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  1. Evaluating Old Electrical Wiring for Safety
  2. Replacing Two-Prong Receptacles: Our 6 Step Guide | This Old House
  3. How to Repair, Remodel and Renovate Your New Home
  4. Steps to Safely Rewiring Your House

The cloth wire appears to be 14 gauge. If it is 15 amp, you're OK.

Evaluating Old Electrical Wiring for Safety

Visit chandler's homepage! Find all posts by chandler. Upvotes: Received 20 Votes on 15 Posts. I have a house that was built in Find all posts by CasualJoe. Hi Chandler. There is a mix of breakers in the box, some 20 but most 15 amps.

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I'm not comfortable with this. Just keep in mind that you cannot extend an existing ungrounded circuit. Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts. As said check the breaker. If you have the possibility of a mix of 14 and 12 change the breaker to 15a if it is 20a. As said it isn't code compliant to tie new wire to it for a circuit if the existing wire doesn't have a ground. Find all posts by ray Thanks Ray. That changes my schedule!

Replacing Two-Prong Receptacles: Our 6 Step Guide | This Old House

I have what I have in regard to tying into ungrounded wire, but I'll switch out the 12 for 14 and bump the breaker down to 15a. There is one other new wire to old tie-in that I've inherited that powers the main portion of the house, and I'll swap that out as well. I don't think I can afford an electrician to change out the old stuff, so short of what I'm doing, any other things I can do to make the situation safer? I'd appreciate your thoughts. Upvotes: 2. Received 16 Votes on 13 Posts.

You can check the wire gauge with a pair of wire strippers or against a known size piece. Find all posts by pcboss. Just to add. The reason we are telling you to downgrade your breakers is if you are protecting the circuit with a 20 amp breaker, leading with 12 gauge wiring, then your 14 gauge becomes your fuse, and it most likely won't trip the 20 amp breaker when it overheats and possibly causes damage.

Just for info. Thanks Chandler, I understand why you are saying that and I appreciate it. I don't particularly want another job got plenty but it's worth doing right when it comes to electrical The wire gauge standard has been the same for as long as I know. The insulation thickness and composition has changed though. Thanks pcboss, that must be it! Check the actual conductor, not the insulation.

Yeah, I had an inspector call me out on a bathroom wiring job once. He was 45' away from a bathroom telling me I had to install 12 gauge in the bathroom. This was before they went to colored sheathing. I had to actually take him to the bathroom with my Kleins and strip a wire for him to prove it.

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The deed has been done! To be on the safe side I switched out the 12 for 14 and popped in a 15a breaker in place of the Thanks everyone for your help and advice. Thanks for letting us know how it was resolved. Posting Rules.

How to Repair, Remodel and Renovate Your New Home

You may not post new threads. BB code is On. Smilies are On. Trackbacks are Off. Pingbacks are Off. Rewiring a house will require a permit from your local building department. Homeowners are allowed to do electrical repairs on their own houses, but the work will have to be inspected. You may want to consider hiring an electrician to advise and assist you with planning and discovery, since understanding the wiring of an old structure involves a good deal of experience and knowledge.

The first step in replacing wiring is deciding how much you will access the walls. If your house is newly purchased, before you paint or move in, plan on cutting numerous holes in the walls to make running the new cable easier. If your house is lived-in, or you don't want to cause a major disturbance, the task will take much longer and your options will be limited. You may have to leave the wiring in the walls intact and only replace the cable in the attic or crawlspace. The majority of the new cable will likely be run through the attic and crawlspace before it enters the walls.

Where you run the cable depends on your ability to access the spaces, but generally outlets are fed from below and wiring for lighting is fed from above.

Be careful of hazards such as asbestos and fiberglass insulation, as well as the old wiring. Make sure the power is turned off before drilling new holes and cutting into the walls. To replace the wiring feeding an outlet, the old outlet needs to be removed. It may be possible to pull the old cable back through the hole in which it runs.

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However, if it is stapled in place, then that is not an option. You will have to drill a new hole for the new cable.

Steps to Safely Rewiring Your House

If you are refeeding an outlet or a light switch and you can't reuse the old cable's hole, a new hole is necessary. Although it requires a fair amount of skill, new holes can be drilled from inside the room with a flexible drill bit. Alternately, accessing the crawlspace or attic and drilling through the wood plate is necessary. Locating your hole involves careful measuring. Often old wiring does not provide enough circuits for the energy demands of modern appliances, lighting and technology.

Before you start running cable, you must plan your circuits according to the rules of the National Electrical Code, or NEC.