Ah, springtime...


...when a young man's thoughts turn to all the home repair projects he's been putting off "until it warms up a little."
Next project: rewiring the upstairs. The whole second floor of my house is wired on one 15A circuit, with ungrounded NM cable. Eventual plan is to rewire the whole thing with modern Romex, replace ceiling boxes with deeper ones with fan supports, and at the same time, drop 14/3 switch legs to all the bedroom switch boxes to allow for possible future installation and wall control of ceiling fans in bedrooms. I seriously doubt that I will be able to complete this project all in one day, so here's my plan.
Day one, I will get up in the attic and assess the wiring layout of the upstairs. Unfortunately, I have already determined that the homerun is on the side of the house *opposite* the master bedroom. Thus, if I logically separate the two sides of the house into two circuits, unless I get the second homerun pulled the first day, I can't restore power to the MBR. So here's the idea - there is one recep. in the hallway that is on its own, dedicated 20A circuit (I assume for a window mounted air conditioner.) I am fairly confident that I can at least assess the work to be done and separate the MBR and bath from the other side of the house the first day, even if I can get nothing else done.
My thought is that I could rig a suicide cord from the A/C recep to one of the receps in the MBR to maintain power in there, and then I can work on the other side at my leisure. Then once I'm all warmed up and have gotten my procedure down on the non-critical side of the house, I hopefully can knock the MBR side out in a day (it's actually less complex; the other side has two bedrooms and a small hallway.) The problem, of course, is that the A/C recep. is on a 20A breaker and the MBR wiring is all 14AWG. Is there such a thing as a fuseholder or circuit breaker that can be mounted in a handy box inline with the cord to keep everything safe and copacetic? Ideally I'd have a fuseholder and an inline GFCI recep. as I could see such a rig being useful for future projects as well, some of which might be outdoors/in wet areas/etc.
I guess worst case I could temporarily install a 15A breaker in the box and move the A/C homerun to that, is that actually the easiest solution?
thanks for any advice...
nate
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kludges have a way of hanging around for months. I'd just buy or fabricate a contractor's cord- heavy gauge cord with multiple outlets and maybe a GFCI (if the A/C recep is grounded), and use floor lamps and whatever in the bedroom. They call them suicide cords for a reason- way too easy to have an Aw Shit with them, especially if anyone else is ever in the work space, and unplugs the hot end when it gets in the way. Or if you are in the attic a month from now, and lose track of what run goes where, and you cut into a hot drop.
I'd pull both homeruns at once, and just leave the second one loose on both ends until you are ready for it. Get as much of the wiring roughed in as you can, before you take the old stuff offline. When I did some rewiring in the attic here to correct stupid stuff previous owner did, I found several runs that did not go where it looked like they went- they went down one cavity, but the device was actually way over on another wall. I guess they went sideways in wall due to clearance problems for drill or large electrician, working under a 5-12 roof on the outside walls.
aem sends...
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OK, I have the solution for your electrical questions then - move to upstate NY and forget about it being spring for a while longer :)

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Nate Nagel wrote:

Pull your new circuits up to a suitable box in the attic first before messing with any of the existing wiring, then just separate / rewire the appropriate areas and tie in to the appropriate new circuits as you go with minimal outages.
If it's logistically feasible run a conduit up to a decent sized pull box (8x8x4 perhaps) so you can pull as many circuits as you need such as MBR on an AFCI breaker, bath on a GFCI breaker, dedicated A/C circuit, etc. One step further would be installing a small sub panel in the attic.
Remember, materials are pretty cheap, your labor / time is not. If you have to expend the effort fishing wire and patching walls be sure to plan for the future and leave extra capacity, or ideally conduit runs where you can pull additional wire when needed.
Pete C.
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