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rsaturns

join:2004-12-06
Beaverton, OR

Contractor Work

Click for full size
Junction
Currently I'm having some renovation work done on a small office and am a bit concerned as to the quality of the work and was wondering if I could get some opinions. First some history on the property. This is a house turned commercial office. It was built in 1924 had K&T wiring, then had some renovations done (not sure what) in the 70's. Went through a fire, and was structurally secured and renovated again in 1995.

Currently the front waiting area is what is being remodeled. We had the wood paneling taken down along with the lathe and plaster. This was re-insulated, re-wired electrically, sheet rocked and painted. However I have concerns that the wiring isn't being done properly. For example here is where a switch was incorrectly placed. Now there is a junction box which is extended to the final switch location however this looks like new wiring spliced with old.

Is this code compliant for Portland, OR? Or would the run need to go all the way back to the breaker box?

Additionally I'm not sure the contractor is following the permitting process properly, would this fall under a TI permit? And I'm assuming the electrical would need to be permitted and inspected as well.

Thank you in advance for your input.
--
»vinfotech.blogspot.com

harald

join:2010-10-22
Columbus, OH
kudos:1

If this is new drywall, why was an old work box used? And why wasn't the K & T replaced?

No, not right.



rsaturns

join:2004-12-06
Beaverton, OR

So that was a question I had, is that cloth covered wired K&T? I wasn't sure, I know it certainly isn't romex or anything I've seen in modern construction.
--
»vinfotech.blogspot.com



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to harald

said by harald:

If this is new drywall, why was an old work box used?

I'm sure there has never been a remodel where a box hasn't needed to be added or moved after the drywall has gone up...

And why wasn't the K & T replaced?

And you can tell that is k&t by looking of a picture that doesn't show the knob or the tube. You're x-ray vision is better than mine. If my reading of

Even if it is K&T, Section 394 of the 2011 NEC says that K&T is still permitted for extending current circuits. It's usually recommended to be replaced, but it doesn't have to be.

It can also be cloth covered "romex" which had a rubber insulator under the cloth. It's not obvious where the bare copper wire is coming from in the picture. Unless it's from the new wiring and not connected to anything, it's probably not K&T as K&T didn't have a ground. Cloth covered romex may or may not have a ground wire included. As long as the rubber insulation isn't brittle and falling off the wire, the cloth romex can continue to be used IIRC.

harald

join:2010-10-22
Columbus, OH
kudos:1

Please see the original post, where it is stated that the original wire was to have been replaced, whatever it might have been.

I have never seen wire like that other than K & T, and I got through engineering school doing old work. (not counting commercial, where you might find building wire in conduit like that.)

Yes, there are often needs for an old work box, but note that this box was allegedly installed before the drywall, and was subsequently relocated by running a cable to what was likely an old work box.



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

said by harald:

Please see the original post, where it is stated that the original wire was to have been replaced, whatever it might have been.

No where does the OP say that the old wire was replaced. It says that the area was rewired. This could mean that existing wiring was attached to new wire.

I have never seen wire like that other than K & T, and I got through engineering school doing old work. (not counting commercial, where you might find building wire in conduit like that.)

Here you go. Now you can't say that anymore.

Yes, there are often needs for an old work box, but note that this box was allegedly installed before the drywall, and was subsequently relocated by running a cable to what was likely an old work box.

The OP said that paneling was taken down along with the plaster and lath and drywall put back up. That doesn't mean that was the case with this wall. Or that they didn't screw up the placement of the box where it's at. ("Hey Bob, we forgot that there was suppose to be a light switch here, so I put a box here." "You're an idiot John, the box was really suppose to go over there").

We can play arm-chair electrician all day but with what is posted and what we know for sure, nothing definitive can be decided. If the OP has questions about the work, he should ask the electrician or the general contractor who's doing the work. There is absolutely no problem asking:
a. why was old wiring used
b. if it was k&t
c. why was an old box used (not that it really matters anyways)


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to rsaturns

If the K&T is feeding the new circuit, then no, it is not code compliant.

If it's vice versa, then at the very least it's extremely unprofessional to leave any type of wire with RH insulation in place if it could have been replaced.

If you are concerned with the work, I would talk to the local inspector and get the skinny. I wouldn't make any more progress payments until you hear it from the horses mouth.

Most municipalities I've ever dealt with require K&T and AL wire to be removed from service when exposed.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


kherr
Premium
join:2000-09-04
Collinsville, IL

I've never been able to get insurance if there was K&T present. There must be a reason why.

And I've never done a remodel or n/c where a box was left out. PPPPPP



bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

said by kherr:

I've never been able to get insurance if there was K&T present. There must be a reason why.

I got insurance for my house (mostly K&T) after I got it inspected by an electrical contractor. He said it's fine as long as it's in good shape.


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

If the K&T is feeding the new circuit, then no, it is not code compliant.

Presuming that local code just follows current NEC, why wouldn't this be covered by 394.10(1)? Or am I misunderstanding what "extension of existing installations" means?
quote:
394.10 Uses Permitted.
Concealed knob-and-tube wiring shall be permitted to be installed in the hollow spaces of walls and ceilings or in unfinished attics and roof spaces as provided in 394.23 only as follows:
(1) For extensions of existing installations
(2) Elsewhere by special permission


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
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No. If you were extending an existing K&T installation with more K&T, then by this technicality it would be permitted. Most municipalities will not allow it anyway.

334.108 required NM cable to be manufactured with a EGC (the one we see flapping in the breeze in the OP's pic).
In multiple parts of art 250 (ex 250.120), the EGC must be utilized and functional on all new work.

If it's the other way around, where the romex is feeding K&T, then it's just a matter of the local municipalities rules. If that K&T was exposed and could have been replaced, then it should have been replaced. There's really no excuse for leaving it in place. As I mentioned before, in most places it's mandatory. While it's common sense that it should be replaced, some customers will squeeze a dime until it shits a quarter, if you know what I mean.

If that's just the tail end of undisturbed K&T being fed from new romex, then it's OK. It definitely should have been brought up in conversation with the GC and Owner: "Hey, do you want to go ahead and get this shit out of the building now while we are here..."
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by nunya:

No. If you were extending an existing K&T installation with more K&T, then by this technicality it would be permitted. Most municipalities will not allow it anyway.

334.108 required NM cable to be manufactured with a EGC (the one we see flapping in the breeze in the OP's pic).
In multiple parts of art 250 (ex 250.120), the EGC must be utilized and functional on all new work.

If it's the other way around, where the romex is feeding K&T, then it's just a matter of the local municipalities rules. If that K&T was exposed and could have been replaced, then it should have been replaced. There's really no excuse for leaving it in place. As I mentioned before, in most places it's mandatory. While it's common sense that it should be replaced, some customers will squeeze a dime until it shits a quarter, if you know what I mean.

If that's just the tail end of undisturbed K&T being fed from new romex, then it's OK. It definitely should have been brought up in conversation with the GC and Owner: "Hey, do you want to go ahead and get this shit out of the building now while we are here..."

Agree. The K & T should be removed in a renovation.


rsaturns

join:2004-12-06
Beaverton, OR

I wanted to thank everyone for the feedback, I know I definitely got a little bit better understanding of some of the code. Funny story we did talk to the GC and they were to pull the wiring since the walls were open. So this should get very entertaining. Right now we're having an independent electrician come out to at least see if what's there is in spec or not. If not sounds like the GC is going to have some fun work ahead of him. Either way this job just got a lot cheaper for me.
--
»vinfotech.blogspot.com



cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

said by rsaturns:

Either way this job just got a lot cheaper for me.

How did the job get cheaper? If it wasn't done to spec, it should be done to spec at the contractor's own expense. But you should still be stuck with paying what it was originally going to cost if it had been done right.

I'd also keep an eye on the labor if it's a time and materials contract just to make sure that additional cost doesn't make it's way back in there mysteriously.