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Old 04-12-2010, 01:23 PM   #1
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rewiring a fire damaged house


We recently purchased a home where we plan to retire in three years or so. The wiring is a mess ... it was gutted and redone after Katrina but the old 2 conductor wiring was not replaced even tho all sheetrock was taken down. Instead there are many green wires running from the subpanel to connections thruout the attic. Anyway, last week the tenants managed to burn up the master bathroom and bedroom and the whole house suffered smoke damage. As part of the smoke damage remediation, the blown-in insulation must be removed from the attic and so, in the spirit of making lemonade from lemons, I want to take the opportunity to rewire the house.

I would like to use 2 subpanels ... one for the bedrooms, bathrooms and hallway and the other for the living, dining and kitchen area. Each would be on a separate service entry breaker. Any reasons not to do it this way?

BTW, the 200a service entry panel contains the meter and 4 breaker spaces: currently one for the house, one for the heat pump, one for the garage and a small outbuilding and one for the hall bathroom(??)

Thanks,

Peyton

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Old 04-12-2010, 01:44 PM   #2
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rewiring a fire damaged house


it's all personal preference on how and where you want to have subpanels put in. Depending on the layout of the house and if your set on having two subpanels put in then i would try and split it roughly down the middle. Try and get equal loads on each panel so your not taxing one more than the other. Seems like the way your looking at doing it perhaps the dryer/range/ kitchen may be on one panel. Should still be absolutely fine on a 100A subpanel but just some food for thought.

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Old 04-12-2010, 02:23 PM   #3
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rewiring a fire damaged house


It is a *sin* to have the drywall removed and not take the opportunity to add new wiring, more outlets, and maybe some home entertainment/phone wiring!

Also I've read of toxic Chinese drywall installed in Florida. Might want to check on that. Here is a search for that...
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=Chine...6b5a4f84435186

And good idea to install a separate subpanel near the kitchen. There can be as many as 10 separate circuits in a modern kitchen. Easier to run all those wires to a nearby subpanel.

*Think* about the extra time you will have in the kitchen being retired and all the electrical gizmos you might possibly need plugs for and which would all be on at the same time. Things which heat/warm use a LOT of wattage/amperage and need separate 20 amp circuits for just a couple of these. Like microwave, deep fryer, hot plate, bread machine, coffee maker, etc.

So you might want a 4 plex outlet (4 outlets) on its own 20 amp breaker. Then a foot down on the counter another 4 plex outlet on another breaker, etc. (Never enough counter top outlets in a kitchen!)

And same thing with TV area in living room. These are starting to draw more watts with the new TVs. Perhaps a 4 plex outlet or even two on their own 20 amp breaker where that will go. (Stereo, TV playstation, DVD, cable box, etc.)

And where the "couch potato" easy chair goes, need plenty of outlets. Phone, lamp, cell phone recharger, subwoofer, whatever.

It used to be you would install a duplex outlet every so many feet. This does not fill the need for things which need to be plugged in anymore. And keep in mind furniture will hide these outlets, so install what will be needed. (No need for power strips!)

You can use the following calculators to total up the watts of everything and convert to amps. Use single phase...
http://www.jobsite-generators.com/po...lculators.html
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:30 PM   #4
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rewiring a fire damaged house


Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew79 View Post
it's all personal preference on how and where you want to have subpanels put in. Depending on the layout of the house and if your set on having two subpanels put in then i would try and split it roughly down the middle. Try and get equal loads on each panel so your not taxing one more than the other. Seems like the way your looking at doing it perhaps the dryer/range/ kitchen may be on one panel. Should still be absolutely fine on a 100A subpanel but just some food for thought.
Thanks for your thoughts Andrew. The dryer and range will indeed be on one subpanel for now but in the long run, we will be going to natural gas for range, dryer and hot water heater. The house is in hurricane country and ng is usually unaffected even after a hurricane.

Peyton
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:55 PM   #5
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rewiring a fire damaged house


this is a link to another thread where a poster has a very good diagram of how a new installed kitchen needs to be done.
kitchen gfci
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:12 PM   #6
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rewiring a fire damaged house


Quote:
Originally Posted by peyton View Post
I would like to use 2 subpanels ... one for the bedrooms, bathrooms and hallway and the other for the living, dining and kitchen area. Each would be on a separate service entry breaker. Any reasons not to do it this way?
Possibly the added cost?

Have you compared the cost of two service entry breakers, two sub panels, and the wire required to feed them compared to just one main panel at the service entrance?

It is quite possible that the wire required to feed the subpanels could be on the order of $5/foot (that's what I paid for some 2/2/2/4 copper for a 125A subpanel). That kind of money can buy a lot of #12 and #14.
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:23 PM   #7
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rewiring a fire damaged house


Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
It is a *sin* to have the drywall removed and not take the opportunity to add new wiring, more outlets, and maybe some home entertainment/phone wiring!
Sin? I didn't even list all the bad stuff I found ... e.g. wires loosely twisted together in the boxes without wire nuts or tape, two breakers powering the same fixture, etc. Apparently they recruited just anyone off the street ... and this was a contractor! We found that a permit was pulled for the electrical but the job was never inspected.

Quote:
Also I've read of toxic Chinese drywall installed in Florida. Might want to check on that. Here is a search for that...
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=Chine...6b5a4f84435186
We checked that out before we bought the house.

Quote:
And good idea to install a separate subpanel near the kitchen. There can be as many as 10 separate circuits in a modern kitchen. Easier to run all those wires to a nearby subpanel.

*Think* about the extra time you will have in the kitchen being retired and all the electrical gizmos you might possibly need plugs for and which would all be on at the same time. Things which heat/warm use a LOT of wattage/amperage and need separate 20 amp circuits for just a couple of these. Like microwave, deep fryer, hot plate, bread machine, coffee maker, etc.

So you might want a 4 plex outlet (4 outlets) on its own 20 amp breaker. Then a foot down on the counter another 4 plex outlet on another breaker, etc. (Never enough counter top outlets in a kitchen!)

And same thing with TV area in living room. These are starting to draw more watts with the new TVs. Perhaps a 4 plex outlet or even two on their own 20 amp breaker where that will go. (Stereo, TV playstation, DVD, cable box, etc.)

And where the "couch potato" easy chair goes, need plenty of outlets. Phone, lamp, cell phone recharger, subwoofer, whatever.

It used to be you would install a duplex outlet every so many feet. This does not fill the need for things which need to be plugged in anymore. And keep in mind furniture will hide these outlets, so install what will be needed. (No need for power strips!)

You can use the following calculators to total up the watts of everything and convert to amps. Use single phase...
http://www.jobsite-generators.com/po...lculators.html
Thanks for all the suggestions/info. 4 plexes are a good idea.

Peyton

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