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Old 05-02-2012, 05:53 AM   #1
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Old House Rewire Primer


I've been the owner of a 1930s era Colonial Revival that our first major project is to rewire the house. We have a 100A main box that is maxed out, a combination of cloth 2-wire, flex, and some cracking Romex along with some downright dangerous open wiring in the basement, tapped wiring in the kitchen and study, some gangboxes that were wallpapered over in the bedrooms that we assume were wall lights (we have similar wall lights in the bathrooms), inadequate outlets in most rooms, no GFI. Etc. Etc. In addition the bathrooms are small and lack wall switches or outlets (they have two pull-cord wall lamps, with one lamp with a outlet.

Here is a floor plan with electrical represented on the ground and second floor. Still working on mapping the basement and the attic (which has a 3/4 converted finished "bonus" room.

My Father-In-Law who is a licensed electrician has promised to gracefully donate a couple months of his time to rewire everything. Also a bonus in this is the majority of outlets are mounted on the baseboard trim and not in the plaster.

My plans are to go with a single 200A main, likely double the amount of outlets in each room, GFI where needed.

While I know some basics, I want to familiarize myself a bit more on what is the best approach to rewire. For instance should I look at running conduit in just one spot of the house, or should I run two on each end of the house? I plan to do some major remodeling of some rooms in the future, especially the kitchen and bath so what are the best ways to ensure I have an easier time with these remodels?

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Old 05-02-2012, 06:06 AM   #2
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Old House Rewire Primer


I'm assuming you are pulling a permit since you are changing the service?

If you are completely rewiring the house, you will be required to bring everything up to today's codes.

Correct outlet spacing (6'/12' rule and 2'/4' on counter tops)
Correct circuit sizes
GFCIs
AFCIs (check with local AHJ to see what is required)
Fan rated boxes
Neutrals at switches


Last edited by k_buz; 05-02-2012 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:20 AM   #3
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Old House Rewire Primer


Yeah I am going to be applying for permits soon, still trying to solidify dates so I am well within my window of opportunity to work.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:25 AM   #4
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Old House Rewire Primer


oops forgot to mention tamper resistant receptacles
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:03 AM   #5
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Old House Rewire Primer


you may want to read a few books as well:

1. wiring simplified
2. wiring a house
3. black and decker complete guide to wiring
4. wiring 1-2-3 (home depot)

i read all 4 of these (but i did the work myself). if you read only 1 i recommend wiring simplified

any other recos for the OP?

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Old 05-02-2012, 07:33 AM   #6
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Old House Rewire Primer


Also get a copy of the NEC, preferably the 2011, and check with your AHJ, that if they are not in the 2011 cycle yet, if it is okay to use the latest.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:21 AM   #7
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Old House Rewire Primer


nfpa also sells 'pocket guide' versions of the full nec, geared toward residential applications. it trims out the miscellaneous stuff like wiring requirements for movie theaters, stuff over 600V, etc. sells for about $30 on amazon, half of what the full code sells for. the ultimate is the code handbook which includes the full code along with commentary, examples, illustrations, etc. very, very , VERY helpful but that thing costs about $150.

+1 on checking with the building inspector to see what version of the code is in effect in your area and if there are any local/state amendments. here in wisconsin, the state has adopted the 2008 version but with some amendments (about 20 pages or so). confirmed with my building inspector that the wisconsin code is what is enforced in their jurisdiction, with no additional amendments/requirements.

Last edited by itsnotrequired; 05-02-2012 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:31 PM   #8
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Old House Rewire Primer


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeant View Post
First you need to determine if you have a path to ground available. If you have metalic sheithed cable (BX)or the like you might be able to ground through the box. But don't assume that you have a ground. have someone who knows check it for you. If you have NM (Romex) plastic sheithed cable check to see if it has a grounding wire that you can tie through to ground the recepticles. Once again don't assume that just because it is there it works

wall lamps
good advice, not sure how it had to do with this post but still good advice.

I'm not sure if they do it for individual states. I know they have a handbook that's released every year here in ontario with pictures of common things like kitchen wiring and such that's written by inspectors and how they interpret the code. It's basically code in plain english for 15 bucks at home depot.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:02 AM   #9
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Old House Rewire Primer


The Black and Decker guide is similar. They release a new version for each iteration of the code cycle. However their current edition has the glaring exception that it never mentions needing a neutral at switches. Still I consider it to be a pretty good book and recommend it. If it doesn't give you the information you need, it normally gives you enough to direct your research on what needs to be done.

As for the NEC, you can view it online for free on the NFPA's website. However, you can't search it. I have however found that you can find searchable PDFs of draft versions of the NEC on NFPA's website. The draft tends to get you close, and then you can look it up in the current version. Or in certain states, such as California, you can jump over to their custom electrical code based on the NEC. Granted, I will be the first to admit that for many folks dead tree is better than dead photon.

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