Rewiring #2: Drillin', Cuttin' & Dust Everywhere

Blog entry by Dan Lyke posted 07-30-2014 05:54 PM 6368 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Subpanel blues Part 2 of Rewiring series Part 3: Finished and Signed Off! »

So: Template, made of two pieces of ¾” plywood: One has squares cut out for the two sizes of boxes (1 gang and 2 gang), one holds it the appropriate distance off the floor, and is on the outside so that it goes over baseboards.

Run around the house, measuring to where we think we’ll miss a stud. Draw the appropriate box on the wall. Bash a hole in the middle of it with a big screwdriver. Take the Sawzall™ with the diamond edged masonry blade, carefully cut out a hole (the house is plaster over button board, a lot harder than drywall). Holes all over the house, including a few that’ll need a touch of patching.

And, of course, some of those walls are thinner than the blade, which meant I bent a couple of blades when I banged them into the other side…

For the existing boxes, we actually cut them out of the wall, which left a bigger hole than we’d like, but mostly worked.

For interior holes, we drilled down through the new receptacle holes. Dinged up the wall a bit, but that way we could be sure we were hitting the wall.

For the holes around the exterior walls, I went into the crawlspace with a ¾” auger bit on an extension, measured from the corner of the house, drilled up, pushed wire up, Charlene grabbed it, and we went around the house.

Sunday afternoon we were able to flip the breakers back on and had power to the house. I still need to go under the house, put up 1×4 runner boards for the runs orthogonal to the floor joists (even though it’s in difficult to access space, my read of code is that I have to do all runs of #12 wire on a backer, lest someone try to hang clothes on it).

So, a few things left to do:

  1. Wire in the wired smoke & CO detectors, and the warning strobes. Because we’re doing so much work, city decided we should bring all the electrical up to modern code, and that includes wired sensors. Even though you still have to replace the batteries in them every year, and even though you should replace them every 10 years, and even though there are modern detectors with 10 year batteries. Go figure.
  2. Flip kitchen and bath sockets. I went with ground pin up, for all the ground pin up reasons, but we decided that the tide is too big to hold back and so went ground pin down on these new ones. We should be consistent.
  3. Double check the lighting stuff we already did, and amend the permit for all the places we did other things (ie: we ran two extra lights, we probably need to put motion and light sensors on one set of exterior lights).
  4. Staple the stuff in the crawlspace (obviously).
  5. Cover up the access hole we cut for the runs from the new panel to the crawlspace.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/

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