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Old 12-12-2009, 08:46 AM   #1
nxl
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New Wiring Behind Plaster Walls


We have wired houses before but always inside the exterior wall before the interior drywall has been installed.

This is new for us. We just bought a house that was built in 1910. It is a balloon frame with plaster walls and inadequate electrical wiring.

We're not even in the house yet (it's a short-sale and there's a couple more months to go) but we want to get started now thinking about the wiring.

How feasible is it for 2 fairly competent DIY-ers to run new wiring in such a home?

Right now I'm just looking for general thoughts on the subject.

Oh yeah... there's no insulation between the walls. We plan on addressing that issue after we run the wiring.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts anybody might have on this subject.

Nicole.

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Old 12-12-2009, 09:13 AM   #2
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New Wiring Behind Plaster Walls


Read on basic wiring principles first. With this type of construction it is very easy to fish wires into the voids. Especially since no plates exist between floors. I would suggest investing in the Fein Multimaster tool. With this you can cut perfect holes to install the electrical boxes without breaking any surrounding plaster. Avoid the cheap models, these will vibrate unevenly and crack the plaster.

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Old 12-12-2009, 09:20 AM   #3
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Thanks, Bob. I really appreciate it. We are definitely doing our homework in advance, reading the many online manuals, as well as going to the library, and today, joining this chatroom. Thanks for the advice on the Fein Multimaster. I didn't know it existed.
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:31 AM   #4
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New Wiring Behind Plaster Walls


Hi, and welcome to the forum Nicole.
the first thing i would do is get together with the elec. inspector or go to the office with your plans and find out,
A: if YOU can actually do the work legally. (some places do not allow homeowners to do it themselves)
B: if they need a complete schematic of how/where the new wiring is going to be installed.
C: get with the power company, if it's that old of a home, it'll likely need an upgrade. when we bought this place, i had to rewire EVERYTHING from the pole outside, new conduit underground, and service panel upgrade before i could have my wife and kids move in.... all the plumbing too....
D: before you start, be sure the power is OFF! Po)

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Old 12-12-2009, 10:20 AM   #5
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New Wiring Behind Plaster Walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
Read on basic wiring principles first. With this type of construction it is very easy to fish wires into the voids. Especially since no plates exist between floors. I would suggest investing in the Fein Multimaster tool. With this you can cut perfect holes to install the electrical boxes without breaking any surrounding plaster. Avoid the cheap models, these will vibrate unevenly and crack the plaster.
I also own a Fein that I bought for one very specific purpose. It is now the tool I use more than any other for lots of things. It is pricey and feeding it discs and things annoys me given the costs but it is so great and well worth it.

As for the wiring issue, I work on antique houses all the time and as mentioned getting wiring through the voids is not a major problem. Every outlet needs to be inspected here and usually electricians have to sign off on wiring to please banks and accomplish closings and things. Mine know me but few will sign off on DIYer work when called in only at the end of a project. You might want to consult one before getting to deep into this to determine how much you should and can be doing on your own. A good one will have great ideas about how to approach this as well and will not beat you up for wanting to run your own wire and so forth. Money well spent bringing one on board.
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:31 AM   #6
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New Wiring Behind Plaster Walls


As DangerMouse mentioned this all depends on where you are at. In most locations a homeowner can get an electrical permit for their own house. On condition almost always exists... you cannot sell for one year. This is to prevent flippers from not using licensed contractors. Pulling the wires, since these are fished does not require much inspection. Nothing to see. so even as a licensed electrician I will allow a home owner to run the wires and I only need to check the connections.

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