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Thread: Re wiring to to 12-2 /14-2

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    Default Re wiring to to 12-2 /14-2

    Tomorrow i will start getting estimates for a re wire of this house that was built in the late 50's.Just wanted to get some prior knowledge and heads up from here prior to those estimates.. The wire for everything electrical in this house right now is copper that has a black and neutral wire wrapped in a almost fiberglass looking woven cloth insulation material. I guess back when this house was built a ground was not used?? The big thing is after the re wire have a ground,for some good safety and insurance reasons.

    Can new wire be routed into all the existing metal receptacle and switch boxes? or do new boxes need to be cut into all the walls?

    What happens to the old wire within the framed? does it just get cut and left as it seems to be stapled ,or somehow pulled out?

    In a possible short interim to re wireing to get a ground at a receptacle: can the black and neutral wires be hooked up as usual,then hook up a short piece of bare copper wire from the green screw on the receptacale then attaching the other end of that bare wire to the metal box?

    sorry to be so long winded..
    Thanks all!!

  2. #2
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solutions View Post
    What happens to the old wire within the framed? does it just get cut and left as it seems to be stapled ,or somehow pulled out?

    In a possible short interim to re wireing to get a ground at a receptacle: can the black and neutral wires be hooked up as usual,then hook up a short piece of bare copper wire from the green screw on the receptacale then attaching the other end of that bare wire to the metal box? Thanks all!!
    You can put new wires in the old boxes and just cut off both ends of the old wire and leave it.

    You can also get a safe circuit by using that old wire and installing GFCI receptacles at the first receptacle location on each circuit.

    You can't ground the old circuits by just running a ground wire from the device to the box, because it won't be grounded back to the panel. It will not have any effect.

    You will probably be shocked at the cost of running new wire and may decide to use the old with GFCI protection. It is hard to run new circuits if you don't have access above and/or below the walls where the receptacles are located.

  3. #3

    Default Re: re wireing

    Thanks so much for the reply Bob NH! Seems i picked an unpopular subject to ask about...lol only one reply...lol Anyway more questions i have as you perhaps might have imagined..

    I like the idea of the GFCI and the use of the existing wireing.Locating the first receptacle in a particular circuit? would it be the receptacle with a direct wire coming right from the breaker panel? (the receptacle with two black and two neutral wires coming in to that box?) Do light switches get GFCI? reason i ask this is because the back porch light switch has two black and two neutral wires going to the switch.

    As well, is this a code compliant way to acheive a grounded circuit do you know?

    Other than safety first,the other main reason for this whole grounding/circuit thing is to have property insurance recognize it ,for lower premiums and a better risk to hazard to insure. I have endless questions regarding that..lol

    Thanks again Bob NH! and anyone else,electricians,sub contractors,diy,ers etc.!

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    Computer Systems Engineer jdoll42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solutions View Post
    Thanks so much for the reply Bob NH! Seems i picked an unpopular subject to ask about...lol only one reply...lol Anyway more questions i have as you perhaps might have imagined..

    Thanks again Bob NH! and anyone else,electricians,sub contractors,diy,ers etc.!
    I'm an avid DIY'er, not a pro. My only tidbit of advice is to check your local codes. Where I live, 14-gauge wire is a big no-no. Even if it's only a 15A circuit. Even if it's just a single light fixture. Doesn't matter. Gotta use at least 12-gauge.

    Now that I think of it, I don't think they allow 15A circuits for general lighting or receptacles. I made all mine 20A because that's just the way I am, but I that might be a local code thing too.

  5. #5

    Default re: re wireing

    Thank you for your reply jdoll42 just got it now 10:09PM EST. Oh yah before i make a move whether it be a diy or an electrician i will check with the codes that are applicable to this state ,and what they call for on this. That thought to passed through my mind you brought up about the right gauge wire to be used...

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    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solutions View Post
    I like the idea of the GFCI and the use of the existing wireing. Locating the first receptacle in a particular circuit? would it be the receptacle with a direct wire coming right from the breaker panel? (the receptacle with two black and two neutral wires coming in to that box?) Do light switches get GFCI? reason i ask this is because the back porch light switch has two black and two neutral wires going to the switch.

    As well, is this a code compliant way to acheive a grounded circuit do you know?

    Other than safety first,the other main reason for this whole grounding/circuit thing is to have property insurance recognize it ,for lower premiums and a better risk to hazard to insure. I have endless questions regarding that..lol
    There may be several receptacle outlets on circuits with two black and two white wires in the box. You want to find the first one after the circuit breaker panel.

    Light switches don't require GFCI circuits but you could use them to make the system safer.

    The purpose of the ground is to trip the breaker if there is a short that could cause a fire or other hazard. The purpose of the standard GFCI is to cause it to trip at about 0.006 Amp which is considered to make it safe against human injury.

    An alternative to putting a GFCI at the first receptacle would be to put a GFCI circuit breaker in the panel. They are usually more expensive than receptacles but if you are paying someone to put in receptacles it may be less expensive to replace the breaker.

    A GFCI does not produce a grounded circuit. It produces a circuit that is safer because it trips the breaker in case of a ground fault.

    Insurance companies may not recognize the use of GFCIs as a substitute for grounded circuits. You should get that straightened out before you invest in something they won't recognize.

  7. #7
    Computer Systems Engineer jdoll42's Avatar
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    Another thought I had relates to bedroom outlets. Here, code requires arc-fault breakers for all receptacles in bedrooms. You may want to check up on that too while you are at it.

    Note: Arc-fault breakers are NOT Ground-fault (GFCI) breakers. They are a completely different beast. The explanation I was given is they are designed to trip if something short-circuits (i.e. scissors in an outlet) before there is a dangerous arc or spark that might injure someone, specifically a young child who may not know better.

  8. #8

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    GENERALLY we don't completely re wire. We don't have basement access here (on slab construction) or real attics. A lot of drywalll has to be opened up.


    We will add new kitchen and appliance circuits, upgrade the service and bonding but usuall go with GFCI breakers to protect the general receps and lighting circuits and allow the use of new grounded outlets.


    When we do install new wiring we almost never leave the old metal boxes.

    New plastic boxes are non conductive and have much more room for wiring and devices. Also, removing the old box allows you better access as you can get your hand/tools into the wall.

    Pull as much old romex out as you can. I pound of scrap = 1 gallon of gas

    hook up a short piece of bare copper wire from the green screw on the receptacale then attaching the other end of that bare wire to the metal box?
    That wont accomplish anything. The metal box isn't grounded. It's a jumper from nowhere.

  9. #9

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    I have never heard of a jurisdiction that does not accept #14 wire for residential use on lighting and general use circuits.
    When I re-wired a house because an insurance co. required the owner to do it, they wanted all new wire-including the doorbell wire! And of course GFCI and AFCI where required.
    My insurance form just asks if you have circuit breakers or fuses.

  10. #10
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ked View Post
    I have never heard of a jurisdiction that does not accept #14 wire for residential use on lighting and general use circuits.
    Sure you have: St.Louis. See Jdoll's post, above.

    NYC also requires minimum 12-gauge, on any circuit.

    That makes two.

    I think Chicago does, as well, but I'm not sure.
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    Electrical Contractor jbfan74's Avatar
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    Coweta County, Ga does not allow #14 in a house.
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