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Walls open compliments of hurricane Sandy

1482 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  fa_f3_20
Hey guys. My home was devestated by the hurricane and is now down to the studs, Panel was underwater (6 feet on my first floor). I am taking my time with the rebuilding and just now running bx for my new 220 service.

Question- While I have the walls open, what should I run? I'm kind of a techy guy and would like to add some bells and whistles. I have a wireless network but am thinking of running ethernet just in case. I've been out of the building game a while so I'm sure theres been some cool new improvements/

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what should I run? I'm kind of a techy guy and would like to add some bells and whistles.
To each his own. Take your pick.


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1. Thinking about a backup generator? You could arrange your panels as a main and a sub-panel, with all essential circuits on the sub. There have been a number of threads here on this topic over the last couple of months.
2. If you think you might want to do ethernet, at least run the conduit for it now. I'd go fiber at this point, you should never run out of bandwidth and its more secure.
3. Considering wind or solar? Maybe run some DC circuits to avoid having to convert the DC to AC.
Are you in an area that is likely to flood again? Do you have a basement?
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Over the years it seems everything video/stereo/computer is *constantly* changing!

One year it is TV to the roof antenna "flat" wire.

Then coax to cable TV.

Then Cat 5 ethernet.

Then coax to a satellite dish and each room needs a line to the dish.

Then back to coax to the antenna on the roof.

And now maybe HDMI, Coax, Fiber optic, WHO KNOWS????

Anyway I think the best would be a large double electrical box and large conduit in each room (anywhere you might possibly place a gadget) to the attic. Then you can run / replace with any wires needed in the future.

And these days there are all sorts of gadgets which replace electric switches. Old switches may have just 2 wires going to them (the wires which are switched). The new gadgets need an additional "neutral wire" to power the gadgets. Might add that to each switch location.

If you have a land line phone, there is nothing more handy than a wall phone jack in the bathroom! (Within reach of the toilet.)

Might want to poke around and look at home automation systems. See where all they run wires to or have a central control unit (hallway?), then run an empty conduit to that location from the attic.

Security system wires? Also don't forget smoke detectors with would work with the security system or would run off of 120 power, but be interconnected. (Different wiring for the different systems.)
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Thanks for all of the replies guys (even the bell & whistle graphic...guess I walked right into that one). Yes I'm still in a flood prone area (Rockaway Beach, Queens NY), no basement. Crawl space.
Surround sound if you're into that. Running the wires in the walls is nice.
Cat-6 to all tv locations, including RG-6. You can use Cat-6 for HDMI over Cat-6, and also RG-6 can be used for Component video feed if you are centrally locating a/v equipment somewhere out of the way, but high enough that it cannot be damaged if you get another storm surge.

Of course, if the house moves off of the foundation, there is nothing to save it. While you have the house walls open, I would be putting in straps that are used in Earthquake zones and hurricane zones to secure the walls and same for the roofing. Then Paint everything with a mold resistant coating, before putting back in insulation and the gypsum back up.
Cat-5e or Cat-6 to various locations around the house, particularly anyplace where you might have entertainment equipment, and also one to a location in each bedroom and living-type room near the door, at switch height. Speaker wire to places in walls/ceilings where you might want speakers. RG6 coax (not RG58) to locations where you might have a TV or entertainment equipment, including at least two runs to your main entertainment location, wherever it is (den or theater). Alarm wire to each door and window location, plus one to garage, one to each attic area (for heat sensors), and one to crawl space. Thermostat wire and Cat-5e/6 to each thermostat location, so you can have thermostats controlled by an automation system. Cat-5e/6 to every exterior door location. Also Cat-5e/6 to the interior near at least one location where you anticipate going in and out frequently, so you can install an alarm or home automation console (e.g., front door and interior door to garage). Alarm wire to at least one location in ceiling or high on wall in each room for motion or glass break sensors. I would advise home running all of this to a closet, garage, or utility room location where you can install phone, cable, entertainment, and alarm/automation gear. Also: two or three RG-6 to a location in the attic on the south side of the house, where you can get to them to install, say, a dish for satellite TV or radio. Alarm wire to locations where you want to have external alarm sounders/strobes, if you want that. And don't forget about Cat-5e/6 and maybe speaker wire to outdoor living locations, such as patios or pool decks.

Smoke alarms: My personal preference would be to run 4-wire Teflon alarm wire to each smoke detector location, and use low-voltage detectors connected to an alarm system. However, some code authorities freak when they see that in a residential location; they want to see the typical 120V/battery smokes all connected together with a tandem. If that's what you have to do, also sneak some 4-wire over to the vicinity of each box where a smoke is to be installed, and leave a leader so you can pull it in later.
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