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Thread: Rewiring a 1930s House comments

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Bremerton, Washington
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    7,933

    Rewiring a 1930s House comments

    I have been an electrician for 49 years and started as a resi electrician, now I do mostly instrumentation and control.
    I have a 1930s house and have been rewiring it, its lath and plaster, I am bringing it up to 2017 NEC.
    Comments
    Lath and plaster is hard to cut for old work boxes, I use a multi-tool
    I bought a Gardner Bender Staple Boss for run romex in the crawl, shoot the insulated staple, and then a tap with the hammer.
    I run all the receptacle ckts in 12 and lighting is all separate, 14 there
    Some of the circuits run by previous owners were OK, some were pretty hacked.
    As common for older homes, a 200 amp panel was installed on the outside, then a 2" LB under with romex running to the crawl space, no clamps on romex going into LB. I installed a 4x4x18 wireway on the inside back to back with the panel, and then run down into crawl space.

    Question- the walls are drafty, I can install switch and outlet plate gaskets, do any locations require those?
    Moderator-Washington State
    Ancora Imparo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    100
    Depending on the box type you use, could you get things ready and fill the hole with foam and set the box into it, so that no gaskets are necessary under the plate? Sounds messy, but some disposable gloves should help there.

    MTW

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    LA basin, CA
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    Masonry boxes are less drafty, and plaster & lathe can be cut tightly against the outside lip of those boxes.
    Roger Ramjet NoFixNoPay

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    The Motor City, Michigan USA
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    I think gasketed boxes are required to comply with Canada's residential energy code. I haven't heard about them being required in the States.

    Better yet, skip the gaskets and insulate the house when the wiring's complete.

    For old work, I can't recommend smartboxes enough. They mount securely on the studs & joists, not on the lath & plaster.
    http://meproducts.net/smart

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Vermont
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    1,639
    Many plast/lath homes were framed w/ 2x4's on edge, so we use a lot of>>



    Carlon B117RSW


    ~RJ~

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Cherry Valley NY, Seattle, WA
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    Ive been using smart boxes screwed to the stud whenever possible for lath and plaster. IMO its a much stronger and higher quality install. It does take a little more time as you have to located the stud, and can be tricky if you dont have a good wall scanner that will go through the plaster and lath.
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA 21 Hours from Winged Horses with traffic
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    185
    If you do not yet own one of these, get a similar one, you will be able to seal most every little space in your re-hab.

    Be aware, there is a learning curve on how much foam expands! And there are different expansion types for that gun.

    The gun is sssooooo much easier than the cans with straws.

    What? You guys don't take the time to cut out the plaster and wood lath to screw the GEM box to the wood lath like the old guys did it? Ha!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Atlanta,GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by drcampbell View Post

    Better yet, skip the gaskets and insulate the house when the wiring's complete.
    If the house was in this area I would recommend just gutting it out and start from there.
    The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Remotely running business in Bay Area, CA from Medford, OR
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    I too had an older home that needed rew
    iring, plumbing, insulation, etc.

    I gutted, to bare studs, one room at a time, made all the necessary repairs, insulated, etc

    Less traumatizing to the household, and the work was done correctly. But drilling through those old studs is a bear. Kept my bit sharpening guy busy
    ABC

    "Eschew Obfuscation!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Placerville, CA, USA
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    19,532
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank DuVal View Post
    If you do not yet own one of these, get a similar one, you will be able to seal most every little space in your re-hab.

    Be aware, there is a learning curve on how much foam expands! And there are different expansion types for that gun.

    The gun is sssooooo much easier than the cans with straws.

    What? You guys don't take the time to cut out the plaster and wood lath to screw the GEM box to the wood lath like the old guys did it? Ha!
    No link, no pic.

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