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My home was built in 1927 and some of the electrical has been updated and some is still knob and tube. When I say updated, nothing seems to be grounded but it's newer than the know and tube. The panel has been updated with push to reset breaker switches and it has a secondary fuse box running from it to a workroom in the basement. All of this wiring runs through the basement ceiling and ends at the panel located under the first floor kitchen sink and the second floor bathroom. (It seems like the last place I would put it but I only just a visitor in the electrical world).

The entire house has plaster which is separating from the lathe so I have to drywall over it this summer so access inside walls is possible but I'm not removing plaster and lathe, I'm just putting drywall over it. I don't mind cutting into wall is my point if needed in order to do this project.

What I would like to do is replace everything but that's expensive and this Money Pit demands a lot of resources that I don't have. My idea is to run the wiring myself and have a real-life electrician come in to update the panel and connect everything properly. I know I made that sound simple and probably couldn't be more incorrect.

My questions at the moment would be does this sound sane and will I be able to get a professional electrician to even consider this and not waste their time? What would be your recommendation on running new wiring from the second floor to the basement? Is it better to run directly down individually or can this be channeled to one place and then dropped down to the basement? I have an area I was going to put in a laundry shoot from 2nd floor to basement and have some space for that.

Finding an electrician to do this may be hard enough but I'm probably going to need technical support along the way. How do I approach an electrician about offering advise so that when he/she comes in to complete the work, it will done right and be ready for them. I have no issue paying for someone's time and knowledge but this all seems rather outside the norm and I want to be respectful and fair.

Lastly, I'm admittedly an electrical idiot. I can run wiring and connect single pole switches, install a ceiling light and replace outlets but that's it. Two switches and one light is way beyond what I can comprehend. I wish I got it or could get it but I can admit my failures and the world is a safer place if I don't connect wires. I will stick to drywall or plumbing or anything other than electrical. Thanks to all taking the time to read this and assist.
 

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It can be tough finding an electrician to agree to this as they are somewhat taking responsibility for your work. I would definitely find the electrician before assuming you will and beginning to run cable.
 

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What i did was go to the electrical wholesale store where contractors buy supplies and asked them if they knew someone that would work with me.

The guy I used, didn't want be to do anything with wires but he came in and marked where everything would go. So I cut and drilled all the holes and when he came I worked with him to pull wires and set boxes. He supplied everything so I didn't have to worry about box fill or wire size or type. Most all the old boxes and wire was left in walls. Mine was all new with new meter and mast so I was on the old until hydro came and pulled one meter and installed the new, then I salvaged what wire I could.
 

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In reference to your question about the top floor(s). I re-wired this house, I set a 200 amp panel on each floor. I also set a 200 amp panel for the kitchen alone. I always use a single joist bay for all wiring to be run. That way if ever needed, I do not have to walk 3 floors to the basement to turn off a circuit, or anything like that.

There is no reason you would have to cut channels or holes in the walls or ceilings. They are already there. Use them, and the old wire to pull in the new wire. I used the same holes and installed new metal boxes where ever I wanted. I increased the number of outlets per room. Average number in each room is now 16, some with 20 some with 12. I put one half of each room on a single circuit. I never design a circuit to have more than a single room. Most of this house is designed with 2 power and a single lighting circuit in each room. I never mix power and lights on the same circuit. This entire house is still plaster walls and ceilings. I will never cover them or remove the plaster. This house is now 130 years old.
I would not really want to do part of any job. That is my name on the bottom of the painting at the end. You may start by doing little parts at a time. Any room(s) that you don't use on a regular basis you can start on that one at anytime. Or wait to do it later. A re-wire does not have to be completed all at the same time. You may even contact a local vocational school to hire some helpers that want to get some experience. I did that for the time I was working on this house. It gave them some real world experience and gave me some help. But I was the leader. They did exactly what I told them. They were amazed at the way I designed this, planned it and executed the plan. Some things I did took longer than some other electricians would have taken, but I work on quality, not quantity.
 

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A lot of those old houses were built with fire stops placed in the walls.

Fire stops are a PIA when it comes to a rewire project in old houses. If you have them they should be maintained and properly sealed as part of your project.
 

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I know this post is about re-wiring your house, however I want to make a comment about something else.

If your plaster is already coming loose from the lathe, I personally feel that you may be making a mistake by trying to reattach it back with drywall. To me, that seems like a nightmare waiting to happen.

It would seem to make more sense to remove the areas of failing plaster and then cover it with the drywall. If the voids are large, then perhaps fill them with mud first. Or remove all the the remaining plaster on that wall.

Regarding the rewiring, Andrews way of doing it makes a lot of sense and for the most part would be the ideal way to go. However, it is the most expensive way of doing it. But, I still love his way of splitting the load and making sure that half the room stays powered if at all possible.

Finding a bay to run all the wire down is a good way to do it. Or you can run it in large conduits, just making sure not to over do it.
 

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First of all, before you do anything,
Find an electrician who is willing to work with you,
As already said many are uncomfortable with it,
Bring the electrician to the house and show him what you want to do,
Then he can balance that with code and tell you what you can do,
You may be able to run the cables for instance,
And he can then hook them up, if correct.
good luck !
:vs_cool:
 

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The panel has been updated with push to reset breaker switches and it has a secondary fuse box running from it to a workroom in the basement.
That doesn’t sound like a recent update. If those are Pushmatic breakers, they are most likely from the 50s or 60s. A fuse box might be from the same time or perhaps earlier.

If it were mine, I’d start with a new main panel. I’d get rid of the fuse box. Whether I would go with a sub-panel or just incorporate them into the main would depend on the layout and loads.
 

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Have an electrician do all of the following with no wire stringing or other divvying up of work with you:
New meter and service.
New large panel in basement
New (physically) medium sized panel on first floor
New medium sized panel on second floor.
Fat cable from basement panel to feed new first floor panel.
Fat cable from new first floor panel to feed panel under kitchen sink.
Fat cable from basement panel to new second floor panel.
Fat cable from new second floor panel to second floor bathroom panel

After that (the above all as one project) is done you can get a second permit for the small stuff. You can gradually string wire, adding new circuits, lights, switches, etc. or moving existing circuits from the old panel(s) to the new panels staying on the same floor for each run. If/when all of the circuits are removed from an old panel, that old panel can be removed for good.

When old knob and tube wiring is removed, new wiring can temporarily re-energize orphaned sections of K&T not yet removed. But remaining K&T wiring or other non-compliant or ungrounded circuits may not be used to temporarily energize new wiring or re-energize different parts of K&T that got orphaned.

K&T should be removed as quickly as possible since more and more insurance companies are dropping coverage or no longer covering houses with K&T.
 

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It sounds like you have more issues in your 1927 palace than just electrical. In a house that old, do you even have insulation in the exterior walls? Plaster failing, but do you know why?

Sometimes when you look at a particular project like electrical updates, you start to uncover other issues. Its called "unintended consequences". Happens all the time. While the electrical needs were your primary issue, you went on to mention the failing plaster. If it was my house, I would be asking myself some questions like why is the plaster failing. Do I have insulation issues, water leaks or water vapor issues that are causing material failures.

I don't mean to rain on your parade, but I think you need to take a second look. The electric may become a secondary issue.
 

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Hammered Thumb
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I don't think the OP is saying she has existing panels on each floor, just a main panel (which happens to be located in the basement directly below bursting water fixtures on the 1st and 2nd floors which concerns her) and a sub going into another basement room probably for a PO's woodshop or something.

Keep it simple, no need for multiple panels and excessive cost. Pay the $1600-2400 or whatever for an electrician to give you a new permitted main panel. Over time either learn yourself (allowed in most AHJs) or have an electrician do a floor (i.e 2nd bedrooms) or room (i.e. kitchen) when funds/remodeling schedule allows it.

Your specific question on wiring revolves around "homeruns" vs "branches" to junction boxes. Typically, Romex is run via homeruns all the way back to the panel. It can be done piecemeal, but you don't have boxes already installed with the K&T. How much demo and access might determine which way an electrician would run something. Also in a house you don't have anywhere you would want a few junction boxes (like an electrical closet) and using fixture boxes may not have enough room for all the passing circuits.

If it were me, I'd be gutting and removing the K&T. Too many risks, a connection can still heat up before a 15amp circuit trips, later insulation added around the K&T, etc etc.
 
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