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November 20, 2005

House Rewiring Plan Underway

A few months back we decided that around the new year we'd have the kids (Jo and Ezra) move up to a bedroom on the 3rd floor. There is limited electrical (lighting and outlets) up there, so I figured we'd have a contractor come and run some new outlets and lights up there.

About the same time the bank came and inspected our home and demanded that we have the old knob and tube wiring that runs all over the basement ceiling replaced because it was a hazard.

Also about the same time my father, who is a retired electrician, came for a visit. When I described all the work he got pretty excited about helping out. We made a plan for him to come back for 12 days around Thanksgiving and tackle the project ourselves.

During the months leading up to this past week I read a great introductory book to learn as much as possible about electrical work, created a diagram with the plan for the basement and 3rd floor, made some monster shopping lists and even did some shopping to get some supplies ready for the big event.

I also spoke to the inspector of wiring in Malden and was granted a wiring permit to do the work. As a homeowner in Massachusetts I'm allowed to do wiring work in my home, but my dad was persistent in his push to get a permit and have our work inspected.

Dad arrived on Thursday and on Friday and Saturday he and I pulled a huge box full of old wiring off the basement ceiling and started putting in new circuits. I've mostly been replacing lights, pulling off the old fixture and wiring and putting up new boxes and running cable. Dad replaced a crazy run (BX -> box -> exposed cable -> conduit -> box) to the furnace that was in the way of several of the other things we were trying to do.

We have made things considerably more safe already, just getting rid of old, unused, wiring has made the ceiling look better. In a few cases we found live wiring that was exposed, but not serving any purpose.

The photo is my diagram for the 3rd floor, built using OmniGraffle. Work starts on the third floor tomorrow.

Posted by mike at November 20, 2005 4:49 PM