First new house

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mannyb

Senior Member
My worst nightmare came tru today I was asked to wire my bosses friends
new house. We normally do comm/indus but I figure I better finally get it over with,
any advise on how i should approach this? Its 1800 sqft and 4 br 2 bath. Shoud I rough in all my recptacles I feel really lost I now the code as far as 2 appiance 1 laundry gfci restroom but my rough in and lay all my swithces WHAT? I normally work on Mazak cnc
machines motorcontrols and plcs. but I guess my boss really needs me to do it he says he
doesnt feel good about sending anyone else to one of our best customers new summer
HOuse! Any advise will do thanks
 

220/221

Senior Member
Location
AZ
Don't put switches behind the doors:grin:

Seriously, Your boss should sub it out to a resi contractor. Their 2 man crew would be done in a day or two.
 
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active1

Senior Member
Location
Las Vegas
Tell him you not a residential electrician and have no background in the area.

It woud be no different if a resi guy was asked to wire a machine shop.

Not many know everything. Sometimes it's better to know your limits.

While homes are on the easy side of electical work there are pitfalls.

In a custom home it also helps to have experiance in lighting layout.

Besides the possable code gotyas custom homes tend to have changes, and sometimes limited information. Something like most have whirlpool tubs even if not on the plans. Or the best location for applinace outlets. Dimmers and timmers added after trim.

My guess is you don't have much for wood stud bits or a angle drill.

No offence ment. Just don't want you in hot water if there's problems.

If they insist and your a pipe person then pipe the place (and not to a max fill). At least pipe can be forgiving and allow changes to circuiting and switching.
 

KevinVost

Senior Member
Location
Las Vegas
Review 210.50 through the end of the article. Is there a plan or are you doing code minimum? Is the service installed? Is it a new house or new to the customer (remodel)? What code cycle are you under? Some more detail will most likely get you some more percise answers.
 

220/221

Senior Member
Location
AZ
Layout/mark all box locations on the studs with receps @ 16" and switches @ 48" (bottom or top, your choice)

Layout and mark all ceiling fixtures/recessed cans.

Nail up all (plastic) jboxes, hang all cans and use fan rated boxes for all ceiling fixtures.

Drill all holes abve switch boxes and thru walls where necessary.

String the cable, poke it in the boxes and staple it then strip the sheath with a razor knife and make it up. In the olden days we'd strip the sheath, THEN put it in the box. Today they seem to strip the sheath after it's in the box.

Run a 14/2 circuit for appx every 500 sq ft. land the HR in a sw box and branch out from there. Utilize switch boxes for junction points and keep recep boxes one in and one out wherever possible. FINISH one circuit before starting the next. Don't leave out any jumpers.

Make sure the kit counter top receps are on the exact same horizontal plane if there will be tile backsplash.

12' max between general receps. 6' from a door.Any wall over 2' gets a recep.

Gas and water piping must be bonded. Panel must have ufer or groind rods.

There is a crapload of little stuff. Sub it out yourself and impress your boss with your delegation skills.
 

ohm

Senior Member
Location
Birmingham, AL
All great comments but be sure you know what the thickness of the sheetrock/wood or tile will be. Any handicap issues?

Also, 3W & 4W switching req. ; heated bath fans?; phone, sat/cable, doorbell, home theater speakers, security, smokes etc. etc.

Eric had a good comment about stripping...I would go so far as test the circuits before that horrible day for a newbe...when the rockers arrive!
 

IMM_Doctor

Senior Member
Tell him you not a residential electrician and have no background in the area.

It woud be no different if a resi guy was asked to wire a machine shop.

Not many know everything. Sometimes it's better to know your limits.

While homes are on the easy side of electical work there are pitfalls.

In a custom home it also helps to have experiance in lighting layout.

Besides the possable code gotyas custom homes tend to have changes, and sometimes limited information. Something like most have whirlpool tubs even if not on the plans. Or the best location for applinace outlets. Dimmers and timmers added after trim.

My guess is you don't have much for wood stud bits or a angle drill.

No offence ment. Just don't want you in hot water if there's problems.

If they insist and your a pipe person then pipe the place (and not to a max fill). At least pipe can be forgiving and allow changes to circuiting and switching.

I could not agree more!

I am a 20+ year journeyman in commercial and industrial. I did NOT wire my own house that we built a few years back. Let an experienced residential contractor handle the job. This is serious, once the walls are covered, there can be many regrets.

We had the owner of one of our industrial accounts plead for us to do some rough work on a remodel of his little lake cabin. (low risk?). My boss sent me, (his top man) to do the job. I roughed a 4-gang switch box on the wall leading into the "great-room" to control hi-hats, switched plugs, ceiling fan, and wall sconces. We then left the job. Never got called back to finish. Apparently the small (handy man size) firm, must have taken it upon themselves to do the trim out of the electrical, and never called us for any inspections, or to finish the job.

I was at the customers plant a few months later working on a machine, and the owner just happened by, and asked me, "Why did you put all of the switches in the closet?"

The handy-men had decided to add a staircase to the the loft in front of the previously exposed wall where we roughed the switches. (No prints, just seat of the pants remodel).

This was one of the most stressfull client encounters I had, to-date.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
The simplest solution would be to get someone with residential experience to wire the house. If that's not an option just get someone to provide a detailed set of electrical drawings. Certainly any competent commercial/industrial electrician can follow a good set of prints.
 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
"We're all ignorant, just in different areas."

Ignorant does not mean stupid or dumb, but ignorant. I don't mean this in a derogatory sense. Just that you are basically out of your element. Some doctors are general practitioners, others are specialists. You seem to be a specialist, and are being asked to do work outside your specialty.

I've got to agree with the others that on are of the 'fish out of water' side of the fence. I'm not saying you're incapable of wiring a house, but you would not be able to wire it effeciently. You will spend three to four times the labor and God-knows-how-much material to accomplish the same result an experienced Romex Jockey will.

You will be setting yourself up for some serious troubleshooting issues, first-go-around code violations (hopefully the inspector will catch them for you at rough-in!) and some make-your-scalp-bleed headscratchers.
 

donselectric

Senior Member
Location
nh
just do a walk thru with the owner and let him tell you what he wants and where other than the code compliant things...its a custom job so charge for it
hey we all had to learn so dont be scared its not that hard maybe a little intimidating...so what if it takes you longer at least your learning. i dont go as fast and have to think a little cause i dont do it every day too. plus i'm not a
20yr old...go for it :smile:
 

R Bob

Senior Member
Location
Chantilly, VA
String the cable, poke it in the boxes and staple it then strip the sheath with a razor knife and make it up. In the olden days we'd strip the sheath, THEN put it in the box. Today they seem to strip the sheath after it's in the box.
I always strip it before I stuff it. I find it much easier and it takes about the same amount of time for me, if not less.
A word of caution.

I was contracted by a restoration company to meg the circuits on a fire job.

Virtually ALL of the circuits wired in Romex/NM failed. The circuits wired with SEC (range, dryer, A/C etc.) no problem.

I was convinced that I did something wrong (even though this was not exactly the first time I used a megger).

Come to find out(or the best I could determine), the orignal contractor had used a razor knife to strip the jacket of the cables after they were installed in the outlet boxes(I could tell by the amount of jacket left in the boxes) nicking the insulation on the invidual conductors during the process.

They had to rewire everthing, and got thier regular contractor to do it, I might add.
 

PetrosA

Senior Member
I'm going to agree about not using a razor knife. I use a regular folding knife that I keep medium sharp and I skin the insulation on the flat side of the romex. With a razor knife, you won't feel it if you cut into the wire, whereas with a medium sharp regular blade, skinning on the flat side of the romex, you'll feel the additional drag of the paper and then insulation if you hit it and you'll see clearly where the copper is exposed. Stripping any kind of three wire with a razor is just asking for problems since there's no groove to follow. Just my 2 cents :)
 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
Silly me. I just use one of these and strip the wire before I stuff it in the box.



It's a whole lot easier to strip the sheath while standing up with these than getting down on my hands and knees and reaching into the back of a box with a knife.
 

R Bob

Senior Member
Location
Chantilly, VA
I'm going to agree about not using a razor knife. I use a regular folding knife that I keep medium sharp and I skin the insulation on the flat side of the romex. With a razor knife, you won't feel it if you cut into the wire, whereas with a medium sharp regular blade, skinning on the flat side of the romex, you'll feel the additional drag of the paper and then insulation if you hit it and you'll see clearly where the copper is exposed. Stripping any kind of three wire with a razor is just asking for problems since there's no groove to follow. Just my 2 cents :)
I am of the same school of thought.
I also have a "dull" knife(and a sharp one) that people frequently give me hell about.

Romex from years ago had a thicker, stiffer, tougher jacket that was more forgiving than todays version.
On the flip side of the coin, the older version was harder to work with.
 

220/221

Senior Member
Location
AZ
Come to find out(or the best I could determine), the orignal contractor had used a razor knife to strip the jacket of the cables after they were installed in the outlet boxes
That has always been my concern too.

Although I've never been really sure that a razor sclice would do any real damage, I feel I have more control over the knife outside the box. I was just pointing out that the production resi guys all seem to strip it inside the box.
 

Fernie

Member
Location
Las Cruces, NM
"We're all ignorant, just in different areas."

Ignorant does not mean stupid or dumb, but ignorant. I don't mean this in a derogatory sense. Just that you are basically out of your element. Some doctors are general practitioners, others are specialists. You seem to be a specialist, and are being asked to do work outside your specialty.

I've got to agree with the others that on are of the 'fish out of water' side of the fence. I'm not saying you're incapable of wiring a house, but you would not be able to wire it effeciently. You will spend three to four times the labor and God-knows-how-much material to accomplish the same result an experienced Romex Jockey will.

You will be setting yourself up for some serious troubleshooting issues, first-go-around code violations (hopefully the inspector will catch them for you at rough-in!) and some make-your-scalp-bleed headscratchers.
This guy is right save the boss some money and get a romex jockey.
 

active1

Senior Member
Location
Las Vegas
hey we all had to learn so dont be scared its not that hard maybe a little intimidating...so what if it takes you longer at least your learning. ...go for it :smile:
The difference is when most learn resi they have supervision to help catch errors. And even then when there are mistakes it's on someone elces shoulders.

Some of the commom mistakes have been brought up such as switches behind doors, nicked NM, and counter top devices off. Other problems I remember were missing home runs, not enough smoke detectors, needing more outlets, 3 or 4 way switches had to be added, elevation errors, bad kitchen layout with devices in wrong location, switches too close to door trim, cans too close to cabinets, wips for under cab. lighting or hood in wrong spot, boxes not deep enough, needing GFI's, etc. The list go's on. I started out working for some bad places that staffed with people with little experiance. The inspectors would have pages of corrections, and there would be things not working, things forgotton to be wired, etc. Or you got someone that drilled or noched the wrong thing.

Another place I worked for a commercial company that was contracted to do a custom home. They must of had 5 bolt in panels, at least a thousand feet of 2" EMT going around, 2' splice boxes all around, all EMT with min #12"s, the list went on. They still ended up some big opps. Like they fed the Kitchen with 1 large conduit (forgot size, maybe 1 1/4"), but still could not fit all the conductors for everything with the cook tops and ovens. They ended up making things 10 times harder then it needed to be and some how walked away from it before it was finished.
 

Ohmy

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
Residential new construction and commercial/industrial are two different animals.

That being said there are plenty of guys that do both...especially smaller shops. But they guys that can land 20 1/2" EMT runs into a panel perfectly one day and install 4 or 5 recessed lights in a first floor finished room with no damage the next day.....are few and far between.
 

Ohmy

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
I'm going to agree about not using a razor knife. I use a regular folding knife that I keep medium sharp and I skin the insulation on the flat side of the romex. With a razor knife, you won't feel it if you cut into the wire, whereas with a medium sharp regular blade, skinning on the flat side of the romex, you'll feel the additional drag of the paper and then insulation if you hit it and you'll see clearly where the copper is exposed. Stripping any kind of three wire with a razor is just asking for problems since there's no groove to follow. Just my 2 cents :)
When I did houses I only used my klein's...just grap the sheath and pull it off the wires right up to the back of the box...then strip, twist, and crimp. They are not a bad hammer either.
 
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