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Thread: Entire home rewire by non-pro..

  1. #16
    DIY Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    If you have conventional, textured drywall I would find a good drywall contractor and leave all the repair work up to those folks. I've done a lot of remodel in our home and these guys are magicians at matching texture. It's also the least expensive trade and yet the most visible part of a remodel.

    Best $400 I ever spent doing remodel of a large master bath (250 ft. sq.) was to have someone vacuum out my blown in ceiling insulation so I could pull down the sheetrock. This let me do all the plumbing and rewiring from below. You might consider this in a few areas of your house, especially the kitchen which typically has the greatest concentration of loads. The other problem in the kitchen will be the backsplash which is likely tiled. You will probably want to open this up in order to rewire these outlets. The MB I recently finished has 13-14 lights, two whirlpool circuites, etc.

    Rick

  2. #17

    Default Great Info!

    Thanks again for the advice. I have s few comments/questions. I'll probably have a courtesy inspection soon so I'll be able to find out some of this directly but...

    Is there such a thing as a "35%" rule that states that if I upgrade more than 35% of the electrical I have to go ahead and do it all and therefore bring the house fully up to code? This would require me to do the basement appartment and EVERY detail of 2008 code.

    Can I have outlets in the baseboards in this older home or do I have to move them up to 16" or whatever the spec is. I have plaster walls so this becomes huge...

    Is it true that a licensed electrician cannot connect their work to mine (non-licensed)? This kills my hopes of doing some of the work myself and having a pro do the mains, panels, etc. This is where I have to have an electrician that will "work with me".

    $25K for an upgrade is only an estimate, not a quote. I've just never heard of a full rewire for less than $20K and based on the size and age of the house I just can't imagine it being any less than $25K and probably a lot more. Did I mention plaster walls and minimal removal? This is why I need to do it as I realize it's going to be a pain. Still, it's not rocket science and I just don't want to pay a pro salary to do the dirty work. I'm fine with paying for knowledge I don't have, but my backwork is free and just as good as anyone's...

    I do have pleanty of general construction/handyman experience. I've been through a 1908 remodel that involved structural, framing, plumbing, electrical, drywall, etc, etc,. I haven't seen it all but I do realize what I'm getting into. I've learned not to underestimate any project in an older home as you never know what you'll find. This is by no means an exception.

    The house does have galvanized pipes and I don't want to replace if I don't have to. If necessary, I'm "licensed" and experienced with pex...

    I am planning on AFCI/GFCI and linked smoke detectors as I thought they were required by 2008...

    G

  3. #18
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    There is no height above floor requirement on standard wall outlets.

    There is nothing in the NEC about a requirement to change it all if you do a certain percentage. There is a requirement that if you put in a new circuit that it must be to code.

    There are code provisions permitting the extension of ungrounded circuits that may exist. You will probably need to use those provisions if you want/need to leave ungrounded circuits in some walls.

    There is nothing about a licensed electrician not connecting to work by others. They are responsible for their own work. They might not want to connect to a non-compliant circuit. Also, it would be best to not do work yourself while they are doing their part. I would have my own work inspected; let the electrician do his work and have it inspected; then do any more work that I wanted to do.

    If you are going to have the service upgrade done professionally, I would have that done first and hook up the existing panel as a subpanel to be removed later. You could leave your existing circuits in place while you connect the new circuits to the new panel. If the new main is close to the old you might be able to extend the circuits to the new and rip out the old panel.

    You don't want to connect a bunch of new circuits to the old panel and then have to move them.

    The code that applies is usually the code that is in force when you pull the permit. That is why you might want to pull the permit in 2007 so the 2005 code applies. The new AFCI will be very expensive and many electricians feel that it is a useless device, not reliable and not well developed, pushed by the manufacturers.

  4. #19

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    The house does have galvanized pipes and I don't want to replace if I don't have to.

    Well...you just lost me there.

    I am one of those "do it right" kind of guys. If you are going thru the effort to reWIRE everything why would you no bring the rest of the mechanical up to date. Maybe it's regional because here there is almost NO galvanized left in working condition at this point.


    By the way, some of the worst work I've seen was done by "engineers". You will need to think like a simple mechanic to accomplish this task.

  5. #20

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    I agree with Alectrician. You are bringing the electrical code up to par and you're going to be tearing the place apart. Why not just do it right and replace all that crappy galvanized plumbing with copper or pex. Also if you're goign to dabble in electrical do so thoroughly and just do the entire job and do it right.

    I would consider the gravity of your decision today, several years down the road.

    Tom

  6. #21

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    Again, more good info/advice...

    Bob-Thanks for the code advice. What you are telling me would ease several of my biggest concerns. I'll find out for sure what is needed when I meet the inspector.

    As for the plumbing, you all are probably right and I may end up replacing it as well. I realize that it's very logical to do them both at the same time. I honestly just haven't studied it enough yet to see just how difficult it would be. The supply side doesn't concern me that much as pex is fairly easy to work with on old work, but the DWV side could get ugly. I really just need to put some more thought into it...

    As for engineers doing shitty work, I agree and have seen it. However a good engineer's thought process/detail/approach to a project like this could also be a good benefit I would think.

    G

  7. #22

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    The supply side doesn't concern me that much as pex is fairly easy to work with on old work, but the DWV side could get ugly
    Heh heh....mine did. My last project ended up snowballing into a total DWV replacement. Concrete slab, kitchen, laundry and two bathrooms. The only good news was A) the bathrooms were perimeter walls on the same side as the main and B) the 4" main was in excellent shape (installed after the original septic had been abandoned)






    PS. Plumbing and electrical are very much the same. It goes in one end and comes out the other.

    PS PS. No pex for me. I didn't trust in in the 80's when they called it polybutylene and I don't trust it now.
    Last edited by Alectrician; 11-29-2007 at 04:12 PM.

  8. #23
    Rancher
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    Why wouldn't he replace the plumbing at the same time as the electrical, probably cost...

    He's doing himself to be able to afford it.

    Engineer, or not he can do it.

    I've seen lots of trades persons that worked on my house that I wouldn't hire as a technician anywhere...

    Oh yes I am an Engineer, live on a ranch, acted as the G.C. built my own house, plumbed it and wired it my self, so far no leaks, or electrical failures.

    You do need to read a few books and go to the forums, but he's an engineer he can follow directions, he's not inventing anything.

    And most of all as an Engineer he has Common Sense.

    You expert tradesmen here may disagree with me but I've been hiring and firing employees for the past 30 years, and I don't rate someone on if they have a degree or not, I hire them on their knowledge and past experience which I check up on. Some of my best people don't have degrees, and some do.

    Rancher

  9. #24
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    I suspect that some of the engineer-bashing may stem from underlying inferiority complexes. Not all, but if the shoe fits, . . .

  10. #25

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    Don't take it personally if I mention engineers in a less than positive light.
    There is no question that most of them know a lot more than a simple mechanic like myself.....BUT almost every single day I see something that somebody was paid big bucks to engineer and design that is flat out dumb.

    My one request would be that after they design something on paper, they should personally install it in the field just one time. They would likely say "oh crap" and go back to the drawing board.

    One out of 50 times I say "now THAT is good design".

    Like those ceiling fan blades that slip on with the keyhole slot/clip thingy. Then in the same box you will get a remote reciever that has ZERO clearance when you try to stuff it into the canopy.

    I'm rambling. Good night.

  11. #26
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH View Post
    I suspect that some of the engineer-bashing may stem from underlying inferiority complexes. Not all, but if the shoe fits, . . .
    Spoken like an engineer...
    Master Plumber Mark:

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  12. #27
    Computer Programmer Bill Arden's Avatar
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    The inspector that inspected my work liked that I used deep outlets and had a drawing showing the plan. I also used 20 amp circuits as I tend to draw more current in my workshop.

    He said that DYI work tends to be better done in terms of details, while the pros do a better job of meeting the laws.

    Then again I ended up using 2-0 copper connecting to the 100 amp sub panel instead of #2 copper for the wires coming from the house panel. The inspector said it's fine.

    Back to the topic. I agree in that you should have a pro drop in the new panel or at least the meter and the "stack" (That's what it's called in these parts)

    A friend of mine had to do some work with knob and tube wiring and they did fine. It's all in the details.

    I know everyone complains about Aluminum, but I've found it to be very reliable in my non-house applications. Then again I like to use Alumaweld(sp?) to solder it.

    Things to watch for.
    1. "Back Stab" wired outlets. Place the wire around the screw or get the back clamp type.
    2. Pipe Grounding issues. This can get tricky. Personally I like CPVC.
    3. Coupled ground on GFI strings. I ended up having to buy a 240V GFI breaker because I ran a 12-3WG string for a dual 120V outlet pair of circuits.
    4. Sub panels can't tie Neutral to ground. So you have to run 4 wires and remove the "Bonding screw"
    Important note Ė I donít know man made laws, just laws of physics
    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.

  13. #28
    DIY Junior Member tinner666's Avatar
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    It's doable. I completely rewired a house of mine a few years ago. Had to install the meter and hook it up too. Richmond Inspector 'required' that. That was scary. Upgraded from a 60A to a 200A
    The rest of it was simple enough. I did have to take a simple test to show knowledge of resi electric.
    Good luck with the project.
    Frank Albert

  14. #29
    DIY Senior Member BrianJohn's Avatar
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    Whats required:

    Common sense
    Mechanical abilities.
    Basic understanding of the NEC.
    Have an electrician check the wiring.

    read a few books, take your time, and if you get in over your head GET HELP.

    And enough brain power to know when you are in over your head.

    When I did residential work one issue I saw with many home owner DIYers was not pulling long enough drops to the boxes. A little extra Romex cost pennies (OK dollars in today's copper market) but simplifies tying in.

    I have seen some scary things competed by home owners.

  15. #30
    DIY Junior Member tinner666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJohn View Post
    Whats required:



    When I did residential work one issue I saw with many home owner DIYers was not pulling long enough drops to the boxes. A little extra Romex cost pennies (OK dollars in today's copper market) but simplifies tying in.

    I have seen some scary things competed by home owners.
    For real! Pull enough to be able to scissor?? it into and out of the boxes. You always cut any excess off, but try to add an 1"!

    Do you sparkies have a word for that? My scissor expression?
    Frank Albert

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