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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
... I've never worked with any type of electrical wiring. I have experience in running networking cable, and I think I can figure it out, but I want to stay in line with building/fire codes. I'll try to be specific about my questions, but you may notice something I've left out - if you do, feel free to let me know.

  • How deep do my electrical boxes need to be? I was considering using a grid of 1"x3" furring strips (first layer horizontal, second vertical) with 3/4" rigid foam board insulation (R-5) - I've heard of low profile electrical boxes, but I've also heard they won't pass code. Any suggestions?
  • As I said, I only plan on roughing in the electrical. We have a breaker box in the basement, but I don't feel confident at all with messing around in it. Should I call an electrician now or should I just wait until I get everything roughed in for him? I've heard some electricians won't work in a "roughed in" environment and prefer to do everything themselves. Not sure if that's to make more money, or for some other safety reason I'm not aware of.
  • What gauge wire should I use? I plan on running 2 outlets every 6' (I read this was the standard?) as well as a mix of recessed lighting throughout the ceiling. Will I use the same wiring for all of these?
  • Is there a guide somewhere to roughing in electrical work? I had planned on just running all the cable to the boxes/breaker/lights and then just pulling an extra 1-2 feet to hang out for the electrician to terminate. Is that right?
Thanks!
 

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Electrical Contractor
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Most professional electricians prefer to do the whole job. You won't be saving much by attempting to do the rough-in yourself. There have been times where we were called in after the homeowner attempted to "save" some $$$ only to have to rip it all out and start over. Bottom line was the owner paid out 25% more than it would have cost if they had just called us in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Most professional electricians prefer to do the whole job. You won't be saving much by attempting to do the rough-in yourself. There have been times where we were called in after the homeowner attempted to "save" some $$$ only to have to rip it all out and start over. Bottom line was the owner paid out 25% more than it would have cost if they had just called us in the first place.
Thanks for the tip! From your experience, how would you suggest I avoid what happened to your customer? What are some typical DIY mistakes people make?
 

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This Old House has some examples, there are quite a few on here, etc. Most of the time, it is getting in over your head, and not understanding the scope of the work involved, and codes for the NEC/CEC, and local. First step, is putting everything on paper, and if you have to have a permit pulled for the work, plans will need to be drawn up, before any wire can even be stapled. Since you do networking, you also know that you should figure that in, along with any other a/v, catv or telephone, structured wiring, before putting sheetrock up.

Easier to figure in the now & future, then thinking about it afterwards.
 

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This Old House has some examples, there are quite a few on here, etc. Most of the time, it is getting in over your head, and not understanding the scope of the work involved, and codes for the NEC/CEC, and local. First step, is putting everything on paper, and if you have to have a permit pulled for the work, plans will need to be drawn up, before any wire can even be stapled. Since you do networking, you also know that you should figure that in, along with any other a/v, catv or telephone, structured wiring, before putting sheetrock up.

Easier to figure in the now & future, then thinking about it afterwards.
In NJ a plan is submitted with the permit. The plan will be reviewed before permit is issued.
You do not need an loutlet every 6 feet, you just have make sure that along a wall space, you are not more tha 6 feet from an outlet. That is why outlets are placed every 12 feet. Ant wall space 2 feet or longer requires an outlet, so if a wall space is 3 feet wide an outlet is required
 

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Electrical Contractor
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Thanks for the tip! From your experience, how would you suggest I avoid what happened to your customer? What are some typical DIY mistakes people make?
Don't try to start a project thinking you will get an electrician to finish it. You most likely WON'T save anything by "helping" ...

That being said, here are some things that we have had to correct when others have attempted this (in no particular order):
  • Outlets spaced too far apart, insufficent number to pass Code
  • Wires cut too short at outlet boxes, making it difficult or impossible to properly make up boxes
  • Improper or missing pressure connectors on bare grounding wires
  • Insufficent staples or straps on wires
  • Holes drilled into framing members too close to edge, requiring numerous nail plates
  • Too many conductors in outlet boxes
  • Too small boxes used for intended purpose
  • Hidden splices installed
  • Etc.

Just remember, there are many contractors that will charge you more if you want to help than they otherwise would have. Some of it is because of liability, but most of it is for what we in the trade call "aggravation" fees ... :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the tips everyone. Does anyone know what the depth on electrical boxes would have to be to pass code? I'm curious because we're trying to decide right now between a grid of 1" x 3" furring strips (first 5 horizontal rows, then vertical rows on 16" centers) or traditional 2x4 framing. We'll be using 3/4" rigid foam directly on the block. I'm wondering if the shallow electrical boxes we'd need to use with the furring strip layout would pass code or not?
 

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If you use furring strips, you would have to use 4"x4" boxes (1.5" deep) with appropriate mud rings. The mud ring would extend out thru the drywall.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you use furring strips, you would have to use 4"x4" boxes (1.5" deep) with appropriate mud rings. The mud ring would extend out thru the drywall.
If these are 1.5" deep, and I'm using two layers of furring strips (the grid I mentioned before), then I don't think these would extend past the drywall would they?
 

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You would need to add a mud or plaster ring to bring the face flush with the surface of the drywall. For 1/2" drywall use a 5/8" deep ring.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Can anyone help with these questions?


  • What gauge wire should I use? I plan on running 2 outlets every 6' (I read this was the standard?) as well as a mix of recessed lighting throughout the ceiling. Will I use the same wiring for all of these?
  • Is there a guide somewhere to roughing in electrical work? I had planned on just running all the cable to the boxes/breaker/lights and then just pulling an extra 1-2 feet to hang out for the electrician to terminate. Is that right?
 

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Suggest you go ahead and contact an electrician now and ask what he/she prefers. As stated previously, many will not work on rough-in wiring someone else has installed, so it's best to have the EC on board now before you find out everything has to be ripped out and the EC starts over.
 

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Again, two outlets every 6' is not required. One duplex must be within 6' reach of anywhere along the wall (not counting walls smaller than 3', IIRC), so approximately every 12' OC.

Though extra *well-placed* outlets never hurt.

IF you decide to pull the wire yourself, you'll want to probably run 14 awg on a 15 amp circuit. But you'll need to calculate the load you expect on this circuit to make sure you won't need to go 12 awg / 20 amp.
 

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This is very well said and worth repeating. I hate to say how many hours I've spent going behind the other guys who thought they knew what he was doing. I'm trying to rewire my old home and hate to admit the extra cost because of the many changes in the code that "I" didn't read up on.


Don't try to start a project thinking you will get an electrician to finish it. You most likely WON'T save anything by "helping" ...


That being said, here are some things that we have had to correct when others have attempted this (in no particular order):
  • Outlets spaced too far apart, insufficent number to pass Code
  • Wires cut too short at outlet boxes, making it difficult or impossible to properly make up boxes
  • Improper or missing pressure connectors on bare grounding wires
  • Insufficent staples or straps on wires
  • Holes drilled into framing members too close to edge, requiring numerous nail plates
  • Too many conductors in outlet boxes
  • Too small boxes used for intended purpose
  • Hidden splices installed
  • Etc.
Just remember, there are many contractors that will charge you more if you want to help than they otherwise would have. Some of it is because of liability, but most of it is for what we in the trade call "aggravation" fees ... :laughing:
 

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" Euro " electrician
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5,369 Posts
That being said, here are some things that we have had to correct when others have attempted this (in no particular order):
  • Outlets spaced too far apart, insufficent number to pass Code
  • Wires cut too short at outlet boxes, making it difficult or impossible to properly make up boxes
  • Improper or missing pressure connectors on bare grounding wires
  • Insufficent staples or straps on wires
  • Holes drilled into framing members too close to edge, requiring numerous nail plates
  • Too many conductors in outlet boxes
  • Too small boxes used for intended purpose
  • Hidden splices installed
  • Etc.

Just remember, there are many contractors that will charge you more if you want to help than they otherwise would have. Some of it is because of liability, but most of it is for what we in the trade call "aggravation" fees ... :laughing:
He did nail on pretty much on the spot and also from time to time with remodelings some area may not have enough circuits this is true with kitchen remodels I have ran into more than once. { either USA or France so it don't really amused me much anymore after doing this stuff for many years }

Merci,
Marc
 
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