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alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
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reply to sk1939

Re: Wiring Behind 70's Panelboard

said by sk1939:

I figured as much, which is why I plan on using flexible conduit or AC-90, since running solid is a PITA. Anything wrong with my original plan?

Heck go even cheaper and buy a fusible disconnect box.
They cost like 10$-15$ + a 15A fuse. You thing probably would run around 50$ with the breaker.

Of course, only if the forum electricians approve of your idea.

sk1939
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It's generally a bad idea to do it that way. I think I'm just going to rewire it and keep it simple. The only issue is how to hide the relatively ugly cable. Will probably use a Wiremold tube along the wall, and use a cap at the top to feed the flex. I also may just use 1/2" flex because I have 250 feet laying around collecting dust (what? it was $40).


nunya
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reply to sk1939
I have to be honest, I read this post several times, but did not add my $.02 because I just didn't get the gist of what's going on from the description.

From what I gather, this is a basement with a drywalled ceiling?
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sk1939
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I'll try to phrase it in a simpler way. It's in a basement with a drop ceiling and hollow wood paneling for walls. The paneling is hollow with no insulation or vapor barrier, and faces block on 2 sides, dry wall on one, and paneling on the last.

The portion of the circuit in question is on the wall with paneling on one side and drywall on the other. There is an outlet on either side wired with 14 Ga romex on a 20A circuit. I want to replace this run with AC-90 or 1/2" Flex wired with 12Ga THHN stranded. I plan to abandon the 14Ga in place, and want to do this without demoing the walls if possible, by running it through the drop ceiling. The issue is wall accessibility, since the builders/homeowners finished the wall by placing 3 2x4s on top of each other to close the gap from the frame to the ceiling.


nunya
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reply to sk1939
Drop ceiling makes it EZPZ. Personally, I'd find a way to fish it. There's almost always a way if you look hard enough. Most basement 2x4 walls do not go all the way to the foundation.

Or remove the paneling. Taking down paneling is a snap. Pry the baseboard loose over the section you want to remove and cut off the trim nails with dykes.
Paneling nails don't put up much of a fight . Once you get a toe hold, it's like butter. Just don't bend it too much. Grab some new paneling nails at Lowe's Depot and put it back up after re-wiring. It literally takes 10 minutes to get a section of paneling out.
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sk1939
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join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
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Sounds easy enough.

Anything wrong electrically/code-wise about my plans? Someone told me that you can't use flex for more than 6 feet, but that person is based in Chicago where everything has to be pipe....


nunya
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They are probably confused. On 20A and below circuits, you can FMC as the equipment grounding conductor. Over 6', and you have to include an actual EGC.
In some cities, they don't allow flex over 6' period, and only allow it for fixture whips.
This goes back to the earlier thread with cities / municipalities adding their own little quirks.

I wouldn't use flex, as it's a pain in the ass. If you are allowed to use MC or AC, I would use that instead.
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sk1939
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Mclean, VA
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Would AC-90 work? I mention flex because I have 250' of 1/2" I bought at a firesale price.


nunya
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reply to sk1939
Should be just fine.
There's nothing wrong with flex, but then you have to buy the wire to go in it. It never wants to pull right over long lengths.
That's why you'll find we avoid using flex except as needed in short lengths.
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sk1939
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Mclean, VA
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Easy enough, I'll have pictures once I'm finished.


whizkid3
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Queens, NY
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reply to sk1939
said by sk1939:

Anything wrong electrically/code-wise about my plans? Someone told me that you can't use flex for more than 6 feet...

Since your location says New York, NY - I would assume this is in NYC? You should check the NYC codes; especially under type-FMC uses permitted & prohibited. Not sure about the flexible conduit length (simply because I never had need to look it up, as I would never do such a thing. Hideous, IMHO.) Also, if you're running it over a ceiling; not sure how you plan to secure & support it properly at the code required lengths. Its usually a lot easier to run type-MC or conduit over drop ceilings.

For another thing, you say the run is 100 feet long. Better consider using 10 AWG, or at least think about doing a voltage drop calculation. 3% is the maximum voltage drop allowed on branch circuits, as per the NYC electric code, for most types of buildings.

As for placing a 15A fused disconnect on the circuit; then, the way I see it, makes the upstream portion a feeder. I would bet there's an NEC requirement against placing receptacles on a feeder. (Again, something I have never looked up, as its something I would never do.) Sorry, sk1939, but in my opinion the whole thing sounds like what started as a mess, is only becoming worse.


Savant
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join:2001-08-12
Toronto
reply to sk1939
said by sk1939:

It's generally a bad idea to do it that way. I think I'm just going to rewire it and keep it simple.

Hey, I never said it was ideal. I'm looking at safety and code compliance. A disconnect with properly sized overcurrent protection will do that. The picture you posted would be sufficient. It doesn't have to be fancy.

However, if it was me I would bring a #14 back to the panel. Yeah it will be a major pain, and yeah it will take time, but you'll feel better when it's done.

Just remember you will need to put in a junction box to tie the old feed and the new return together. There won't be enough room to make a connection in the existing device box.
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sk1939
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reply to whizkid3
Actually it's in MD, NYC was my last location when I travel for work. I bought a 50' roll of AC cable and am in the middle of putting that in, through the joist similar to how the original BX is run.

I would consider it, but it's rather pricey which is the problem.

"1 conductors per phase utilizing a #8 Copper conductor will limit the voltage drop to 2.35% or less when supplying 20.0 amps for 100 feet on a 118 volt system."

I may just abandon the whole run then, and keep powering the UPS off of the 10 Gauge cord that it's currently connected to.

I'd love to rip it all out and do it over, but it's just not feasible at this time, there's just too much stuff to move, and it's somewhat down the list of priorities atm.

sk1939
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2 edits
Click for full size
Exit Point
Click for full size
First Box
Click for full size
Second Box
Alright, I finished the run, and did it in a way I could upgrade the majority of the run back to the panel as 10 Gauge. The actual length back to the panel is about 70' if you go straight back. The current run makes an S turn. The other thing I discovered while adding this on was that there is a joist every foot and a 1/2 , which makes a new run through all that a PITA should I do it later. The bracket at the first box is there instead of a hole in the joist because of an adjacent air vent.

Also, never let relatives store things at your house without charging rent, this particular area looks like a typical storage unit hence the hesitance to remove the paneling.

sk1939
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I give up.

I flipped the breaker back on, and it immediately tripped. Thinking it was a fluke I flipped it back on and tripped the lighting main (good job stupid). I went back to take a look at the box, and it turn out a portion of the old downstream circuit has continuity to ground across all lines. Removing and capping that, I tried it again, again killing the lighting main (herpa derp), although the 20A breaker didn't trip. So now I checked the upstream connecting utilizing a known working extension cord and a continuity tester. It turns out that between the connection point and some two or so outlets upstream I am missing a neutral connection (what?), and that from that same outlet to the panel I get no connection between neutral and ground. What bothers me is that this circuit USED to work (or so I thought, I've used it before if nothing else), although the breaker has been off for a year or so.

When I have the panel replaced (in the next year or so), I'll have the licensed/bonded/insured sparkies run a new line to my new work (which checks out electrically), add an outlet outside, and figure out what exactly is wrong with that circuit. It's less stressful this way, and I don''t have to worry about my homeowners insurance...