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Old 07-17-2015, 12:02 AM   #1
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New Circuit From Basement To Attic


Long story long...I have a Victorian Duplex. 3 floors the third being an mostly unfinshed attic. There is a very large room that used to be servants quarters in the rear of the attic. I want to turn it into an office/workshop.

The room right now has 1, 2 wire outlet. I don't want to run an AC or heater (both necessary in Minnesota seasons) or any tools off of this. I'd rather run two new circuits so I can use whatever I need safely.

I have a 100 amp panel in the basement. The only real way for me to run from the basement to the attic is if I run conduit through the rear stairwell and frame it in afterward.

So what kind of conduit and wire should I use for this project? Once the runs are in the attic, do I need a junction box or can I just run it straight to the walls in the finished room where the outlets will be added?

The attic floors are sealed. Do I need to pull them up and drill the cross members for the wire or can it be run along the roof framing somehow?

All the 2nd floor wiring, half of which is newer and half of which is knob and tube, is already running out of a junction in the attic and some day I need to update this, so I'd like to run whatever conduit I need for this project with the intention of being able to "build out" from it, so maybe run an additional conduit for future use.

I'm only getting $1500 quotes on this from local electricians which seems high and which I cannot yet afford. But I need to make use of this room asap. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:38 AM   #2
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Is there a plumbing stack or chase that goes from the basement to the attic? When I had renovation done to an upstairs bathroom the electrical ran the new wiring up the plumbing chase .
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Old 07-17-2015, 01:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jimn01 View Post
Is there a plumbing stack or chase that goes from the basement to the attic? When I had renovation done to an upstairs bathroom the electrical ran the new wiring up the plumbing chase .
It's already used for the existing upper floor runs. It's both full and fully fire blocked.
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Old 07-17-2015, 01:24 PM   #4
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You could run on the exterior if you would like with PVC or emt with wp fittings.

You could also think like a plumber and use closets if they work out.

There use conduit or snake in the walls and patch You could snake anywhere and patch.

Let me guess. " but I would rather not patch"
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Old 07-17-2015, 01:27 PM   #5
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You could run on the exterior if you would like with PVC or emt with wp fittings.

You could also think like a plumber and use closets if they work out.

There use conduit or snake in the walls and patch You could snake anywhere and patch.
It being a duplex I don't want anything exposed on the first floors, even if I frame it in. My first thought and wish was to run it up the outside but there is a roofing overhang at the top of the 2nd floor that I can't get past or through.

All of the open spaces where you'd otherwise try and access the inner walls have been firestopped with brick and concrete. It'd be endless work to disturb it.
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Old 07-18-2015, 02:02 AM   #6
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How about putting in a single conduit large enough to contain wires for 50/60 amps, then put a 50/60 subpanel in the attic? That would give you an access point for both installing current outlets/lights and the future K&T replacement.

There are various surface mount systems for installing wiring without having to open walls/floors.
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:17 PM   #7
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How about putting in a single conduit large enough to contain wires for 50/60 amps, then put a 50/60 subpanel in the attic? That would give you an access point for both installing current outlets/lights and the future K&T replacement.

There are various surface mount systems for installing wiring without having to open walls/floors.
This is exactly what I'm beginning to think. But does code allow multiple 50/60 amp wires in the same conduit.

What are some code compliant ways of surface mounting wire without opening the floor in an attic? Running a 2x4 along the floor and attaching it to that?
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrdamien View Post
This is exactly what I'm beginning to think. But does code allow multiple 50/60 amp wires in the same conduit.
There is no problem at all running the 4 wires that are required for a 60 amp circuit (2 hots, neutral in ground) in the same conduit. That is actually what is recommended.
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:16 PM   #9
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There is no problem at all running the 4 wires that are required for a 60 amp circuit (2 hots, neutral in ground) in the same conduit. That is actually what is recommended.
So how is the 4 wire coming out of the main panel? I assume some other sort of wire, or no?

Then, 4 wire through the conduit to sub panel. What sort of wire from the sub panel to the outlets? Anyone have any notion of code compliant ways to run that wire from the panel to the room outlets without going into the floor?
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:38 PM   #10
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Panel in attic space…
Considering maybe accessibility, working clearance, ambient temperature.

You "may" be good on these three items.. BUT… depending on your temperature and load, I'm thinking it may be possible that your breakers may trip at less than the rating of the breaker..

I don't think there's anything in the nec stating you can't install panels in an attic… but personally, I'm not a fan of it.
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:41 PM   #11
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So how is the 4 wire coming out of the main panel? I assume some other sort of wire, or no?

Then, 4 wire through the conduit to sub panel. What sort of wire from the sub panel to the outlets? Anyone have any notion of code compliant ways to run that wire from the panel to the room outlets without going into the floor?
Time to call an electrician
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:58 PM   #12
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Time to call an electrician
Funny you should say this. MY concern was attic temps. Hottest days it gets well into the 110's and 20's. Two electricians I talked to said "Just do a sub panel."

That got me wanting to do it myself.
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:32 AM   #13
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What sort of wire from the sub panel to the outlets? Anyone have any notion of code compliant ways to run that wire from the panel to the room outlets without going into the floor?
You would run normal 12 g or 14 g (depending on desired circuit capacity) wiring from the subpanel to the outlets. The wiring can be run in metallic surface molding along the walls - usually right above the baseboard trim. Not pretty, but it eliminates having to open the floor.
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