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Old 11-09-2008, 03:38 AM  
Will1987
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Default new outlet in a closet

Hi,
Here's the situation: Customer wants me to enlarge the door of a closet to make it a kind of open alcove thing and build a sort of desk in there. They want a new electrical outlet on the wall under the desk to plug in their computer. The only problem is there isn't any junction box nearby except a light in the ceiling of the closet. There aren't even any connected perpendicular walls that have a nearby outlet (I don't think, I could check again).

1. How many wires (sets of black and white wires) are allowed to be in a standard 18 cu inch box in standard 240 volt household wiring?

2. Is pretty much all standard household wiring 15 amp/14 gauge wire/18 cu inch boxes and how can I tell what the amperage of the circuit is if its not on the main electrical panel?

3. I assume the light at the top of the closet is not a possibility to tie into since its on a switch and we don't want the computer to go off every time the light gets turned off. Or is there some way to tie into the light's box that I'm missing?

4. Is it ok to "splice into" pretty much any electrical line by cutting it in half and putting a box on the nearest joist or stud?

5. Is it preferrable to drill hoes through studs and joists for the wire or to notch them out and put a nail in protection plate over them?

6. can an opened up hangar be used almost as effectively as fish tape for this kind of thing?

7. how would I determine a wire to splice into the middle of without opening up the wall fully to see where wires are running?


Thanks,
Will



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Old 11-09-2008, 06:43 AM  
speedy petey
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I'm sorry. Right from the start you say this is for a customer.
Then you go on to ask sever VERY basic questions with regard to residential electrical work. Questions anyone working in someone else's house for pay SHOULD know the answers to.

Are you licensed?
Does your liability insurance cover electrical work?
Doe you even have liability insurance???
Have you ever even done electrical work before???

I know I will get flamed for this post but I don't care one bit. If you are doing work in other people's house you should damn well know what you are doing before you even set foot inside.



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Old 11-09-2008, 06:52 AM  
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Will,
I gotta agree with Speedy...
Your best option would be to call an electrician in and stay out of the electrical.

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Old 11-09-2008, 06:56 AM  
speedy petey
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Will, looking at it I see maybe I was kind of harsh, but understand, while I know this "is not rocket science" as so many ignorant folks like to say, it is involved and it IS important. Knowing the codes and what you are doing, ESPECIALLY when doing this for a living, is paramount.

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Old 11-10-2008, 09:34 AM  
Will1987
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Yeah that's what forums and various other sources of information are for. If you don't answer my questions I'll have to go get them elsewhere is all. Yes I've done electrical before. Hooked up lights, sockets, switches. I wanted little review of the basics because I generally like to avoid it because it can sorta be a hassle. But you're damn right is not rocket science. There's zillions of sites and even t.v. programs that tell ordinary homeowners how to wire their house, put in new sockets, etc. let alone a handyman. This forum is called D.I.Y. in case you'd forgotten. I vaguely remember from before when I asked some questions here the irritating feeling of useless responses like these. GET OVER IT. People do stuff without licenses and indeed are encouraged by sites like this to do so. but hey, you better SOUND like a know it all or you'll get junk like this. Anybody can do electrical work at this level and I will proceed to do any job that comes my way within reason. This is a slightly weird set up and I don't do electrical work full time which is why I asked here. A response from you could make it go smoother (and if you're so morally worried - also safer) just to brush up my skills a little, but I guess that's too damn much to ask.
Sorry but it's just kinda annoying. if you want to go ahead and answer the questions that would be great, just for clarification purposes. If not, I'll go to another forum or other information source or just jump in and do it. I've pretty much got it figured out anyway.

Will

p.s. What's this site for anyway, just homeowners? What if they electrocute themselves?: What's your motto: "Better a dead homeowner than a handyman in legal trouble." ? If I wanted to hear about why to refrain from doing the work I wouldn't have needed this forum. It's touching that you're worried about my getting sued, but I didn't ask for advice on that. I asked for some information about wiring.

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Old 11-10-2008, 10:09 AM  
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ok ok guys I got kinda carried away. This whole thing is goofy. happy thanksgiving. I got all the info myself anyway.

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Old 11-10-2008, 01:35 PM  
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Hello Will:
I'm sorry for your distasteful experience here. Yes, we are here to help folks with DIY type problems. I too, have limited electrical experience and can answer all the questions except the first one. The limit is stated in the National Electrical Code, perhaps you could use a Google search for that answer.
2. Yes most house wiring is with 14/2 wg which is rated at 15 amps. If you are in doubt about the amperage on the wire in question you will need an ammeter. Typically the 12/2 wg is used on appliance circuts for a 20 amp circut.
3. The ceiling light typically has a power wire to it with a 'switch leg' going down to the switch and back to the light. Another wire run into the box for the new use shouldn't be any problem, just locate the power to it and hook into that.
4. This should not be necessary in light of #3 but, yes you can. Just remember it has to remain accessible and you can seldom get enough slack to make up another box from a wire like that.
5. Typically we use the drilled holes in the center of the stud, out of range of any screws. If there is a danger of a screw or nail hitting the wire an 18ga cover plate is advisable.
6. Yes, an opened coat hanger works well or even the wire itself is sometimes stiff enough to push through. Then, there are times when a small chain dropped down through the wall is effective.
7. I wouldn't even want to go there, personally. With my old heart, just one jolt may be the last.
I hope there is something you can use from this answer and, please come back again. We are a user friendly sight.
Glenn

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Old 11-10-2008, 02:16 PM  
speedy petey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennjanie View Post
Hello Will:
I'm sorry for your distasteful experience here.
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:11 PM  
inspectorD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will1987 View Post
Yeah that's what forums and various other sources of information are for. If you don't answer my questions I'll have to go get them elsewhere is all. Yes I've done electrical before. Hooked up lights, sockets, switches. I wanted little review of the basics because I generally like to avoid it because it can sorta be a hassle. But you're damn right is not rocket science. There's zillions of sites and even t.v. programs that tell ordinary homeowners how to wire their house, put in new sockets, etc. let alone a handyman. This forum is called D.I.Y. in case you'd forgotten. I vaguely remember from before when I asked some questions here the irritating feeling of useless responses like these. GET OVER IT. People do stuff without licenses and indeed are encouraged by sites like this to do so. but hey, you better SOUND like a know it all or you'll get junk like this. Anybody can do electrical work at this level and I will proceed to do any job that comes my way within reason. This is a slightly weird set up and I don't do electrical work full time which is why I asked here. A response from you could make it go smoother (and if you're so morally worried - also safer) just to brush up my skills a little, but I guess that's too damn much to ask.
Sorry but it's just kinda annoying. if you want to go ahead and answer the questions that would be great, just for clarification purposes. If not, I'll go to another forum or other information source or just jump in and do it. I've pretty much got it figured out anyway.

Will

p.s. What's this site for anyway, just homeowners? What if they electrocute themselves?: What's your motto: "Better a dead homeowner than a handyman in legal trouble." ? If I wanted to hear about why to refrain from doing the work I wouldn't have needed this forum. It's touching that you're worried about my getting sued, but I didn't ask for advice on that. I asked for some information about wiring.
This sounds like one of my rants.....glad Speedy want's to help folks out again. I think one roll eyes will do it.

Come back soon. I think I may have given you a hassle before also, my apologies,The rest of us will help you out so you do it safe.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:10 PM  
speedy petey
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Yeah, don't listen to Speedy. He's just a big old meanie.



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