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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am rewiring several rooms in my house do to a need for more receptacles in certain rooms and just a general need to organize the chaos that is how they wired everything. Lights and plugs together spanning multiple rooms, etc. To that end, I have a few questions regarding the NEC to ensure I have all of my facts straight. Most are hopefully simply "yes" or "correct" responses (hopefully)...

1. To separate the first floor lights onto new circuits from the wall receptacles, I am bringing 2 new 14/2 romex cables from the panel (which is in the basement) into the attic. The easiest path for these is to follow a drain pipe that stretches from the attic to the basement. Is it ok to follow this pipe with the romex?

2. I intend on adding some lighting in the attic. Are there any special rules for attic lighting and cabling? Such as...
A. Do lights in the attic require GFCI protection?
B. Is there a problem using the same circuit that serves the lighting on the first floor?
C. Can romex be staples to the bottom of the rafters to string the romex from rafter to rafter across the attic?

3. 99% sure on this one but since I am posting figured I'd double check...Receptacles in the bathroom need to be GFCI protected, but this DOES NOT need to be at the breaker level. If the first receptacle in the bathroom that ties back to the panel is a GFCI receptacle, a standard breaker can be used in the box correct?

4. A big question where I have some uncertainty...I am planning to cut out the drywall all around the perimeter of one room to add additional outlets (currently only 1 per wall and current code would require 2/3 per wall) to the room and "upgrade" to a 20 amp circuit with 12/2 romex. What are the rules/guidelines for running the cable through the studs, box to box? 2 of the walls are exterior walls, 1 is a load bearing, and 1 is a non-loading bearing in case the rules differ based on the load, etc. I read an ehow article that was just like drill a 1 inch hole in the studs and run your wire, but that seems a little fishy to me to drill a 1 inch hole in a 1.5 inch board. I know the guidelines for joists/headers is no drilling in the middle third of the span, 2 inches from either end of the board, hole no larger than 1/3 the width of the board. However, this doesn't seem to be possible with studs and I know new construction is wired box to box through the studs, so I am trying to figure out what the rules are for it.

Thanks again for all of your help.
 

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Really your questions can be answered by your local AHJ/Permit office. Every area is different. That means some may require a conduit with firestop, when going from a basement or crawl to a attic space. Some may state that electrical cannot be in the same chase as piping that carries liquids or venting for waste lines.

Also some may not require gfci, some may. As for lighting off of the outlets, no need to do it, unless you plan on placing say all bedrooms, bath, hall lights on one 15 amp circuit.

Keep in mind that you are changing the circuits, so that means that if you do not have AFCI breakers currently for bedrooms, they can require you to install them at this point.
 

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JOATMON
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I will answer to the best of my ability....some of our experts will chime in shortly to let me know how bad I hosed the answers....

1. To separate the first floor lights onto new circuits from the wall receptacles, I am bringing 2 new 14/2 romex cables from the panel (which is in the basement) into the attic. The easiest path for these is to follow a drain pipe that stretches from the attic to the basement. Is it ok to follow this pipe with the romex?

Should be ok....as long as it's behind a wall and protected. The NM cable (Romex) needs to be stapled to a stud.

2. I intend on adding some lighting in the attic. Are there any special rules for attic lighting and cabling? Such as...
A. Do lights in the attic require GFCI protection?
B. Is there a problem using the same circuit that serves the lighting on the first floor?
C. Can romex be staples to the bottom of the rafters to string the romex from rafter to rafter across the attic?

As far as I know, no issues there. The attic is not considered a living space, hence, it does not need the same protection. But, this is one case where you local authority may say different. Like Greg said...call your building dept.

3. 99% sure on this one but since I am posting figured I'd double check...Receptacles in the bathroom need to be GFCI protected, but this DOES NOT need to be at the breaker level. If the first receptacle in the bathroom that ties back to the panel is a GFCI receptacle, a standard breaker can be used in the box correct?

Yes. But that ckt has to be for that bathroom only. It can not serve any other rooms.

4. A big question where I have some uncertainty...I am planning to cut out the drywall all around the perimeter of one room to add additional outlets (currently only 1 per wall and current code would require 2/3 per wall) to the room and "upgrade" to a 20 amp circuit with 12/2 romex. What are the rules/guidelines for running the cable through the studs, box to box? 2 of the walls are exterior walls, 1 is a load bearing, and 1 is a non-loading bearing in case the rules differ based on the load, etc. I read an ehow article that was just like drill a 1 inch hole in the studs and run your wire, but that seems a little fishy to me to drill a 1 inch hole in a 1.5 inch board. I know the guidelines for joists/headers is no drilling in the middle third of the span, 2 inches from either end of the board, hole no larger than 1/3 the width of the board. However, this doesn't seem to be possible with studs and I know new construction is wired box to box through the studs, so I am trying to figure out what the rules are for it.

1' is a bit large....the largest I have done in my house is 3/4". 1.5" Board? Most studs are 2x4 or, 1.5x3.5. Hence, a 3/4" hole in a load bearing wall stud is not an issue. One key point, you want 1.5" from the edge of the stud to the hole. If closer, you need to put a nail block plate on it.

As for placement of boxes....there is not a number/wall...but rather, distance. Basically, a light with a 6' cord has to be able to reach an outlet on the wall...translation.....no more than 12' between outlets. I believe the code also says that if a wall is more than 2' wide...it needs an outlet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick, early replies...

For anyone who might be local and help clarify any local rules, I am located in RI.

Some comments that I would hope others can chime in on for further clarification...

1. I am pretty sure romex does not need to be staples in walls (hence the term ROMEx as in it can roam anywhere). I am unsure on the pipe issue. The romex would be stapled to a header on either end of where it comes through the hole in the wall (in attic and in basement). Greg had an interesting point because I was thinking along of the lines of a water leak in the pipe, not along the lines of a need for a firestop.

2. I was under this initial impression, but will verify local rules are not different.

3. Knew the circuit needed to be dedicated.

4. Duh...was visualizing the wrong dimension of the stud. Some of your math doesn't add up again, unless I am once again thinking of the wrong dimension. When you say "edge" do you basically mean "end" like the edge that would nail into the framing headers or 1.5 inches from the width edge of the stud. Assuming the former, because if the latter, 1.5+1.5+.75 (which is what you said you drill) is more than the width of the stud. As for the outlets, I am aware of the rules here. I was using the counts to illustrate just how lacking the house is in terms of receptacles with respect to current code. I am pretty familiar with the electrical part of the code, but when taking on big projects, I like to double check everything before I do a lot of work only to find out it is all wrong.

In reference to Greg's comments on no need to separate the lighting...

The wiring is really bad, I realize there is no requirement to do this, but it would bring things up to current code with the 20A circuit requirements in the living areas and correct major issues. For example, everything (lights and receptacles) from 1 bathroom, 1 bedroom, the hallway, and single receptacle from the living room are all on the same circuit and it is only 15 amps with no GFCI protection. 2 other rooms are also all tied together with everything connected on a different 15 amp only circuit. No dedicated refrigerator circuit, no dedicated microwave circuit, etc.
 

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Master Electrician
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A 20 amp branch circuit may supply an individual bath, receps,fans and lighting, etc. and that bath only. A 20 amp branch circuit may supply receps only in multiple baths, leaving the lighting,fans,etc. on other circuits.
 

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Lic Electrical Inspector
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My responses are in red;

I am rewiring several rooms in my house do to a need for more receptacles in certain rooms and justa general need to organize the chaos that is how they wired everything. Lights and plugs together spanning multiple rooms, etc. To that end, I have a few questions regarding the NEC to ensure I have all of my facts straight. Most are hopefully simply "yes" or "correct" responses (hopefully)...

No where in the NEC does it require each room to be on its own circuit. This is a misconception perpetuated by amatures and individuals with little or no knowledge or understanding of the NEC. Professionals generally do not do this because it adds to the cost of the installation. If your home is in a developement or trac housing than most likely this is how it is wired. It meets code and costs the cheapest. Of course local ammendments may require it. One 15A general lighting circuit is required for every 600 sq. ft of living space. The average house will need no more then three general lighting circuits on thr second floor. How the circuits are divided up is up to the electrician.

1. To separate the first floor lights onto new circuits from the wall receptacles, I am bringing 2 new 14/2 romex cables from the panel (which is in the basement) into the attic. The easiest path for these is to follow a drain pipe that stretches from the attic to the basement. Is it ok to follow this pipe with the romex? Yes.

2. I intend on adding some lighting in the attic. Are there any special rules for attic lighting and cabling? Such as...
A. Do lights in the attic require GFCI protection? No.
B. Is there a problem using the same circuit that serves the lighting on the first floor? No.
C. Can romex be staples to the bottom of the rafters to string the romex from rafter to rafter across the attic? Yes.

3. 99% sure on this one but since I am posting figured I'd double check...Receptacles in the bathroom need to be GFCI protected, but this DOES NOT need to be at the breaker level. If the first receptacle in the bathroom that ties back to the panel is a GFCI receptacle, a standard breaker can be used in the box correct? Yes.

4. A big question where I have some uncertainty...I am planning to cut out the drywall all around the perimeter of one room to add additional outlets (currently only 1 per wall and current code would require 2/3 per wall) to the room and "upgrade" to a 20 amp circuit with 12/2 romex. What are the rules/guidelines for running the cable through the studs, box to box? 2 of the walls are exterior walls, 1 is a load bearing, and 1 is a non-loading bearing in case the rules differ based on the load, etc. I read an ehow article that was just like drill a 1 inch hole in the studs and run your wire, but that seems a little fishy to me to drill a 1 inch hole in a 1.5 inch board. I know the guidelines for joists/headers is no drilling in the middle third of the span, 2 inches from either end of the board, hole no larger than 1/3 the width of the board. However, this doesn't seem to be possible with studs and I know new construction is wired box to box through the studs, so I am trying to figure out what the rules are for it. ANy hole within 1 1/4 of the nailing surface of the stud will require a nail plate. ANy hole larger then 1" in a 2x4 will need a nail plate. DO not drill holes in engineered lumber.
 

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" Euro " electrician
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5,369 Posts
I am rewiring several rooms in my house do to a need for more receptacles in certain rooms and just a general need to organize the chaos that is how they wired everything. Lights and plugs together spanning multiple rooms, etc. To that end, I have a few questions regarding the NEC to ensure I have all of my facts straight. Most are hopefully simply "yes" or "correct" responses (hopefully)...

Typically when you have one circuit span few room due the NEC only need 15 amp circuit for 600 Sq feet and some of the rooms are very light used so it can be tied together on that circuit and the other issue it will come up pretty often is the materals and labour to install we try to keep it in the balance with the set up and the answer will varies a little.

For myself that how I do that and make a note if some room have pretty hevey power device or some items that required a delecated circuit then we will add to it.


1. To separate the first floor lights onto new circuits from the wall receptacles, I am bringing 2 new 14/2 romex cables from the panel (which is in the basement) into the attic. The easiest path for these is to follow a drain pipe that stretches from the attic to the basement. Is it ok to follow this pipe with the romex?Oui just becarefull not to get it snagged that all

2. I intend on adding some lighting in the attic. Are there any special rules for attic lighting and cabling? Such as...
A. Do lights in the attic require GFCI protection?Non it not need to unless you have receptale but set one light socket near the scuttle hole then you can add second one if the attic is long. But if you going to install the receptale in Attic then get the GFCI receptale up there.
B. Is there a problem using the same circuit that serves the lighting on the first floor? Pas de probem ( no problem at all )
C. Can romex be staples to the bottom of the rafters to string the romex from rafter to rafter across the attic?Oui or there is other methold is that I use the 1X6 flat board and use that to nail on the cable on that board it look neater if you want to go that route.

3. 99% sure on this one but since I am posting figured I'd double check...Receptacles in the bathroom need to be GFCI protected, but this DOES NOT need to be at the breaker level. If the first receptacle in the bathroom that ties back to the panel is a GFCI receptacle, a standard breaker can be used in the box correct?Oui it is common to do that.

4. A big question where I have some uncertainty...I am planning to cut out the drywall all around the perimeter of one room to add additional outlets (currently only 1 per wall and current code would require 2/3 per wall) to the room and "upgrade" to a 20 amp circuit with 12/2 romex. What are the rules/guidelines for running the cable through the studs, box to box? 2 of the walls are exterior walls, 1 is a load bearing, and 1 is a non-loading bearing in case the rules differ based on the load, etc. I read an ehow article that was just like drill a 1 inch hole in the studs and run your wire, but that seems a little fishy to me to drill a 1 inch hole in a 1.5 inch board. I know the guidelines for joists/headers is no drilling in the middle third of the span, 2 inches from either end of the board, hole no larger than 1/3 the width of the board. However, this doesn't seem to be possible with studs and I know new construction is wired box to box through the studs, so I am trying to figure out what the rules are for it. Any hole you bore keep it in centre of the stud and most case 3/4 or 7/8" bit will useally do most of the time. However do not drill into engineered lumbers unless specficed in their instruction so try to advoid this part.

Thanks again for all of your help.
My answer in bleu however also check with your inspector office for your local code requirement which it may change anything as I quoted above and you may I say may need AFCI breakers if they do require it., So check it ahead of time before you do all the work in there.

Merci,
Marc
 
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