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Old 10-28-2011, 11:04 AM   #1
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Running wire to rewire non-grounded cicuits


Hello, so my 1959 house appears to have non-grounded wiring running throughout (it looks like old Romex, but only has a hot and neutral). I'd like to replace it with modern wire so that I can ground the circuits. Does anyone have some good tips for running wire without making many holes in the sheetrock? Some add'l info about the house: 1) basement is open and unfinished, so I can see where wires are running up to the first floor, 2) the baseboards are off, 3) the ceilings are vaulted, so there is no attic space, 4) the existing boxes are all metal and appear to be nailed to the interior studs, 5) from what I've seen from some other holes I had to put in the walls, the wire runs through holes in the studs at least 3 feet above the floor.

thanks!

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Old 10-28-2011, 12:21 PM   #2
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Running wire to rewire non-grounded cicuits


They sell long 5 foot drill bits in electrical departments or electrical stores which have a hole in one end. You can drill up or down into the basement/attic, then after through, use the drill bit to pull a wire through.

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Old 10-28-2011, 01:10 PM   #3
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Running wire to rewire non-grounded cicuits


Thanks! I'm not sure where that would help though...I can access the old wire from the basement pretty easily...and I'm guessing that I can use the old wire to pull the new wire through, but if it's running horizontally through studs and makes a 90-degree turn (to go up to a switch or down to a socket) I'm not sure how well that method will work....
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:03 PM   #4
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Running wire to rewire non-grounded cicuits


In that case, you will have to cut into the sheetrock or rocklathe, depending on what you have, to run horizontal in the walls. Otherwise, you can junction box into boxes placed on the joists, that you can run all of the outlets to. Only other problem, would be the lighting circuits. Switch legs need to be ran with 14/3, since the newer code change.

May want to look into if your city requires a permit, or that you can get away with doing a few outlets at a time, to not have to pull a permit. Always though, make sure your work is code compliant, and no corners are taken when wiring, same when wiring in the new load center panel.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:08 PM   #5
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Running wire to rewire non-grounded cicuits


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Thanks! I'm not sure where that would help though...I can access the old wire from the basement pretty easily...and I'm guessing that I can use the old wire to pull the new wire through, but if it's running horizontally through studs and makes a 90-degree turn (to go up to a switch or down to a socket) I'm not sure how well that method will work....
The old wire is probably stapled to the studs.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:04 PM   #6
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Running wire to rewire non-grounded cicuits


Which brings up another question, can the old dead wire be left in place?
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:21 PM   #7
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Running wire to rewire non-grounded cicuits


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Which brings up another question, can the old dead wire be left in place?
Yes, as long as it can not be energized again.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:28 PM   #8
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Running wire to rewire non-grounded cicuits


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Which brings up another question, can the old dead wire be left in place?
So far as safety... So long as all new wire is run to everything and no old wiring is connected to anything. No telling what might be connected to what!

I've seen wires connected to each other inside of walls. I've seen one circuit connected to another circuit (loop!).

If you are pulling off the drywall, then you can see what is what. But then you could also pull out the old wire...

Actually I was pulling off some drywall in an old 1930's house. There was an abandoned wire in the wall with both ends stripped and twisted together. No wire nut, bare. These were black due to years of dust...

A friend who was there with me saw it and reached to grab it. I said "DON'T TOUCH IT! It could be live." I then safely cut the wires and the ceiling light went off!

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Old 10-28-2011, 06:27 PM   #9
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Running wire to rewire non-grounded cicuits


if your worried about things not being grounded, you have a few options here:

1. Replace all of your receptacles with GFCI outlets. They dont require a ground and will trip in case the poop hits the fan. Bonus: no new wiring required.

2. Install a GCFI receptacle in the first receptacle of a branch circuit, then use normal receptacles everywhere "down stream" from the GFCI. Those "normal" receptacles will be protected by the GFCI
Good: cheaper than using GCFI everywhere.
Bad. If the GFCI trips, all the receptacles down stream will be off until you reset the GFCI

3. Rewire the whole house

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