09:49PM | 01/17/99
I've read about wiring issues here, and the issues related to grounding. I too have an older home (1948) without grounded wiring. The wire cables are sheathed with cloth. A couple years ago I was replacing the kitchen ceiling lamp and the wire insulation was brittle. I replaced the brittle insulation with shrink wrap and made an effort to not move the wire. This gave me an idea of he condition of the wiring.

I would like to upgrade to grounded outlets throughout the house. The service panel (with circuit breakers) is in the attached garage, however the walls are finished so its not clear how the wiring enters the rest of the house, but I'm assuming its through the ceiling. The ceiling has about 4 inches of blown insulation. I've climbed up there, and did find some wiring, but that wiring might only be related to hall lights.

I haven't been able to find out if/where the wiring runs down into the walls.

I was thinking of fishing new cable down the walls to the new outlets. In places where the outlets are under a window, I'll replace these with two outlets on opposite sides of the windows (these windows are 7 feet wide).

In the garage, I've removed some drywall. I discovered horizontal braces between the studs. I'm assuming these are used throughout the house and will be a problem. To make a hole all the way down, I figure I'd get some sort of drill attachement and work from the attic. Though this will be a problem near the outer walls as there isnt much attic space.

The walls are plaster over metal lathe; opening up the walls would be a _big_ project that I'd like to avoid. It occured to me that the existing wiring may be in the crawl space. I haven't checked, and it doesnt make sense to me. Am I right?

So.. how would you go about re-wiring an older home?



01:19PM | 01/20/99
The first thing about electrical wiring is do not assume anything. You must hunt and find or forget about them. My advice is just ignore the old wiring and start from scratch. The wires should be stapled along the studs so you probably will not be able to use them to fish with anyway (try one when you start just to make sure, since if they are not stapled it can save you a great deal of work).
The horizontal bracing between studs was used predominately for balloon frame houses as firestops. If yours is not balloon frame then you really should not have them between every stud in the walls.
All of the wires should be run from the basement to the first floor and from the attic to the second floor. Run all of the circuits to the attic through one large hole and pull as many as you can on the first pull. The only messy part of the job is running the wire to the lights on the first floor. You are going to have to make holes to be able to drill through the ceiling joists. Try to make them close to the wall so that your patching will be out of sight.
I remove all of the old recepticle and switch boxes since it saves a great deal of time. Install all new boxes. If you can, mark all of your wire locations in the attic and ceiling and rent a right angle drill for one day. It will save you time and aggrevation.

If you are capable of rewiring yourself, your savings could be from $6000 to $12000. I am tired of typing so good luck.
If you have other questions you can Email or use the sight again.


11:00AM | 02/01/99
Another way to re-wire older homes is with surface raceway. There are two common types, Metallic(Wiremold is a popular choice) And plastic. Plastic will crack if i is hit to hard so i wouldnt recommend it. The only thing i would use it for is low voltage wires(Doorbell, Phone, Cable tv.)
The Wiremold is expensive. About a dollar a foot. But it is well worth it. It will save alot of time and aggrivation. When using Wiremold instead of using regular sheathed electrical cable you should use either THHN or THWN. It is basically only one conductor. It costs more but it is better than having to strip sheathed electrical cable. You also have to use surface mounted boxes. Just follow the directions on the packages. If you have any questions just e-mail me at Cyberdust1&

Good luck

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