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Old 02-10-2013, 10:34 AM   #1
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Wiring Attic


Long time lurker and raised in the rural south, grew up always doing my own work. Plumbing, electrical, roofing, woodworking, mechanical, etc... "anything worth doing right is worth doing it yourself"

2 story home is in Atlanta, GA (Cobb).

Attic accessible by a fold down ladder. Outlet box is within 6' of the access hole, my running board is just past 6' but less than 7'. Attic cannot be used for storage as there is several inches of blown insulation over the joists. The HVAC (evap, air handler, natural gas furnace) is on plywood but not enough room to store anything. "Walking" is by means of placing my feet in the V of the webs.

This switch (last pic - backstabswitch) is the type of work that occurred with the former owner. Not sure who the work was done by, but seems to be a lot of backstabbing in the deal! And of course, romex was strung from web to web so as to make a nice place to hang things (sarcasm)

I want to get all this to NEC code.

Main question - exposed outlet boxes. I am using the hard plastic Carlons attached to the web of the roof. I haven't found by google, search on diychatroom, nor Wiring Simplified if I MUST use metal boxes. Will the plastic boxes pass an inspection?

My supply (14-2 NM) comes up from below, runs along a web, then along the 1x4 running board I just installed to a 2 gang outlet box (35cu/in) with switch (controls furnace only) and receptacle

4 neutrals wirenutted:
supply
furnace
wire out to 2nd outlet box
pigtail to receptacle

4 hots wirenutted:
supply
pigtail to furnace switch
wire out to 2nd outlet box
pigtail to receptacle

5 grounds wirenutted:
supply
furnace
wire out to 2nd outlet box
pigtail to receptacle
light
(to do list: get a switch with a ground screw - this would be the 6th)

I piggybacked the light's neutral and hot to the 2nd set of screws on the receptacle since it would have the least power draw. The light is a 60w equivalent CFL. I replaced the exposed bulb fixture with one with a bulb cover to avoid dealing with mercury from accidentally breaking the exposed bulb. New light fixture is pull chain, like the old, but with a bulb cover.

Wires appear loose because I haven't nailed the insulated staples all the way in (yet).

I installed a new 2 gang outlet box (35cu/in) for OTA antenna amplifier, and for power supply bricks for networking equipment. I have a 1x12 mounting board to nail up and span 2 webs which I'll install the equipment.

No wire is within 6" or so from the roof deck.

Wire to furnace is almost straight down. Code violation? I can run it down the web and along a joist and come up thru the plywood the HVAC rests on.

Also that thermostaticly controlled roof fan does not work. It's MC wire from the fan to the thermostat box. It had 12-2 NM dangling from the box to the old gangbox. I plan to mount a running board from web to web and use NM wire to the box (using a NM clamp connector to the box's KO)

IF I get the fan working - I'll add a junction box at the web closest to the fan as that 2 gang box is getting crowded. Good plan?

What all can you see wrong with the electrical? Thanks! And yes I'll be back so your replies will be appreciated....

And of course this thread is useless without pics!
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:25 AM   #2
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Wiring Attic


1-You can not have two wires under one screw like in the pic.
2-Blue boxes are fine.
Why mount them so high?
Are you using the same circuit as the furnace?

No code violations I can tell.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:19 PM   #3
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Wiring Attic


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
1-You can not have two wires under one screw like in the pic.
2-Blue boxes are fine.
Why mount them so high?
Are you using the same circuit as the furnace?

No code violations I can tell.
1. Yep. I know only 1 wire per screw. That old switch was done wrong and I removed it. That switch was an accident waiting to happen!
I have only 1 wire per screw.
I have piggybacked in my first 2 gang (housing air handler switch and receptacle) piggyback neut&hot receptacle to light outlet... and in my new 2 gang with 2 receptacles) piggybacked neut&hot.
I ran pigtails from all ground screws to wire nut
2. I wanted to avoid having a running board that would be stepped on. So it's high enough (about 5' high) to allow service access to HVAC. Also it could go unseen under blown insulation and could be stepped on and damaged. Also a box covered in insulation could be considered inaccessable (and darn right un-findable)

And yes to this being the same circuit as the furnace's air handler. I am glad you brought that up because I previously had thought it over but totally forgot about it in order to research that. The home's original HVAC unit is in the garage, and a second one was added in the attic. I have 2 separate furnace breakers. The attic furnace label requires a 15A breaker and that's what it has (along with it's electrical feed being 14-2 NM) Furnace has stated max current of 7.9A

Sooooo... yes furnace has to be a separate circuit. And although I am violating less codes than what I originally had up there, I still want to be 100% code compliant. Bringing a new circuit up 2 floors from the main (in the garage) would be too much effort and I would unhappily keep the network stuff in the living space. I can easily drop a wire down to the bedroom and tap off the bedroom circuit for the extra outlets (for networking gear). Permissible? And will the light and convenience outlet at the furnace need to be off the furnace's circuit?

Thanks

Last edited by kevinb70; 02-10-2013 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:32 PM   #4
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Wiring Attic


In added an outlet in my attic. may just be me but I prefer the metal look.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:33 PM   #5
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Wiring Attic


Yep I had previously read thru your post and nice neat look. I considered metal and clamps, but just preferred hard shell plastic (not the flimsy plastic)

Last edited by kevinb70; 02-10-2013 at 12:43 PM.
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