tennessee as anywhere else and the risks are the same.
Second, on my monitor the cable between the switch box on the lower left and the light box on the upper right appears to be white. That indicates 14 gauge wire. Note that I said indicates 14 gauge wire, it could be 12 gauge. The two cables in going into the switch box appear to be yellow indicating 12 gauge wire. That should be checked. If the cable between the switch and the light is 14 gauge, and the cable going into the switch box is 12 gauge, you need a new electrician.

Third, if you are going to remove the light, why do you want to keep the switch? Does it also control another light somewhere?

Fourth, if you want to move the switch down and to the left of the double studs to the left, why not just disconnect the wires from the switch, drill a hole through the studs and run the wires through the studs and reconnect to the switch in its new location. A lot easier than notching the studs and installing nail plates.

Fifth, the cable going to the ceiling does not appear to go through the switch box. If you have to move the switch box, do you also need to move that cable.

Finally, I assume that the wall you want to modify is a non load bearing wall, but I have to question why there are two double studs 4 foot apart.

I don't mean to be unkind but I think you need to seek some advise and assistance.

Last edited by hkstroud; 03-20-2011 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:19 AM   #6
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Also I noticed that your switch box maybe overfilled. looks like 1 to many wires in there, especially if that white wire I noticed first is really another 12/2 wire. Can you look at the things ive pointed out? It maybe time for a new electrician.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killadelphia View Post
Also I noticed that your switch box maybe overfilled. looks like 1 to many wires in there, especially if that white wire I noticed first is really another 12/2 wire. Can you look at the things ive pointed out? It maybe time for a new electrician.
she will be removing 1 of the cables (the white one)

A white NM is usually a #14. #12 is usually yellow.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Second, on my monitor the cable between the switch box on the lower left and the light box on the upper right appears to be white. That indicates 14 gauge wire. Note that I said indicates 14 gauge wire, it could be 12 gauge. The two cables in going into the switch box appear to be yellow indicating 12 gauge wire. That should be checked. If the cable between the switch and the light is 14 gauge, and the cable going into the switch box is 12 gauge, you need a new electrician.
before that comment being true, the breaker size would have to be determined.

Quote:
Third, if you are going to remove the light, why do you want to keep the switch? Does it also control another light somewhere?
yes and yes. She has explained that.

Quote:
Fourth, if you want to move the switch down and to the left of the double studs to the left, why not just disconnect the wires from the switch, drill a hole through the studs and run the wires through the studs and reconnect to the switch in its new location. A lot easier than notching the studs and installing nail plates.
she is opening up the upper portion of the wall and still needs the cable running down the stud on the left. (as I understand it)

Quote:
Fifth, the cable going to the ceiling does not appear to go through the switch box. If you have to move the switch box, do you also need to move that cable.
Not sure if it runs through the box or not. That cable you speak of is the one I am saying she needs to protect.

Quote:
Finally, I assume that the wall you want to modify is a non load bearing wall, but I have to question why there are two double studs 4 foot apart.
maybe I am mistaking the intent but I was understanding the double stud sets were staying.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:07 PM   #9
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Uh no white can also be 12,10,8 wire depending how long ago it was used. Either way depending what size box three 12 wires is also to much box fill, have to use a 20cube box. Go troll somewhere else!
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
killadelphia;613237]Uh no white can also be 12,10,8 wire depending how long ago it was used.
Uh, I know that but the color use has been in place for a couple decades

to a great extent and this build appears to be quite recent.


Quote:
Either way depending what size box three 12 wires is also to much box fill, have to use a 20cube box. Go troll somewhere else!
she is removing one of the cables.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:24 PM   #11
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Please note that I did not say that the white cable was 14 gauge. I certainly recognize the relatively recent introduction of yellow sheathing to denote 12 gauge cable, there is plenty of white 12 gauge still laying around. I only recommended checking. While the use of 14 gauge wire is code complaint (in most areas) as long as the breaker size is limited to 15 amps, it is not a good practice. How is anyone to know that there is a section of smaller gauge wire in the circuit after the wall is closed up.
My only real comment was the recommendation to drill the studs rather than notch and then have to cover with nail plates.

My comment about the double studs and the possibility of that being a load bearing wall was not electrically related. One should use care when modifying a load bearing wall.

As for trolling, I recognize that I am new to this site.

Last edited by Gary in WA; 03-21-2011 at 12:11 AM. Reason: removed sarcasm
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:09 PM   #12
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How difficult would it be.........


The double studs had a narrow door between them. I removed the door. The entire area is non-load bearing and at one point was a wide open ledge with vertical dowels lining it. I removed those, had the wall put up and door installed, had them run the electric for the light and then decided I don't like the wall and door and wanted it opened back up, so I've started ripping it all back out. Women's prerogative.

Nap is correct. The line along the left of the photo will stay. It tucks down under the view of the camera and goes into the box at the bottom which is the light switch that controls both the light I'll be using up stairs and the light I'll be removing (line that goes to the right and up higher). There is also a light switch at the top of the stairs so you can control the light whether you're headed upstairs or downstairs.

The light switch that you see in the photo (blue box part of it anyway) will be moved down the wall so it will sit just under the top ledge or cap or what ever you want to call it that will sit on top of the half wall that will be created.

As for codes, I'm aware electricity works the same in every state. My point was in my area you do not need a permit to do any electrical work. We have two neighbors that built their homes, top to bottom, on their own with not a single permit. The odd part? We DID get a permit when we had this electrical work done. The guy that did that also installed the electric in the entire house! If it's incorrect we've got idiots for county officials checking work. But in all honesty, in this area, I'm soooooooooo not surprised!

Last edited by mrs1885; 03-20-2011 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:49 PM   #13
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OK, you should have no concerns about doing what you want to do about changing the wall. Remove the cable between the switch and the light and you should have no concern about what size it is. I would drill the studs rather than notch but its your call.

Sorry, but I have to question any electrician who uses "old work" boxes in new construction.

If you are saying you presently have 5 cables in that switch box, you are correct about your county inspectors.

Last edited by hkstroud; 03-20-2011 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:11 PM   #14
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I don't know what old work boxes are. If you mean how many cables are going into it I think one goes in and two go out. Don't know if that answers the question. I know absolutely zero about electricity other than I'm terrified of it. I've had people tell me it's not a wild animal and won't react in strange ways, it always works the same and that's why it's so easy to do on your own. I'll leave it to the experts. I'll try plumbing when I have to. Plumbing won't kill me if I screw up!
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:47 PM   #15
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"Old work" boxes are boxes like those that have been use here. They are designed to be used in an existing finished wall. They just clamp, by some means, to the drywall or wall covering. "New work" boxes are designed to be installed before the wall covering is installed and are attached to the framing members, i.e the studs. "Old work" boxes are great when you have to use them but are not quite as secure as nailing a box to a framing member. Obviously this work could have been and should have been done before the drywall went up. If only one cable goes into the switch box and two go out, then the cable that is stapled to the stud must not go into the box as you previously stated.

Not to worry. Hubby can turn the power off, open the switch box. Take note of all the wiring connections. Remove the white cable going to the light, drill thru the center of the studs, pass the two remaining cables thru the studs and relocate the switch box. Reconnect the wires the same way as origannaly connected without the white cable.

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