Rewiring older home

Page 1 of 2  

Hi Everyone,
My wife and I are looking at possibly moving into her mother's old home, but one of my concerns is the wiring in the house. The home was built in the early 1950's, and with an older fusebox outside the house (old screw-in fuses) plus no ground on any power outlets (two-prong), we're thinking of having the house rewired plus putting a newer fusebox (with circuit breakers) inside the house.
The house is three bedroom, one bath (about 1200 sq), and there's about 3-4 outlets per room. Does someone know the approximate cost we're looking at for such a job? Also, would it be something I could do to some degree? Possibly running all the wires back to a central location to have an electrician come in and wire-up the box with inside lines plus city power?
Thanks for any suggestions or ideas ...
Alex
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You and your wife probably use more electric devices in more places than your mother; want GFCI protection in kitchen and bath; Arc Fault protection in the bedrooms; hard wired smoke detectors. The only way to get a cost is to get an estimate from a local tradesman. T
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The new service alone will be $1500 to $2000.
The rest of the cost will probably be determined in some part by the degree of difficulty of pulling wires from point A to point B in an older house.
As far as doing some of the work yourself that would be up to the electrician.
When its all said and done his name is on the whole job.
He may or may not be comfortable with that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Apr 15, 8:22?am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

hey our home was like that no grounded outlets but BX cable, replaced outlets, all nicely grounded now.
this can save big bucks, minimizing work to new service go 200 amp.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The armor of BX does not provide a secure ground. It may look grounded now, but not work in the future.
That's why BX is no longer sold -- grounded boxes and appliances had a nasty habit of getting un-grounded. The steel armor rusts, develops cracks, or the electrical connection between the armor and the box develops high resistance.
It was replaced (some time *after* the 1950's) by AC cable, which looks a lot like BX, and is often called "BX", but isn't. AC has, among other things, an aluminum wire or strip running lengthwise inside the armor, which you have to make sure is squeezed between the armor and a clamp on the box. There may be additional requirements on the armor, too.
+ + +
By the way, I discovered that those plug-in "grounding tester" thingies don't always test that an outlet is wired correctly.
I found an outlet where the ground pin and the "neutral" pin were both wired to the bare copper wire (the white wire was capped off, because it was really the other hot leg of a 240 V circuit.)
The plug-in thingie said it was just fine.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Right. It only knows there is not much voltage difference between ground and neutral. It can't tell you where they are tied together.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Since the neutral and the ground wires are bonded at the ground bar in the panel is it supposed to be a voltage differential between ground and neutral in the outlet? If I measure a voltage difference in the outlet isn't it something wrong there? Or is there a maximum allowed value?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Actually, if the circuit is in use, a slight voltage differential is a good sign. (Like 1 or 2 volts.) Zero voltage differential might mean they're tied together too close to you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Since the neutral and the ground wires are bonded at the ground bar in the panel is it supposed to be a voltage differential between ground and neutral in the outlet? If I measure a voltage difference in the outlet isn't it something wrong there? Or is there a maximum allowed value?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The voltage difference is one reason for having seperate neutral and ground wires. The current flowing in the neutral line will cause a voltage drop over the length of the wire. That drop is the voltage difference you are measuring between ground and neutral. The amount of the drop depends on the size (diameter) and length of the wire and the current (amperage) flowing at the time of measurement.
It is almost never a problem if the electrical is code-compliant.
sdb
--
What\'s seen on your screen? http://pcscreenwatch.com
sdbuse1 on mailhost bigfoot.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's normal. There are testers that test for that, but they cost something like $200.
--
--Tim Smith

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Alex wrote:

Are you in an area where permits/inspection will be required? If so, find out ahead of time what will be required by the authorities. You may be greatly surprised. Don't skip over this basic step.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

i wouldnt rewire the entire house, just to those that you need to plug in a 3 prong cord (computer, fridge, and so on. that should help cut some cost, then you could invest it into smoke detectors. as far as your service goes if you dont have an electric stove, water, heater dryer, garage, well, hot tub, or plan to add some major loads then i would stick too 100 amp service, seeing the average house probabaly uses less than 40 amps most the time. dont fall for the ugg more power is better. it isnt just cost you more. but you live there and if it brings you peace of mind then go for it. i would say smoke detectors first thats some peace there. but with what your first paragraph says your into thousands of dollars
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

the cost difference between 100 amp and 200 is minimal and power use is up nationwide. Years ago I went from 60 to 100 AMP now need to go to 200. Not only raw power but number of breaker spaces.
At least if you have BX upgrade ALL outlets to 3 prong, more convenient and at resale time very helpful.
then upgrade kitchen and bath to adquate number of outlets all GFCI protected.
This will be $$$ well spent..............
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

on a straight up and in service true not alot of diff probably $500. but for some reason i suspect there is no basement due to the service being outside. yes the extra space can be nice but again depends on what loads exsist and what they might need in the future. they do make 100 amp 30 circuit panels
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
sym wrote:

More like $5. Probably even less. The cost differential between 100 and 200 amp service is insignificant.
For example,
100 Amp, 32 space Square-D box = $158.76 200 Amp, 40 space Square-D box = $159.44
A whopping SIXTY-EIGHT cent difference!
http://www.aplussupply.com/break/sqd/homeline/boxes/box.htm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

yeah and the extra spaces can be extremely valuable.
I am upgrading this summer primarily for the extra spaces, my box is maxed out, with half breakers.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Or you can search out "thebreakerguy" on ebay and save even more. I've purchased from him several times.
--
Steve Barker




"HeyBub" < snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would go with a 200 amp. Use all 20amp circuits. Quad receptacles in the kitchen on two separate circuits. Put each room you plan to have a computer or window ac on a separate circuit.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

But check the locally applicable code.
I understand that in Canada, you can't use 20 amp circuits for loads with 15 A plugs. (The dual-use 15/20 amp recepticles are illegal.) And, yes, there are (or used to be) Canadian posters to this group.
Some cities have their own codes (New York and Chicago come to mind.)
Chris Lewis used to post an electrical wiring FAQ with some notes about local variations in code requirements.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.