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gemini28 11-21-2010 10:45 PM

Rewire 1955 house
I am remodeling the kitchen in a house that was built in 1955. I'm going to replace the existing outlets with GFCI outlets and add an outlet for the microwave, etc. My question concerns the rest of the house. The outlets in the house are wired with 12 gauge, non-grounded wire on 20 amp breakers. If I rewire the kitchen do I have to bring the rest of the house up to code?

Just Bill 11-22-2010 06:19 AM

Are you sure it is non grounded wire?? Grounded wire was not uncommon in '55, although the ground conductor was smaller and not connected at boxes the same way as now. The kitchen definitely needs updating if you are remodeling. That requires two 20A circuits dedicated to the countertop, all GFCI protected. Microwave should be on its' own circuit, and lighting separate. Requiring changes throughout the house depends on where you are, but generall, you only need to updated what you are actually working on.

michaelcherr 11-22-2010 09:14 AM

Your local inspector will know the answer.
Most people say you only have to bring what you work on up to code.
When I called about a permit for the garage wiring I wanted to do, he said I would have to fix the rest of the wiring in the house.
I didn't pull a permit: problem solved.

1655graff 11-22-2010 11:27 PM

We bought a 1956 home with no ground wire for the electrical sockets. 1st thing I did was get a reputable and fair-priced electrician to upgrade the power into the house, upgrade the panel, and to replace all the lines to the sockets with 3-wire/grounded lines.
  • During the pulls they discovered aluminum wiring all throughout in the master bedroom - nice catch.
  • When we remodeled the kitchen, I did not need to rewire and upgrade. I simply added a couple of new lines to open slots in the panel. ...When we remodeled the family room, same. ...When we remodeled the covered patio, same. ...Now that we are looking at remodeling the garage, same. I can tell you it sure makes the electrical part of remodel planning and doing easy.
  • A friend has done like you and has added a 2nd panel, filling it as he replaced room-by-room. He saw what I did, and the price we paid, and told me he wonders now if wasn't penny-wise but pound foolish.
The point is, you can do it piecemeal like my friend, or simply make sure the electrical backbone of the house is good and then make minor adds as you remodel various different rooms like I have done. The choice is yours.

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