Replace all Wiring that was Stolen any great suggestion???????????

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by DJhandy, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. DJhandy

    DJhandy New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    FLORIDA
    Have a 05 house on slab all the wiring was cut & removed from the attic cut off at the top plate. Looking for ideals on best way to replace. Think I will start with the AC.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    You need a top notch electrician. Slapping in some new cables with a bunch of J-boxes in the attic sounds like a recipe for a disaster. Sounds to me like a complete rewire is needed.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,882
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    ANYTHING you could do would require at least a short section of wire above the plate, but I am sure they cut it flush to get as much wire as they could. A complete rewire will be less expensive as far as the electrical work is concerned, but will require quite a bit of drywall repair.
  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,250
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    While it might be possible to fish new wire through the walls for some of the circuits, if the wallboard is drywall it would be more cost efficient to cut out drywall and do a complete rewire.
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    question for the electrician: in the scenario of this thread, needing to rewire virtually a whole house, could you get a waiver on the requirement to staple the wire near the box, this reducing the amount of drywall ripout needed to rewire the boxes?"???
  6. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,542
    Location:
    North Carolina
    As an electrical contractor I would deal with the homeowner’s insurance and everyone else would be left in the dark until after the work was completed.

    In the event of no homeowner’s insurance then the deal would be struck with the financial intuition the owner would be using to pay for the repair.

    At any rate he is looking at a handful of dollars to affect the needed repairs. I am assuming that no one was in the house when this happened therefore the homeowner must be using this as rental property in which case insurance will be involved.
  7. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    351
    Location:
    Colorado
    It is allowed. No special dispensation needed.
  8. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Thanks very much for the code reference. Often we wish the plumbing codes had such great detail, instead of so much being left to interpretation.!
  9. DJhandy

    DJhandy New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    FLORIDA
    Thanks for the info on securing the wire, I needed that. I was looking for ideals on best ways to proceed. I might farm some of it out and do some. I thought about having the insulation sucked out of the attic and replaced afterwards. I think I will do more fishing and less cutting. I appreciate all the assistance and suggestions.
    I just purchased the house, all wire cut flush with top plate and they might have ruined condenser for 3' of copper lines.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,882
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A vacant house does NOT have any insurance.
  11. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    351
    Location:
    Colorado
    If I were to do the job there there would be some j-boxes in the attic. They would be strategically placed and properly sized but, to go from point to point all the way down the stud cavity and back up again would be too much work.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,882
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You are assuming they left a "stub" above the plate that you can connect to, probably using "crimps", but that might NOT be the case.
  13. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Messages:
    392
    What you have there is a mess, but you already know that. This is the type of job that if you farm it out to an electrician you will pay a fortune b/c it is a very labor intensive job, but if you are willing to put in some sweat equity you could probably save yourself 75% over hiring someone. Also your house is relatively new so the current layout of outlets and lights should be close to current code.

    1. If this house is a single floor and has a full attic there is really no need to tear down the sheetrock with the only exception being directly over the panel. You are going to be pulling 20+ runs back to the panel. Its not worth dealing with that strip of sheetrock so just cut it out to the studs.
    2. Buy some quality tools - a good pair of strippers, linemens pliers, fish sticks (you probably won't even need fish tape), a good 18V or better cordless drill and a 1/2 and/or 3/4 inch diameter 12" or longer spiral drill bits. You will also need some short spade bit to work under the eves of the roof and other tight spots. You will also need a multimeter and a wire tracer/tone generator.
    3. Wire the A/C and air handler first. Your are going to want it. Wire the fridge second. You'll need a cold one at the end of each day:)
    4. Work room to room. How you deal with the insulation is up to you. Personally I'd pick a room to work on and rake the insulation off of the top plates for that room so I could inspect for cut wires and replace it when I was through. You will likely find that some rooms - like the bedroom, dining room, living room, etc. are each fed with a single run directly from the panel and that the wires between the outlets are still in the wall behind the sheetrock. Every time you locate a cut wire you will need to go back downstairs and cut/smash the outlet box or switch box out of the wall and buy an old work replacement box for it. Its nearly impossible to fish a wire into an existing box so don't even waste your time trying. Once you find a cut wire head down and smash the box out from below it. If there are two or more wires in it you will need to determine which wire has been cut at the top plate. You can connect the tone generator to one set of wires, then use the probe to see if that is the cut pair. If it is cut it as short as you can, stuff it back into the wall and replace it with the new run from the panel. This process works best if you have a helper or you will be doing a lot of climbing in an out of the attic. Replace the box with an old work box and move onto the next cut wire. You be repeating step 4 alot - multiple times per room.
    5. You will also need to deal with all the lighting circuits that have been cut out. Make sure that you know where each switch connects to!
    6. Your panel should be labeled. The labeling will give you some clues as to where each circuit used to run to so you will know where to look for the cut wire for the run from the panel. There is also likely many more cut wires between outlets and lights that looped up into the attic so be sure you trace out everything.

    If this seems like a lot of work, thats because it is. If you do not want to do ALL the work hire an electrician. Do not try and do part of the work and then hire someone. Electricians do not want to be liable for your mistakes and will likely refuse to do the work if you have already started in on it so be sure this is something you want to do. The only exception to that would be the service entrance (meter, panel, and wiring in between). If that is damaged you could farm that out and I would recommend that.

    -rick
  14. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    351
    Location:
    Colorado
    An old 25' tape measure with the end cut off and taped up, so it won't disappear into the case, is a great fishing tool to get down insulated wall cavities.
  15. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    "Every time you locate a cut wire you will need to go back downstairs and cut/smash the outlet box or switch box out of the wall and buy an old work replacement box for it. Its nearly impossible to fish a wire into an existing box so don't even waste your time trying."

    I'm not sure I could agree with that. I have many times run some NM to the top of a 4x4 box being used for receptacles a foot off the floor, or switches four feet off the floor. (Most of the older work around here is flex conduit and metal boxes. NM and plastic boxes have only recently become common and legal.)

    I can usually pry a knock out down into the box and grab it with my line's mans. I use really cool strain reliefs made of plastic that fit in the box from the inside.

    It can be a bit tedious, but if I cut all the NM except the bare wire back for about four inches, and twist a small loop on the end, I can usually break away only just a bit of plaster above the box and fish into the void with a short bit of scrap wire as a hook. Pull the wire into the box, slide the plastic strain relief over the sheild by about six inches, and push it into the pop out hole.

    Occasionally I use a long skinny screwdriver punched thru the wall at just the right angle to punch the pop out down into the box.

    Granted it takes time.

    In this mess, I'd seriously consider just cutting a clean rectangle in the wall board above each box, and be ready to screw it back in place with a plywood scab behind. This is a modern house with drywall? Easy enough to cut and patch. Don't smash. Use a straight edge and draw straight lines and cut straight lines.

    I don't own a magnetic wall mouse, but it seems to me this would be a good use for one.

    I don't see a need to bash out boxes and buy more boxes. Delete the wire that is going into the box and run a fresh bit up to the attic.
  16. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Oh, and seeing as how you are into a full rewire, if the basic lighting circuits were wired with 12 ga, definitely do as much of the house in 14 ga as you can, you will be very glad that you did.
  17. Erico

    Erico New Member

    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    NY
    Just curious. Why run 14 instead of 12? We were just doing some work on my mother-in-law's and the sparky told me her town is all 12ga./20amp now.

    I was wondering if more jurisdictions was going that route?
  18. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Messages:
    874
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    great advise ! I was thinking insurance also. Can the poster explain how this came to be? Rental? House broken into, or empty?
  19. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Messages:
    874
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    I also run 12 for it all,except greater than 20 amps. Of course ,My work is repair n remodels, not track housing.
  20. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    It is vastly easier to work with. And the lighting and outlet circuits around your house except as required (kitchen, bath, laundry) are all fine at 15 amp.

    I know of no jurisdictions that demand all 20 amp. Which is not to say none exist.
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