For you electricians out there:
I am a retired engineer, and feel pretty competent in doing
some light electrical work around the place.
But, I am not up to date on codes.
My specific question is:
I want to put an outlet and a switch on an unfinished wooden stud (I think
they are called studs; the ones running floor to ceiling) in the basement.
Will use a metal gang box, of course, and NM / Romex 14/2 WG.
Since the basement wall here is unfinished, no plaster walls, just the
exposed wood, can I just run the wire
up the stud and staple it to the wood ?
Or, do I need to run it in some metal conduit ?
If so, all the way to the ceiling box where I would tie it in, or just up
the wall ?
The OP is a retired engineer, they usually like do things way above
code level (remember it's a minimum standard)
How about suggesting steel flex or EMT followed by THHN/THWN 12 gage
(that's my preferred method in my DIY and "help a friend" projects).
I just helped one of my wife's students (he's also my painter) wire his
garage before he drywalled it. We used steel flex. Flex is fast but
IMO looks like messy unless you cover it. I suck at EMT offsets.
Tips? Only do it, if you enjoy the process & the result.
Romex is much faster but doesn't lend itself to changes downstream
Maybe the wiring thing is ny my blood, my grandfather was an
electrician in the 30's before he became a bookmaker fulltime. :)
Just staple along the wide sides of the studs and joists -- no conduit required.
If you have to cross any studs or joists, you'll have to drill holes -- wire
along the exposed edges is a major no-no. Since the basement is unfinished,
any duplex outlets have to be GFCI protected.
My family lives in brooklyn. Since all houses seem to be row houses,
they are all considered 'places of assembly" by definition. So NM is
not allowed to be used by the NEC, even without looking at the local
So very good point steve!
tom @ www.MedicalJobList.com
First, I didn't say public.
When you look at the houses, they are designed such that you share
everything. These houses are old, so the common wall between
occpancies, have mixed electrical and plumbing running through it, and
I dont' think they met fire wall definiation when built in the early
1900's. So if you can imagine the construction of a block, the houses
are more like simple isolated sections of a large communial building.
A grand scale of the large cubical offices.
So, to me, it istantly looks like a place of assembly, so I would
guess I would have to instantly adhere to strict code requirements.
One way my dad described it with the codes, each house is treated as
an apartment in a large block sized building. So, I guess that way,
it's considered offically as multi-family dwelling.
hope I clarified what I ment, sometimes the connection betweent the
brain and keyboard is fouled up. :-P
On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 12:17:18 -0500, The Real Tom <Tom @
I can't speak for every row house in Brooklyn but my 1906 house
(www.magpie.com/house) has three layers of brick between it and my
immediate neighbors and the plumbing and electrical doesn't tranverse
it. I've worked on several other row houses and found much the same.
These old houses were, if anything, overbuilt compared to more modern
condo-type row houses.
Well not professing to be an expert, just remembering what I see and
hear when I'm at the house. When the wall was torn down(just plaster
and surface junk, there were server drain lines visible. I asked
about them, wondering how mainy toilets there were upstairs and my
dad commented how he believes(since there were many drainlines) some
of them are from the next door neighbor. So it appears the wall would
be penitrated. As for hearing, it seems like you can hear your
neighbors conversations and activities well.
Joke is in the neighbor hood, your neighbors know how many times you
use the rest room, better than you do. ;)
But I have to admit, there are somethings about the house that seem
over-enginered. One being the columns and supports, and foundation
Steve, I have a question, I've always wondered this, and this lends to
my belief it's all common construction between the houses lending to
the idea is't more a place of assembly of smaller unit, are the
attic(roof areas) seperated? I mean as a kid, I remember seening a
block of row houses burnt down because the fire traveled between the
drop floor ceiling and under the roof. Fire was obvious it started in
one house, and then as the fire fighters fought it, you could see fire
erupt in the ajacent homes, like a domino effect.
On Tue, 01 Mar 2005 13:02:17 -0500, The Real Tom <Tom @
In the case of my house, as is the case with almost every classic
brownstone I've seen, there are no attics. The top floor ceiling is
about a foot below the roof rafters and stuffed with mineral wool.
The brick party walls extend about 18" above the roof line.
What's sort of interesting about the original construction on these
houses is that they were usually built in groups, like ten or twenty
in a row. If you strip the plaster off the brick on the top floor you
can see what was obviously a passage way between the houses, albeit
bricked up now of course. The builders evidentally used them. From
what I've been able to learn, each house also served a different
purpose during construction. One was where all the masonry was
warehoused, one was for lumber, one was a window construction shop,
one was a shop where the mouldings were actually cut on site, etc.
On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 12:24:19 -0500, The Real Tom <Tom @
"Places of assembly"? That's news to me and I own a Brooklyn row
house. My CO is for a single-family dwelling.
What I meant is that NYC electrical code forbids exposed wiring, even
in basements (with some minor exceptions). It's got to be in conduit.
And, depending on who you ask, has to be armored even inside the walls
(BX). I've had seemingly real electricians and engineers give me
different answers to that question. I play it safe and use armored
Me too. I've been *told* that Romex is legal in single-family
dwellings in NYC now so long as it's completely enclosed. But I
frankly find BX to be easier to work with anyway. It's one less wire
inside the box and I feel a lot safer pulling BX through nail-strewn
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