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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife wants us to redo the kitchen. My job is to keep the expenses from going way out of hand. I am quoted cost to just redo the kitchen and dining room wiring at $16k. Way too much than what I expected. I thought that rewiring the whole house would be $20K, so that much for just the kitchen was a shocker even for NJ cost of living.

I have a new 200A panel already. Most of the existing wiring is old BX from the 50ties plus some new Romex from about 20-25 years ago. What that means is that the gas stove and the microwave are on the same circuit. The fridge and the lights are also together. I already have the required two GFCI circuits at the counters. My questions are:

1. If an outlet gets removed from an old circuit, does that circuit need to be brought up to code now? The old BX wiring is such that one breaker feeds one outlet in the dining room, one in each of the two bedrooms above and the lights in one of the bedrooms. Can the old outlet just be removed from the circuit (wires properly capped, etc.) and leave the rest of the circuit alone? A new circuit will provide for the required outlets in the dining room.
2. House is plaster with a lot of wood paneling and moldings and I would like to keep the necessary repairs to minimum. The runs from the panel to the kitchen are the longest possible (opposite corners of the house). I am interested in offering the electrician to pull the MC cables (my preference over Romex) through the cavities for him in order to minimize the damage to the walls and the wood. I would not install the boxes or connect any wires or do anything that inspectors check during the rough inspection -- that is the electrician's job to do. I realize this varies from person to person, but is this something a reasonable tradesman would agree to? Is this absolute no no?

The reason why I want to pull the wires myself is bad prior experience with electricians, who know their trade well, but not the rest. The guy that installed the new panel drilled through concrete then patched it with insulating foam (I did not watch him and he concealed it well enough that I did not notice). A few years later I had a leak on my electrical panel through his patch (top of slab is exposed to the elements) and had to tear up the whole slab and have it poured again just because of the horrible hole and patchup he did. While I have not done plaster, I have skimcoated walls and done finishing decorative carpentry, so I expect to have better handle on those than the average electrician and a better idea what is easy and what is hard to repair after the cables are in.
 

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I never have a problem letting a client buy can housing/trim, receptacles, dimmers, switches, cover plates basically any finish material. The only labor I don't mind letting someone else do is setting cans. Letting someone pull all the wire would make me nervous but nothing that a release of liability and a warranty exclusion doesn't fix.
 

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I do not understand from your post why you want to redo the wiring. There is nothing wrong with properly installed BX or old Romex, as long as wire is in good condition. Perhaps you only need to run a couple of new circuits to the kitchen?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do not understand from your post why you want to redo the wiring. There is nothing wrong with properly installed BX or old Romex, as long as wire is in good condition. Perhaps you only need to run a couple of new circuits to the kitchen?
The installation was probably done up to code way back when ... As of right now it probably fails certain requirements that have been added over the years. For example, fridge on a separate circuit. The fridge will get a new circuit, no ifs or buts about it. But does eliminating the outlet which the said fridge is on trigger the "once you touch the circuit you have to bring it all up to code" rule? If that happens probably at least 4-5 more switches, outlets and luminaries which are on the existing circuit will possibly need work/replacement. Getting access to many of the wires and boxes of these other 4-5 points will be a pain and a lot of extra labor for stuff that I can replace/do at my own pace over time. Some of the existing BX might not have the continuous strip inside for the ground, so it might need replacement too(I understand the risks with the ground in this case). It is also likely that certain circuits have too many outlets on them. It basically comes down to costs as there are at least 4 existing circuits with that type of issue. I am not trying to avoid doing the necessary updates, but due to costs I would like to have it done gradually and mostly by me. The wife will not wait for the kitchen though, so I am getting someone else to do it, but I want to limit it to the strictly necessary work.

Is the electrician whose work will definitely be inspected allowed to just remove one outlet from the old circuit and leave the rest of the circuit alone (for me to do whenever, say next year) or does he need to get the old circuit up to code because he touched it?
 

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Licensed Electrical Cont.
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Kitchen counters require 12awg wire and 20A t-slots now in my area, so most of your existing wiring would be worthless
You're in Canada, the OP is in NJ. I have found kitchens are one are where codes do vary between the two.
 

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You guys will probably be there next code cycle
What are you talking about ? 20 amp T-slot receptacles on 20 amp circuits ?

I see absolutely zero need for it. When have you seen a residential appliance or tool that comes with a 20 amp plug ? Most of us are perfectly happy with 15 amp receptacles that are 20 amp pass thru rated.

I've got one 20 amp receptacle in my garage, but it is a twist lock not a T-slot.
 

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Canadian code make no distinction between commercial or residential and it requires T slots on 20 amp circuits.

Well not really you could use a 20 amp receptacle that is just the sideways blade excluding 15 amp devices.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Joed, I have never seen a 20 amp 120 volt receptacle that would exclude a 15 amp plug. Have you mixed it up with 240 device?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Apologies for not getting back to the discussion earlier. I was travelling this weekend. Thank you to everyone for the comments.

Kitchen counters require 12awg wire and 20A t-slots now in my area, so most of your existing wiring would be worthless
Yes, the two small appliance circuits are getting the 12awg wire, but hopefully the existing runs can remain in use for the lighting and extra outlets elsewhere in the same space.
 
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