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Old 07-27-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
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Location: Pennsylvania
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Options: Cinderblock wall w/ furring strips


Let me start off by saying I've gained online access to the NEC, have read it, and have an understanding of the basics as it pertains to residential home construction. I am planning a renovation of my kitchen. The house is a 1940 constructed cape cod with a 1953 addition. The exterior walls are cinderblock with 1x3s nailed to the cinderblock, wide side against the block, and drywall directly over that, and plaster over the drywall. So I only have 3/4" or less between the block and drywall. Therein lies the problem.

The new kitchen layout will require new and relocated kitchen outlets. All of the cabinets are going against the exterior walls unfortunately. Currently the wiring runs in that small gap between the drywall & cinderblock. This obviously violates the "1.25 inch" and "protected" rules for NM cables. Where the device boxes are they chiseled out the cinderblock to make room for the boxes.

I already have two 20A circuits supplying only the kitchen outlets so I am good there. Fridge is on it's own 20A and electric range is not a concern as we can put the range outlet on the floor like current one is.

For the countertop outlets I've come up with these options.
1) Rip down drywall & strips and reframe with a 2x4 stud wall. This is least desirable option.
2) Rip down drywall & strips and reframe with s stud wall of some other size lumber. What sizes could I use?
3) Rip down drywall, double up strips which would give me enough room for some type of conduit and hopefully a 1.5" deep device box. I recently saw a Holmes on Homes episode where he said when you do this the walls end up really uneven which would suck when it came time to mount the cabinets. Maybe that is why they put plaster over all the drywall?
4) I saw this flexible metal armored cable at a big box store that looks like i might fit behind the existing walls. Dunno how I make this work with the device boxes though. Speaking of those I'd have to chisel out the cinderblock to make room for the boxes like was done previously.
5) Insert your option here!

Note that I really don't want to tear the walls down if I don't have to. Reason #1 is I have some nice original window moldings that I will probably break. Reason #2 is further down the wall where most of the cabinets go is a heat radiator. And beyond that is a door that is butted up against said wall. I don't want to and don't think I can disturb the wall behind the radiator b/c of the door. So I will have to "blend" the new wall thickness into the original. Reason #3 I am already trying to pull this off on a shoestring budget.

P.S. I have not discussed this with the township yet. I wanted to get some outside opinions first.

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