Rewiring and junction boxes

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I have been rewiring a dining room in a 1930's home. In new construction outlets are linked together by wires running horizontally through the studs. I haven't been able to find any guidelines for how to run wires when rewiring. The most logical way seems to be running wire through floor joists underneath the room in the unfinished basement. I have a couple of choices. I can run wire from outlet to outlet, passing the wire under the floor, or I can wire to junction boxes under each outelt with a wire extending to each outlet. The latter would allow me to use less wire and fewer holes through the joists. The first way would mean that I would use fewer junction boxes. Is there any advantage or disadvantage to either way? Anyone know of any guidlines for rewiring? Most of the info I have found is on wiring new construction.
Thanks
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I've done the j-box approach myself. The feeds to each outlet box were AC armor, because it was thru a wall that was just lathe over masonry. Saved a fair bit in armor cable costs.
Inspectors don't like seeing lots of unnecessary J boxes. J boxes also may present some difficulties if you want to finish the basement.
An inspector probably wouldn't mind this.
However, for a single room you're unlikely to save enough money to notice. Indeed, the jbox approach may be more expensive. But quicker.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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I don't understand the "fewer holes through the joists" point. From the first outlet, you'd run a wire down through the floor, through any necessary joists, to a point below the second outlet, where it would go up. You'd run a 2nd wire from that outlet back down, through any necessary joists (which shouldn't be the same ones as before) to the 3rd outlet, etc. The only "extra wire" is the doubled run between the floor joists and the outlet -- a few feet at most, which is insignficant in cost compared to junction boxes, covers, and wire nuts you'd need for the other approach. I also think this would be less labor intensive than the J-box approach, and more reliable (less connections = better).
-Tim
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#1. It's the same amount of connections if you pigtail the outlet like you should. #2. It makes the work at the outlet a lot easier especially if you're using 12ga wire like you should be.
I say go with the J-Boxes.
--
Steve Barker


"Tim Fischer" < snipped-for-privacy@nobody.invalid> wrote in message
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I work with #12 almost exclusively -- it's not hard to use with the outlet boxes. I personaly don't see anything wrong with 'daisy chaining' using the outlet's screws -- frankly I think a screw connection is probably more reliable than a wire nut. But I realize not everyone thinks this way...
-Tim
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doing this is a #1 no no in some electricians eyes. You've created a series circuit so to speak and if that outlet were to go bad or come loose, then you loose the power downstream also. Pigtailing is the quality way of doing things.
--
Steve Barker

"Tim Fischer" < snipped-for-privacy@nobody.invalid> wrote in message
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I understand that a lot of people like pigtailing, but I don't see why a properly-installed screw terminal would come loose any more easily than a properly-installed pigtail...
Or maybe I'm just lazy <g>. In any case, I've NEVER seen a pigtailed circuit done in a case where they could have just done a daisy-chain. Even the circuits that were installed by professional electricians.
-Tim
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That's because they take longer. Wouldn't want to take extra time to make it better when you can short cut and get away with it.
--
Steve Barker



"Tim Fischer" < snipped-for-privacy@nobody.invalid> wrote in message
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Wirenut connections in a junction box are no "better" or reliable than terminal screw connections on an outlet. Nor does the junction box reduce the number of connections. If you count wire ends as connections, for the two power conductors the junction box method actually increases the number of wire ends from four to eight. If you count 3 wires in a wirenut as one connection both methods have four connections.
There are reasons to prefer pigtailing of the wires in an outlet box but the only reason to move the pigtails to a separate junction box is to reduce the number of cables to the outlet box. This can be a valid reason if the run is very long or difficult.
Well established trade practices are not established only because they are faster or cheaper, although that is a consideration. It is usually a pretty good idea to follow them (especially for novices) and using a separate junction box to feed every outlet is not normal practice with most electricians or in most areas. It is certainly not wrong or unsafe, and if someone feels that it somehow makes a job better and wants to do it, I see no problem with it. I would certainly ask my local inspector first, in case he does not like it.
Don Young
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After reading your responses it seems that there is nothing inherantly unsafe or wrong about using junction boxes. The problem seems to be creating inaccessible splices that could fail later on and be difficult to find. Also using a lot of j boxes can make a simple circuit unecessarely complicated and hard trace later on. It's just not neat work. Looking at the wiring I have done so far there are a few j boxes where the cable could have just as easily been spliced in the outlet box. Those will have to go. There is one j-box however that makes connecting a few outlets on a longer more difficult run much easier. This one will stay. In the future, I will try to avoid overuse iof j boxes and make sure if I do use them that they will be in areas that will stay accessible. Thanks for the help.
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Just to be clear, inaccessible splices are a code vio. If you finish the basement, each of these j-boxes will need covers that will be visible (so as to be accessible) when the room is finished.
-Tim
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Accessible doesn't necessarily mean _visible_. Accessible means that it can be "got at" without removing permanent parts of the building.
A J box behind drywall is bad. A J box hidden by a wall mirror, or behind a removable panel etc is fine.
[We "hid" a Jbox behind a recessed lighting fixture that was held in place by its bezel. Pop the fixture, and the box is accessible. Perfectly acceptable.]
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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True. But he's gonna have a hard time hiding a box every 6-12 feet near ceiling level. I guess I'm picturing blank covers all over the place...
-Tim
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On Mon, 16 Oct 2006 17:52:20 -0500, "Tim Fischer"

If you're gonna put J boxes up, you might as well stick outlets in them. Ceiling level outlet are occasionally handy.

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Yes, as are outlets at switch height. They don't get hidden behind things as easily as those close to the floor, and are easier to reach.
--
69 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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wrote:
Sorry, but if I saw a room with a row of ceiling-height outlets on a wall, I'd just think it was... weird...
There are exceptions, of course, where you might want a single ceiling-height outlet or so (like near a window, for decorative lighting.
-Tim
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On Tue, 17 Oct 2006 17:49:48 -0500, "Tim Fischer"

You have something against weird? It's no uglier than a bunch of featureless cover plates.
If you need an exuse for their presence, Run a shelf along the wall under them, or stick nightlights in them and split the outlets so that half of them are switched.
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To display your extensive collection of decorative electric clocks.

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Mark Lloyd
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An electrician friend installs all of the chandeliers he removes from customer's homes in his garage's ceiling.
He must be up to about 50 of the things in operation by now.
Quite a sight.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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Actually when the wiring that room will be done there will only be one j box that will require some kind of cover /outlet/wallclock/doorbell etc. 1 wire comes in, 3 go out to outlets, like a spider. The rest others are next to the service panel. When the basement is finished, the service panel will be in something like a walk in closet. The j boxes around it will be easy to access.
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