Home Improvement

Feedback on a little rewiring project?

By September 8, 2019 3 Comments

I’m working on a remodel of our bedroom. (I’m taking pictures, I’ll post the whole shebang when it’s done sometime in the next decade.) The only outlet in the room is horrendously placed after we moved the closet (we need an extension cord running in front of the door to plug in a bedside lamp.) I posted on here a couple weeks ago, and got some great advice. I’ve been reading and going slow as I prep to do the job, and I’m almost ready. I just had one question so specific that I don’t know how to find the answer.

I’m building in a closet/dresser/cabinet unit on the entire east wall, and want to install one outlet above it and a second on the west side of the door, by the bed. The house is very old, and the room is drywall over plaster and lathe, with a juicy layer of lead-based paint sandwiched between. I can handle a little lead abatement, but I’m not going to tear out the entire wall.

Instead, I want to run some electrical wiring in the trench between the floor boards and the wall, which will be covered by the trim. I am not doing base shoe, but I’m worried that whoever is in the house next will want to add some, and shoot trim nails down at an angle directly through the romex, were I to use that. Is this a reasonable concern? To be up to code, should I use flexible metal conduit under the trim? I framed in new walls for the closet which are still open, so running up to height will be no problem once I get the five feet laterally to them.

Also, the existing outlet has a straight shot to a light fixture/junction box in the basement, but it already has three or four lines running into it. I want to run a new line out of this junction box to the bedside outlet, rather than doing a junction box in the room and running wire up and around the door. What are the limiting factors on the number of lines running through a junction box? Is it just limited by the load of the input and the physical space inside the box, or are there other concerns?

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  • MrRonObvious says:

    Is your bedroom on the ground floor? Can you access the crawl space underneath it?

    Or is it on the second floor and can you access the attic above it?

    I’d strongly recommend not doing anything odd with the wiring, it’s best to just do it the normal way, running it up or down to the attic or crawlspace, then running from there back to your circuit breaker panel. Putting it behind crown molding or baseboard molding is just a disaster waiting to happen.

    Just do it the standard way, and if it’s too difficult, hire an electrician to just come in and pull the wiring. There are lots of journeymen who work a 40 hour week then pick up extra side jobs on the weekends, so if you can find one of those guys, it’s good because they have all the tools and knowledge to do it right the first time.

  • marmorset says:

    BX armored cable is resistant to nails, but it’s not invulnerable. For your application you’re better off using that instead of of regular NMC. Even with it’s better resistance to accidental damage, code requires that protective plates are attached where the cable passes through a stud. I’d see if it’s possible to use nail plates where the cable is going to be aligned with a stud to protect it from direct nail hits.

    Junction boxes have to be properly sized for the number for wires and switches/receptacles inside the box. Some boxes have their volume stamped in the box, but with wires inside it could difficult to see. You’ll need to measure the box, calculate the cubic inches, then look at the size and number of wires and attachments inside the box. [Here’s a page](https://www.ask-the-electrician.com/wire-electrical-box.html) with the necessary information on box sizing, and [this link](https://www.ecmweb.com/code-basics/box-fill-calculations) tells you how to count everything.

  • distantreplay says:

    >…directly through the romex…

    Not sure if code allows this kind of placement of conductors. But if it does, it would surely require that the conductors be installed in metal conduit. See NEC chapter 3.

    Box fill capacity is calculated from the total volume of conductors, fittings, and devices present.

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