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Thread: Pull New Wiring

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Missouri
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    6

    Question Pull New Wiring

    I'm getting started on a fixer-upper.

    It's a two story house with some very old wiring. The upstairs is going to get gutted and new sheetrock so I'm OK with wiring that. The downstairs has previously been somewhate remodeled with sheet rock over the old lathe and plaster. However, the old wiring was left in place with a few exceptions in a bathroom and a little in the kitchen. I've helped the previous owner (my father-in-law) replace a few light switches and found the insulation to be very brittle and fall right off the wiring. I want to do all new wiring since the place needs an upgraded panel anyway. I can probably get new wires up between the walls for the outlets but I'm wondering how I'm going to pull new wire for the lights.

    I know a guy that spliced the new wire to the old wire and pulled it through. I can't imagine how you'd get the splice around the corners.

    How do the pros do it? Remove small sections of sheet rock?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
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    645

    Default Re: Pull New Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by schanz View Post
    I'm getting started on a fixer-upper.

    It's a two story house with some very old wiring. The upstairs is going to get gutted and new sheetrock so I'm OK with wiring that. The downstairs has previously been somewhate remodeled with sheet rock over the old lathe and plaster. However, the old wiring was left in place with a few exceptions in a bathroom and a little in the kitchen. I've helped the previous owner (my father-in-law) replace a few light switches and found the insulation to be very brittle and fall right off the wiring. I want to do all new wiring since the place needs an upgraded panel anyway. I can probably get new wires up between the walls for the outlets but I'm wondering how I'm going to pull new wire for the lights.

    I know a guy that spliced the new wire to the old wire and pulled it through. I can't imagine how you'd get the splice around the corners.

    How do the pros do it? Remove small sections of sheet rock?
    If you are pulling new Romex by tying onto the knob & tube wiring, you may jump out a window. K & T is held into place with porcelain posts and pass though the joists in porcelain tubes. So you may have problems. Even early Romex was stapled into framing as well. Sometimes it can be do, though.
    Have you though about cutting up floor boards to access the areas you need to reach? Many older houses actually have had that done in the past, to do then what you are doing now. Best of luck, what ever route you take.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Missouri
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    6

    Default Re: Pull New Wiring

    Well, the wiring is not K&T. Most of these old homes around here were wired for the first time in the 40's or 50's. It's similar to romex but has a cloth type outer shell and brittle rubber insulation.

    The old timers pulled up the tongue and groove floor upstairs to run wires for the lights. I think your idea would be a good one. I will see if those boards are still loose. I need to do some repair on them anyway since i plan to refinish the wood floors.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    7,243

    Default Re: Pull New Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by schanz View Post
    The old timers pulled up the tongue and groove floor upstairs to run wires for the lights. I think your idea would be a good one. I will see if those boards are still loose. I need to do some repair on them anyway since i plan to refinish the wood floors.
    This is going to be your best bet, regardless of loose boards. Even if you were not remodeling, it's faster, easier, and cheaper to pull the carpet back and go through the floor than cut access holes through a ceiling.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Pacific Northwet
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    1,675

    Default Re: Pull New Wiring

    Get yourself a long, flexible drill bit such as a Greenlee D'VersiBit: http://www.mygreenlee.com/GreenleeDo...c_number=38128

    I bought one at Home Depot a few years ago, along with a guide handle.

    You can insert this drill bit through the switch box hole and drill a hole in the sole plate or the top plate of the wall without opening up the walls.
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Missouri
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    Default Re: Pull New Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    Get yourself a long, flexible drill bit such as a Greenlee D'VersiBit: http://www.mygreenlee.com/GreenleeDo...c_number=38128

    I bought one at Home Depot a few years ago, along with a guide handle.

    You can insert this drill bit through the switch box hole and drill a hole in the sole plate or the top plate of the wall without opening up the walls.
    These ceilings are 11 feet or more tall. I need to measure them to be sure. I hope they sell a longer bit. Besides, once I drill that hole, won't I still need to tear the floors up to find it?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    The Great White North
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    4,045

    Default Re: Pull New Wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by schanz View Post
    I'm getting started on a fixer-upper.

    It's a two story house with some very old wiring. The upstairs is going to get gutted and new sheetrock so I'm OK with wiring that. The downstairs has previously been somewhate remodeled with sheet rock over the old lathe and plaster. However, the old wiring was left in place with a few exceptions in a bathroom and a little in the kitchen. I've helped the previous owner (my father-in-law) replace a few light switches and found the insulation to be very brittle and fall right off the wiring. I want to do all new wiring since the place needs an upgraded panel anyway. I can probably get new wires up between the walls for the outlets but I'm wondering how I'm going to pull new wire for the lights.

    I know a guy that spliced the new wire to the old wire and pulled it through. I can't imagine how you'd get the splice around the corners.

    How do the pros do it? Remove small sections of sheet rock?
    Around here the homes of the vintage as yours only had 2 or 3 circuits feeding the all the lights and receptacles ..... it was common to have wiring run up to the ceiling fixtures and branched off to feed receptacles from there ..... oh and with the introduction of 3 conductor cables they sure made use of that.

    As for tying onto an existing cable to pull the new ..... good luck .... besides the change in direction they will be clamped somewhere as Ernie mentioned ..... unless you get lucky with a retro feed .

    The fact you can have access from the floor above is a huge bonus this will make things much more easier for you ....... also if you have access from a basement will also be a huge advantage.

    Side note .......... Personally I like have the lights and receptacles seperate from each other.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,843

    Default Re: Pull New Wiring

    Gut the upstairs first, you may find that you can feed new light wiring in from the side. Sometimes the space between the joists are accessible once the walls are stripped.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    jersey
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    174

    Default Re: Pull New Wiring

    The wire your describing wouldnt likely be installed in a house with plaster lath soooooo, just cut the sheetrock. If its plaster lath then heck yea go at the floor boards but I'm thinking its sheetrock....
    you want to do a nice job make one hole even if its ten feet long and 1 foot wide. use a chalk line to mark it... save the piece.... straight lines = invisable seems

    thats how i do recessed anyway, 1 big long hole. always in the ceiling never in the wall.

    drill up from the switch with a d'versabit...

    yes, they do make extensions for d'versabits but make sure you buy the extra handle for the bit, it stops you from destroying the wall around the hole and coming out where you dont want too...

    if I'm wrong and it is plaster lath it will be the first time I ever saw (or heard of in this case) plaster lath with that type of wire, and I would bet it was an upgrade (in which case you would not be having issues with deterioration)

    my 2 cents anyway
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,843

    Default Re: Pull New Wiring

    Llyod,
    Not sure how it is in your area but out here in the wilds that was wired by the REA, it is quite common to find "that kind of wiring" in plaster and lath homes. In fact it is more common than K&T unless you are in the city.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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