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Old 01-25-2011, 10:31 PM   #1
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Old wires not being used, a rough inspection dilema


I really am stuck on this one, and I don't know what I can do to get out of this without major tearup...

The wiring in this house is just a mess. That doesn't say it all eiher. I took on a rewiring project to rewire the second floor and the kitchen, which hits the absolute worst of the mess. Most of it is reasonable to tackle since I'm gutting the second floor to get rid off bad walls and reinsulate...

At any rate, I had my first rough inspection last Thursday. The inspector passed he kitchen, but had 4 issues to adress before he'd pass the second floor. I fixed those and had rough inspection 2 earlier today. His issues this time were he wanted a box moved, ground wires pigtailed, different boxes for the ceiling fans and the issue in question. I've taken care of everything except what I'm asking about here. I already scheduled rough inspection for tommorrow because it had to be done by 3 PM and if I don't have a pass tommorrow, I waste another freezing weekend not being able to insulate or drywall.

Here's my dilema. Pictured below is a side attic that needs to be enclosed because new wiring isn't inside of wall cavities, notably the 2-2-2-4 feeder for the subpanel where it goes down to the main panel. But, in this space also there is an old wire which connects to the original knob and tube wiring circuit.

He failed my attempt to terminate it in the blue plastic junction box because the box needs to be accessible. The wire won't reach any other wall. I can't just cut the wire off because I'll still have the end of a live wire exposed. I can't kill the circuit because the circuit still runs 3 lights on the first floor. I simply can't access these lights for rewiring without gutting the first floor, and as much as I'd like to, that's just an unacceptable expansion of scope at this time. I don't like the wire's splice into knob and tube that's outside of a junction box, but there's nothing I can think of to do about it.

I really need ideas for this... I mean, can I just leave an access door and call the area accessable for this purpose but inaccessable for the other things where it needs to not be accessible?? Is there some other way out of this??
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:46 PM   #2
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Old wires not being used, a rough inspection dilema


Can you cut them off at the other end? That way they would be dead and would not need to be in a box.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:07 PM   #3
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Old wires not being used, a rough inspection dilema


The end I'm trying to put in the box is shown in the second picture. That wire splices into knob and tube in the second picture. The knob and tube continues on to serve lights that are still in use on the floor below. The only way I could make the wire dead is by not having any working ceiling lights on the first floor of the house, so the kitchen, dining room, laundry room, and first floor bedroom would no longer have lights.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:37 PM   #4
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Old wires not being used, a rough inspection dilema


I think I have another idea, I could go through the pain in the rear and put an old work box for it to terminate inside of, the box would have to go in the ceiling of the bedroom below. I'd have to cut through the intermediate layer of lath and plaster to get to the drywall of the ceiling, but at least the floor above the lath and plaster is already cut away.

I hate to talk in terms of getting away with anything, but I don't think I can imagine AHJ climbing in there to where he'd be able to see what's in the third picture. I honestly want to get rid of it, but that's a complete rewire of the first floor and I just can't hold up everything else to do that now. So if I can resolve the box access for terminating this wire in the ceiling of the bedroom below, is the old splice into knob and tube an issue the AHJ can fail the rough inspection for?
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:02 AM   #5
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Old wires not being used, a rough inspection dilema


Just leave an access panel for that area that you can fit through. The box will then be accessible. As long as the other wiring is not close to the access door, it will be OK left as is. If you wanted to add extra protection, you could screw a 2x4 in front of the feeder wire to protect it.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:29 AM   #6
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Old wires not being used, a rough inspection dilema


Hate to ask... what was attached to that wire? As I understand it, any change to a circuit that has k&t requires that you remove all k&t on that circuit. Looks to me like you changed the circuit. I'd do whatever you can to make the inspector happy, if that's putting a swing door in so you can access that space do it. He could tell you to fix the k&t issue before he passes you.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:36 AM   #7
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Old wires not being used, a rough inspection dilema


Ah, sorry, I see the dilema now. You _can't_ have an access since the wire is exposed, but you _must_ have an access since the junction must be accessible. :-) It's hard to tell from the photos, can you build a stub wall in the space to enclose the service wires and then leave the rest accessible? Would give you access to the box and added storage while you're at it.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:40 AM   #8
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Old wires not being used, a rough inspection dilema


The end of the 2 conductor (no ground) cloth covered romex went to a duplex receptacle in a metal box, this metal box was not attached to framing and was in drywall that was removed. The location was inside the area being enclosed. It connects to knob and tube that included all outlets on the second floor, all lighting on the second floor, all outlets in the kitchen and everything else that is listed as attached to the circuit that will be remaining.

I'm modifying the circuit by taking a large chunk of it out of service and replacing it with new wiring to current code including AFCI, GFCI, current requirements for circuits in the kitchen and number of outlets, dedicated circuits for various individual appliances, number and placement of outlets for the bedrooms and so on. Complete replacement of the old wiring is not required by my local jurisdiction, so as much as I'd like to reach that goal eventually, I'm not going that far at this time.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:41 AM   #9
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Old wires not being used, a rough inspection dilema


Quote:
Originally Posted by WillK View Post
I think I have another idea, I could go through the pain in the rear and put an old work box for it to terminate inside of, the box would have to go in the ceiling of the bedroom below. I'd have to cut through the intermediate layer of lath and plaster to get to the drywall of the ceiling, but at least the floor above the lath and plaster is already cut away.

I hate to talk in terms of getting away with anything, but I don't think I can imagine AHJ climbing in there to where he'd be able to see what's in the third picture. I honestly want to get rid of it, but that's a complete rewire of the first floor and I just can't hold up everything else to do that now. So if I can resolve the box access for terminating this wire in the ceiling of the bedroom below, is the old splice into knob and tube an issue the AHJ can fail the rough inspection for?
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:26 PM   #10
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Old wires not being used, a rough inspection dilema


Apparently the AHJ had a lot of inspections today and got to my house later than usual, which is fine but I've had the good fortune that every day this week I've needed to leave the office to go out to a test vehicle site to change out a front seat in a test vehicle, and the inspector's hours of inspecting after 1 PM has generally gotten the inspection done before my 1 hour window at the test site between 3PM and 4PM, today I cut it really close.

At any rate, I had to grab the ceiling box at HD on my way home for the inspection, I got it installed in about 15 minutes and was ready at 1 PM, but the inspector got here at about 3 PM. He passed final inspection, but he's got the building inspector coming out to look at the wall framing I added.

Shouldn't be an issue, I'm not adding anything load bearing, the stuff I'm doing is for insulation support and changing a small area from conditioned space to unconditioned space so that the roof can get air circulation where there was none. I've asked specifically and they don't do permits for insulating, and their general guideline on internal framing is they only do permits if you are altering load bearing structure.

Last edited by WillK; 01-26-2011 at 09:28 PM.
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