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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Pacific Northwet

    Default Re: Should I rewire my 1957 home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastercarpentry View Post
    I like the idea of a re-wire, not so much that it's really needed, but as with it you will be somewhat safer and you can add more outlets.
    You may have heard of the "six foot rule" which is often interpreted to mean that outlets can't be more than six feet apart. This is a misunderstanding of the rule.

    The rule actually says something like "no part of usable wall space shall be more than 6 feet from an outlet." That means that on a long wall, outlets can be up to 12 feet apart. However, the outlet has to be within 6 feet of a doorway. And walls can turn corners, so if there's an outlet 4 feet from the corner, the outlet on the other wall can be 8 feet from the corner (since 2 feet from the corner is within 6 linear feet from the outlet on the first wall). However, keep in mind that the fixed portion of a sliding or french door is considered usable wall space, so if you've got a 6' sliding patio door, you must have an outlet within 3 feet of the jamb on the fixed side.

    But what's considered "usable wall space?" Somebody more familiar with the codes will have to answer that.

    As it stands, considering today's typical demands for electricity, the code minimum is not enough outlets. You could double it and turn it into a 3 foot rule (no point along wall more than 3 feet from an outlet) for 6 foot spacing, but I think I'd lean toward putting 4-plex outlets in key areas like bedside stands, desks, and catch-all nooks.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: Should I rewire my 1957 home?

    Thanks for the thoughts everyone.

    I confirmed that the outer sheath of the original wiring is indeed braided cloth. I also spoke with my insurance agent and there is no issue of coverage nor would there be a discount if I replaced the wiring. I imagine this concern is highly dependent on locale and insurance company, so everyone should do this investigation themselves and not rely on my experience.

    I will be doing a more complete analysis of the loads to determine if more circuits are required, but even if they are, I can do that without opening the walls by splitting them up where they are accessible in the attic. However, the loads we are dealing with now in 2013 are very different from 10 years ago when our CRT televisions and other such things were placing huge loads on these older circuits. With a few exceptions, our individual appliances are consuming much less power, and lighting is greatly reduced (6x for equivalent lighting using LEDs, still 3x if we double the existing fixtures/lumens). The number of plugs has definitely gone up though - how many 5V chargers do you have in your bedroom? ;-)

    The point about costing out the options is well taken and I'm in the process of doing that. I have a bid for insulation with blow-in fiberglass as well as with bats should I decide to open the wall. Of course the third option is to do the bats myself as that is easy enough once the walls are open. Next up, drywall bids (and I must resist the urge to inflate that to blue-board and plaster.....)

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