I was wondering if someone would know this. I have AL wiring in the
house. I'm renovating whole house and was thinking of replacing old
wiring. I'm not planing on removing the walls, but will be able to
open up the floors. I have good access from the attic. Currently other
than the light fixtures there is absolutely no junction boxes in the
attic. All the outlets are wires in series.
Here is the question. Is it against the code (Ontario, Canada) to put
junction boxes and wire the outlets directly from the junction boxes
( I suppose I could manage to wire two outlets per junction box), or
should I follow the current design.
House was wired in late 60's.
Thanks for all your help.
Don't follow the description clearly -- what happens to the existing
In general, I don't think there's an proscription against using the
junction box as long as they are acessible, but as noted, don't follow
the plan well enough as described to see what you're actually driving
at so no detailed thoughts beyond that at the moment...
Thanks for the reply. Sorry for not being clear on my plans. Basically
I want to rewire existing outlets with new cable (14-2), by pulling
out the old AL wire. I will use the existing wire to fish the new one
in place and use junction boxes to connect the outlets. At the same
time I would like to put ceiling light fixtures and wire them to the
existing switches that were connected to one of the outlets.
Hope this time I was more clear on what I wanted to do.
Unless something unique in CN code, don't see any problem again as
long as the junction boxes are acessible. What you may run into is a
problem in getting the old wire out w/o tearing up the wall as they
may well have stapled it to joists tightly enough you'll not pull it.
If, of course, you can, there's no reason you can't pull up and
through the attic from one receptacle to the next where you don't need
a junction box for some other purpose. You would start the feed by
pulling the old with a string attached, of course, then feed from one
end and use the fish again at the other to pull back down. Assuming
open wall cavities (no infill insulation, blocking, plumbing, etc.,
etc.) you could probably pull two 14's together. OTOH, in the big
scheme of things if you're doing significant remodeling, repairing a
few holes in the walls may be simpler overall.
This won't work. The wire will be stapled to the studs and will not
really pull out that easy. You certainly will not be pulling the new
wire in that way. This is going to be a bigger job that you planned.
The first thing you need to find out is if the stud bays have "fire
stops" in them. (2x4s across the bay 4' up) That will really frustrate
your wire pulling unless you can come up from the bottom.
They do make a "diversibit" that is 5' long to drill these from the
top but be careful you don't miss and come out the drywall.
Then fish down with a short piece of chain in the string so you can
catch it with a retriever magnet through the hole in the box.
It is as hard as it sounds.
On Apr 16, 1:07 pm, email@example.com wrote:
About stamping the wire to the joist near the outlets, is there any
techniques for that without making a hole in the drywall? I know some
of the walls don't have fire stops, so that should help things.
You don't have to staple the wire when you are "fishing". That is only
when the walls are open and it is mostlly to keep the sheet rock guy
from damaging the wire when he is putting up the wall. If you don't
have firestops in the wall it should be a lot easier to fish in the
wire. You can probably just abandon the aluminum in place if it won't
pull out. The chain and magnet trick still works pretty well. Take the
clamp completely out of the box to get the best chance you can. Use a
telescoping retriever magnet and steel "ball chain" like you have on a
pullchain light.. There are several kinds so take a magnet with you
when you buy it and get the stuff that sticks best.
BTW, if you're going to the trouble of doing this, you'll certainly
want to run 14-2 w/g, not just 14-2. You may have already intended
this but not stated it explicitly, but just in case.
IOW, if you're thinking of simply replacing 2-prong outlets' wiring
with CU instead of AL, I don't think that's a good decision but you
should go the route of also upgrading to grounded outlets.
Yes the AL wire is already grounded. I will be pulling 14-2 w/g. I
have peeked through the top of the wall joists and it looks like there
is no fire blocking materials, it is open all the way down.
I was not sure about usage of the junction boxes since general there
is some moisture in the attics.
OK, good...just didn't want a DOH! moment here... :)
As I noted earlier, if you're doing a fair amount of remodeling and it
is actually drywall and not lath and plaster, the difficulty in
patching drywall is minimal in comparison to the gyrations you may
have to go through to fish and pull wire to try to avoid damaging the
As for removing staples, depends. :) If you can remove the box, you
may have enough room to get a bar or other tool where you can pull it
or get enough slack behind it. Then again, in doing that you may well
tear up the wallboard anyway, so might as well have made the access
hole to start. Only way in "old work" to know is when you start
trying. And, just because one works doesn't mean the same technique/
trick will work on the next one. All in all, I'd just make access as
needed to do the job and then fix it.
Sufficient moisture in the attic to be concerned about it not being
classifiable as "dry" per electrical code is indicative of some other
problem that needs fixing, probably worse than the wiring needs to be
replaced if it's not an immediate concern (as in you're already having
Don't know what you're referring to, but it can't be good... :(
Yes you can have junction boxes in the attic.
One other note, a house built in the late 60's will have fairly poor
insulation and no real vapour barrier in the outside walls. Drywall is so
easy to install, it would be simpler to pull all the old drywall off the
outside walls and make an easy job of wiring the walls with insulation. At
this point remove all the insulation, caulk any draft leaks in the
sheathing, and install modern efficient insulation and an approved 6 mil
vapour barrier then re-drywall.
After seeing how much simpler it is to wire, and to update the wiring to
include the addition of communications lines and cable lines, you may decide
to strip off all the other walls too. This is what I have done when fully
remodelling a room.
The wire is most likely stapled. That's the first problem.
I presume since the house was built in the 60's you are using
BX cabling???? If you are planning on using romex then
the outlet boxes that you are connecting to will not be
to code. They are specifically made for armored cable.
Unless you plan on using armored again then you'll have issues.
Getting the old outlets out is a real pain in the *ss because they are
nailed into the studs. What you can do is remove them and put
in remodel plasic boxes using romex. Granted its not stapled inside
the walls but such is life. \\
On Apr 17, 1:54 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Thanks for the response. I dont think it is armored. It looks like its
wrapped in material like black casing and there before that wrapped in
paper ... How is the old box different that the current ones.
60's wiring in Ontario is primarily cloth wrapped copper with some
plastic sheathed copper towards the end of the decade. There will only be
BX cable in certain exposed locations (if any).
I'm surprised that it's aluminum. That was a little later (early-mid 70's),
and usually was plastic sheath. Are you _sure_ it's aluminum? I don't
recall ever seeing cloth-wrapped aluminum here.
You can use the junction boxes as you'd like, however, routing wiring
and boxes in an attic can be tricky w.r.t. codes - so, you need to stop
what you're doing and go to the store and buy a copy of the "Orange book".
The orange book is "Ontario Electrical Code Simplified" by PS Knight.
It's cheap (should still be <$15), and will answer your questions in this
regard. Most hardware and big box DIY stores carry it (like Home Hardware,
Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Rona, Beaver, etc)
BTW: In Canada, house wiring has always comes with a ground since the
late 50's or so. Hence, "14/2 house" wire that you buy is _always_ two
insulated conductors and a ground. You don't have to specify "with
ground" when you buy it. With stranded wire cord tho, you do ;-)
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
On Apr 17, 4:57 pm, email@example.com (Chris Lewis) wrote:
Thanks again Chris,
I will look into that book for sure.
I'm 99.9% positive its al as it metallic silver in colour and very
easy to break by twisting.
What do you mean by w.r.t codes. Did a google search on it but did not
come up with anything in context. What did you have in mind when you
Lastly I have heard there is new codes in the making, have you heard
anything about it?
If it's like NEC (which I suspect it is), I presume Chris is thinking
of the accessibility rules on exposed cabling (he can obviously
correct/amplify if I'm guessing wrong). The definition of what
constitutes "access" and "use" is such that even if all there is is a
trap door w/ a ladder and you go up there once a year for storage,
strictly speaking there should be no exposed wiring but all protected.
His suggestion for a "Wiring Simplified" CN equivalent and reading it
through is an _most_excellent_ recommendation. Sorry I wasn't the one
who made it (altho I don't know the specific one for you, anyway). :)
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