Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-29-2007, 09:39 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 308
Rewards Points: 0
Share |
Default

Wiring around fire stops


Hi;
I want to bring several branch circuits up to the attic. The house is 80 years old, and has fire stops in the walls.
I recall a long time ago reading in the Electrician's Handbook about how to do this, which involves making small openings in walls.
I was wondering if there are any new techniques, using new innovations in tools, etc.
I am going to get a copy of the latest Electrician's Handbook.

Thanks

FW

fw2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2007, 10:05 AM   #2
Electrician philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 838
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Wiring around fire stops


Home depot and Lowes sell bit extension that if I recall are up to 54" long. You want to be careful and take your time not to get off target and come out the sheetrock, but i've had success using them.

Andy in ATL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2007, 07:23 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 308
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Wiring around fire stops


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy in ATL View Post
Home depot and Lowes sell bit extension that if I recall are up to 54" long. You want to be careful and take your time not to get off target and come out the sheetrock, but i've had success using them.
Who said anything about sheetrock?<g>
This house has real plaster walls!!
Thanks for the info.

I picked up a copy of "Wiring a House, for Pros, by Pros" by Rex Cauldwell at my local library today. Looks like it has some good info.

FW
fw2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2007, 09:11 PM   #4
UAW SKILLED TRADES
 
Stubbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 5,012
Rewards Points: 2
Default

Wiring around fire stops


Where is your breaker/fuse box... basement or crawl or living level?

Baseboard trim size (height)?

How much head room in the attic?

Andy is speaking of a deversa bit...they are up to 6 feet in length plus extensions if needed. These give you a huge advntage when drilling (wood) fire stops in hollow walls. You also use them to pull the wire back through the drilled hole when finished boring.



Stubbie
__________________
" One nice thing about the NEC articles ... you have lots of choices"

Stubbie

Last edited by Stubbie; 09-29-2007 at 09:13 PM.
Stubbie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2007, 04:12 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 308
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Wiring around fire stops


The breaker panel is in the basement, which is full, finished.
The baseboards are between 6 and 8".
The attic has plenty of headroom.

I assume what you are getting at is that the baseboard can be temporarily removed to allow access to the wall space. Hopefully, the wood won't crack<g>
There is Rockwool insulation blown into the walls upstairs, but not downstairs.
For that reason, I am assuming I will need a snake to pull the cables.

FW
fw2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2007, 09:55 PM   #6
Contractor in PA
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE PA
Posts: 43
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Wiring around fire stops


Wiring old homes with plaster walls and wooden lath can be very tough.

Most times there will be a large amount of plaster at the floor line. Some plaster fell down inside the wall while applying the rough coat and loose plaster falls down the wall as the plaster gets older.

Odds are you will wipe out a diversabit on the first hole (and they are not cheap) and usually can't be resharpened.

Removing the baseboard is tricky too. The wood is very old and dried out. Guarantee that the paint will chip out while pulling the baseboard off. Odds are you will either snap / crack the 1/4 round and or base board. Also many times the plaster falls off the wall when you disturb the baseboard.

My advice is let a pro do the job. He has experience with all these problems and insurance .

The bitter taste of a poorly done job last much longer than the sweet taste of a cheap price.
michaelpwalton1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2007, 10:03 PM   #7
Contractor in PA
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE PA
Posts: 43
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Wiring around fire stops


I forgot to give you some tips. I would look for the vent stack and check if it lines up from floor to floor.

If it does, drop a sash chain down from the attic, then fish up from the basement to catch the chain. Hook on the wires, use some pulling soap and get a friend to help with the pull.

Other than that, I would also consider bringing the wires up through a closet and after wards boxing them in with drywall.

If the home has hot air heat, try to follow along side the heat vent. BUT NOT INSIDE THE HEAT VENT!
michaelpwalton1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 12:38 AM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Wiring around fire stops


I am embarking on a similar journey with an 80 year old house, which is mostly K&T wiring to a 1960's 100A panel. Is it practical to remove the baseboards and plaster behind them and tackle the re-wire that way? Should a new panel be installed upstairs rather than in the unfinished bsmt? I want the whole thing wired to code. It's only 1000sq ft finished on the main. Thx.
sean57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 06:40 AM   #9
Contractor in PA
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE PA
Posts: 43
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Wiring around fire stops


I have found that it is next to impossible to completely rewire an old house (especially one with Knob & Tube) without wall and floor damage. Remember that you have to crack some eggs to make an omelet.

That being said, my approach is usually to re-feed the outlets on the first floor up from the basement. Then bring a feeder up to the top floor and install a sub panel. Then lifting floorboards, try to feed down to the floor below. What existing K&T remains is usually only some lighting which is not a heavy load.

Of course, you supply a new circuit to any additional loads such as window AC units, space or baseboard electric heat etc.

I also evaluate the condition of the main service. There are a lot of factors to consider. The age of the service, Is it fused or breakers, the make of the panel (if it is a Federal or Zinco panel- it goes), service cable condition etc.
michaelpwalton1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 09:53 AM   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Wiring around fire stops


Thanks for your response. The service panel is a 1960's era Square D without a main breaker. The service drop is stretched tight over the aluminum gutter then goes into a conduit with weatherhead, and on into the middle of the unfinished basement. Because there is no main breaker I think it should be replaced. Any ideas? Thx.
sean57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2007, 09:16 AM   #11
Contractor in PA
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE PA
Posts: 43
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Wiring around fire stops


Not having a main breaker and the condition of the service cable, makes it sound like a good candidate for replacement.

You might want to consider replacing the service and / or upgrading to a higher amperage, then reusing the existing Square D panel for the sub panel on the upper floor. You can install a grounding bar and back feed a double pole breaker (use it as a main breaker) in the sub panel. Staying with the same make panel and breakers will save you a little money by reusing some breakers.

When replacing the service, don't forget that there are limitation on how far you can bring SEU cable into the home before supplying a service disconnect and over-current protection.
michaelpwalton1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2007, 02:22 PM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Wiring around fire stops


Thank-you Michael, I hadn't considered using the existing as a sub. That will lighten the workload considerably. your advice is very much appreciated.
sean57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2007, 02:23 PM   #13
Contractor in PA
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE PA
Posts: 43
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Wiring around fire stops


Glad to help
michaelpwalton1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2008, 10:18 AM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 308
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Wiring around fire stops


Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelpwalton1 View Post
Wiring old homes with plaster walls and wooden lath can be very tough.

Most times there will be a large amount of plaster at the floor line. Some plaster fell down inside the wall while applying the rough coat and loose plaster falls down the wall as the plaster gets older.

Odds are you will wipe out a diversabit on the first hole (and they are not cheap) and usually can't be resharpened.

Removing the baseboard is tricky too. The wood is very old and dried out. Guarantee that the paint will chip out while pulling the baseboard off. Odds are you will either snap / crack the 1/4 round and or base board. Also many times the plaster falls off the wall when you disturb the baseboard.

My advice is let a pro do the job. He has experience with all these problems and insurance .

The bitter taste of a poorly done job last much longer than the sweet taste of a cheap price.
Thanks for the advice on the diversibit. I was about to go out and buy one for around $40.
Sorry it took so long for me to get back. I had forgotten about this thread.

FW
fw2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2008, 10:22 AM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 308
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Wiring around fire stops


Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelpwalton1 View Post
Not having a main breaker and the condition of the service cable, makes it sound like a good candidate for replacement.

You might want to consider replacing the service and / or upgrading to a higher amperage, then reusing the existing Square D panel for the sub panel on the upper floor. You can install a grounding bar and back feed a double pole breaker (use it as a main breaker) in the sub panel. Staying with the same make panel and breakers will save you a little money by reusing some breakers.

When replacing the service, don't forget that there are limitation on how far you can bring SEU cable into the home before supplying a service disconnect and over-current protection.
Do you really need a main breaker in the sub-panel if it is fed through a double-pole breaker in the main panel?
As I recall, in my brother's house, I used a 50A double pole in the main panel, and no main breakers in the sub.

FW

fw2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Replacing wiring in middle of run, ungrounded lighting circuit alexz Electrical 3 07-05-2007 08:53 PM
Knob & Tube wiring - How concerned should we be? hotdiggitydog Electrical 6 04-11-2006 07:52 PM
Garage - Protecting wiring installation eastment Electrical 4 11-26-2005 11:52 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.