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Old 04-02-2013, 10:54 AM   #1
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Attic Wiring?

Can someone tell me if there are any problems with the wiring I did up in the attic? We do not plan on ever building or storing equipment up here, only thing is central air is coming this week, so some duct work.

Basically I tried to keep the wiring "protected" from anyone bumping it coming up the hatch, i.e. within 6' of the entrance. There is a pull switch right by the entrance, then I have a GFCI outlet (everything is protected by this), a switch, and some fluorescent lights plugged into outlets up high. I made sure to stay away from the roof's nail penetrations.

We're having central air installed Thursday, and I had to get some power and light up there for the guys to work. I also added a power vent fan while I was at it because there isn't any ventilation to speak of. The thermostat also opens the gable vent at the far end.

The styrofoam boxes are speakers, and have been replaced with real Isocyanite foam board boxes to keep the blown in, insulation away from the speaker cones.

I just wanted to check on the wiring being exposed, as everything else I bored through the joists below, but this I tacked up high, because everything (switches/outlets/fan) were already up high and it would be a pain to bore through joists then go up and down 6 feet every time I wanted an outlet for the lights.

Also, what do people do when they blow insulation in and end up covering some of these junction boxes that are at the joist level? We have 2x6" joists, and when I go to blow in insulation I don't want to cover up the junction boxes... Should I make some sort of flag or some sort?


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Old 04-02-2013, 07:37 PM   #2
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Just my own opion but, I'm not seeing why it looks like you use what looks like 12-2 instead of 14-2, no big deal just more expencive.
I'm not seeing any need for a GFI in an attic. Once again no big deal just not needed.
No idea why you have one porcelain pull chain and one fluorescent fixture.
One switch near the enterance and two fluorescents or two cheap porcelain
fixtures would have worked.
I would have install a ridge vent long before ever installing a powered roof vent.
You also left off an outlet cover.
Ha you asked.
Not sure how to do something, no shame, just come here and ask before going to all that work.
When posting in forums, letting us know your location will help others give better feedback/advice/solutions to your questions

Last edited by joecaption; 04-02-2013 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:42 PM   #3
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Neither of the boxes in photo one have covers on them, required even in an attic. Depending on your area and local codes the "whole house exhaust fan" may require some type of guard. Our local code requires this to prevent someone from falling into the fan while it is running. Believe it or not---1/2" hardware cloth meets code here for a guard.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Thurman
Believe it or not---1/2" hardware cloth meets code here for a guard.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:54 PM   #5
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Well I know someone did ask about the options on how it done in there so I will give you my tips and maybe some criticzeation there.

A) You should have the staples more closer to the single gang boxes ( about 8 inches is the max distance )

B) Check your recessed luminaires to make sure they are rated for IC ( insulation concat ) and you may have to change the lamp to meet the IC requirement. There will be a label inside the can it will list the max wattage what it can be used with IC mode so pay attetion to that.

C) Do something with the fan it will need some kind of gaurd so standard window screen or chicken screen will work. ( it also will really reduce the critters try to get into the attic when the fan is not running )

D) I am not too crazy using the flourscent luminaire in the attic due you only will turn it on just for short while so indentscent bulbs will work just fine. ( you may want to check with your local codes reguarding of indentscent lamp in attic some may want some kind of enclosed or use wiregaurd on them ) ( Note : as long it is not super cold the flourscent luminarie will work ok )

E) I am not super worry about the junciton box they will be ok and it is common to be buried in the blowen in insluation or fiberglass batts which that is very common. If you are worry about the location just grab a spray paint and make a dot on attic rafter to mark the rough location where the junction box is.

F) on the attic fan location You should put a single pole switch before thermoast location. There is a good reason why I mention that due it will serve as disconnection means in case you have to fix the attic fan for safety reason.

G) Get some kind of clamp to nail on the rafter next to the attic fan that is too long to be hanging loose like that.

Hope that will help ya with the info.

The answer will be based on NEC ( National Electrical code ) or CEC ( Cananda Electrical code ) or ECF ( Electrique Code France )
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies, I already passed the rough-in inspection, but my inspector didn't take as hard a look as I would have preferred. But it's going to be a few months before I get my final inspection, because we have to do a lot of work in between (2 bathrooms and a kitchen). So I appreciate any criticism, just helps me know what to do, and hopefully with all the pictures it'll help others at a later date as well.

I ran 12-2 just because I was running 12-2 in the house anyways, so it was left over. I know it's not necessary, but just wanted to stay consistent. I ran 12-2 everywhere because we were planning on doing 1 circuit per bedroom, 20 amps, so we could run a window a/c unit... we hadn't planned on getting central air at that point, so we're just a bit over wired, but 12-2 isn't that much more money than 14-2. Smoke alarms and CO detectors got 14-3.

I just made up the wiring this weekend, so I'll put covers on everything. I wasn't quite sure on the GFCI, so thought I'd throw it in just in case.

I had 3x fluorescent fixtures lying around from seed starting in the old house, so I just put them up temporarily with an extension cord and wired them up for the a/c guys to work. So you're right French Electrician, I'll probably pull those out when the a/c and insulation work is done. The pull chain light was just because I wanted something within reaching distance of the hatch.

The whole house fan is probably original from the 1950s, I am pulling out all the BX cloth wrapped wiring, and when I looked the rubber cable had cracked and had exposed the metal in the wire, so I had to pull that out. So I have to get a new short length of wire from the motor to junction box. I'll definetly put some chicken wire over it before I put it back together. I've looked at the newest incantations of whole house fans, and a lot of them look like big gable fans with a giant duct. At some point we'll fix that, but for now it's out of commission.

I'll put a switch in front of the attic fan, I had left the wires a little loose because I wasn't too happy with the thermostat quality, and intended to replace it. The attic fan is just a temporary fix until we get around to doing a ridge vent and soffit vents. Currently there are no soffit vents and only 2 small gable vents. The big 2'x3' gable vent on the end used to open with the whole house fan, but I rewired it to open with the new power vent, so it draws a reasonable amount of air across the attic. But that's temporary until we do soffit vents and a ridge vent.

I'll put some staples closer to the boxes, I didn't pay enough attention to how close to the box they were.

As for the burying of junction boxes, I just always hear horror stories about people's junction boxes getting hot and catching things on fire. I was very careful to twist all wires with lineman's pliers and wire nut everything, and ground strap any metal boxes, so I guess I'll just mark the boxes' location on the roof...

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