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Unread 08-04-2006, 09:37 AM   #1
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Electrical question


I am new to the forum and have a question. I live in a two story house which is stucco and the breaker box is attached outside.

My question is: I need top run two dedicated circuits to the upstairs bathroom for a whirlpool I'm installing. What is the best way to fish the wires to this area. Do I have to remove sheetrock in my living room to get access to the back of the breaker box or is there an easier way.

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Unread 08-04-2006, 09:49 AM   #2
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If you have crown molding (or would like to have it) you could go from inside the box into the wall cavity and up to the ceiling. Make your drywall cut near the top plate where you drilled through from above, and work your fish tape through the hole in the top plate/sillplate. Attach your wire and pull the fish tape back to the panel. Patch the hole and cover with crown molding.

Or do it your way.
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Unread 08-04-2006, 10:48 AM   #3
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I'd surface install it.

Your Breakers are outside probably at the rear of the home. I'd install hard exterior rated conduit and take it directly up to the 2nd story and then horizontally to the bath area and through the sheathing. I like to run these along horizontal trim, called a belly band, and paint to match.

My second choice, if you have a crawl space or basement would be to use Romex and go down and start the verticle run near a closet or other obscure location near the bath, then go up from there.

If you are going up inside the home, the least obstrusive, and probably the most initial work, but less painting and patching is to bust out the area where you want the box, and go straight down from there.

I use right angle drill at that location on the bottom plate, and drop a chain. Hopefully you can find the matching stud bay on the 1st floor, and bust out the dry wall at that stud bay. There are some tricks to doing that, including adding a small bell to the chain so you can hear it down below and locate the right stud bay.

Once you bust out that drywall use a right angle drill and go through that bottom plate to the crawlspace or basement. I use a chain with a large magnet that quickly attached itself to the fish tape, then pull the chain down attach a single pull wire, and off you go.

If you have a slab, you are goind to have more work, and when you go horizontal will have to do so as Mr. Camp suggested, behind baseboard molding. Heck it might be easier to replace the baseboard at this point with some nice 6-8 inch stuff. Every stud will have to be drilled through back to the Breaker Box.

Don't script on the wire size 12ga for sure--you can tell the 12ga stuff--it is now yellow.
"Sir, I May Be Drunk, But You're Crazy, and I'll Be Sober Tomorrow"
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Unread 08-04-2006, 11:12 AM   #4
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The exterior run is by far the easiest method. If you don't mind the appearance, I'd certainly do it that way.

The fishing through the walls with a chain is a tried and true method, but doesn't work very well on exterior walls filled with insulation.

Depending upon the finish of your sheetrock walls, pokin' some holes in the sheetrock at reasonable intervals works well and they're pretty easy to repair. My favorite tool is the 4" hole saw. You still need to drill up/down through the plates, of course.

From the breaker box I'd at least take the easy route and come out of the box on the outside and turn into the house with an "LB." Be sure to seal the penetration well.

Horizontal runs behind trim works well, but your building inspector ain't gonna be pleased with it unless you pewt it in EMT, methinks.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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Unread 08-04-2006, 11:27 AM   #5
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Thanks all for the replys. I probably will use the exterior coduit as it seems to be the easiest. What a great forum

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Unread 08-04-2006, 12:09 PM   #6
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Chains, bells, magnets.

Have to write that stuff down.

Go Rutgers!
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Unread 08-04-2006, 12:35 PM   #7
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One can not ever fish through exterior walls--I hope I didn't say that. The main reason is fire blocking.

And for interior runs behind walls, I'd use Romex, but as pointed out that will depend on your local code. Some require hard conduit, some allow flex, and some are OK with Romex.
"Sir, I May Be Drunk, But You're Crazy, and I'll Be Sober Tomorrow"
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Unread 08-04-2006, 02:07 PM   #8
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Wall weasel

Check this out a little pricey for a one time use.

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Unread 08-04-2006, 06:29 PM   #9
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Hi Robert,

What CX and Scooter said.

If you go the exterior route, you'll typically have to pull regular wire through the conduit and the 'LB' as CX mentioned will have to terminate into an accessable interior box, in the box you switch from the wire to romex and go from there. You might luck out at the panel and have a "telephone ell" which would be stubbed out through the stucco and has a threaded plug in it.

Interior:Fireblocks, they're a drag but they do make sectional bits to drill through 'em, although they're pretty useless on a non-gable end because the roof 'squarshes' down too tight. I'd go with the hole-saw, it's faster.

Check the tub manf. specs. on minimum size circuit for the tub Robert, because some of them have inline heaters that need a larger feed. The wire size and the number of wires determines your conduit size. Also, you don't want more than 4- 90 degree bends (or 360 deg. total) in a run, so you may have to add an exterior box or two or a few LB's otherwise it'll feel like you're pulling an 800 lb. gorilla through the pipe, and it's code, but do it for you.

hope this helps,
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Unread 08-05-2006, 10:43 AM   #10
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never say never....

when it comes to running wire in exterior walls. As usual, the better answer is "it depends." Granted, you'll be hard-pressed to do it in a frame construction house - which is most houses out there. But in the Southwest (like AZ) we have a lot of older block wall houses. Mine has interior drywall on firring with no other insulation. I've run wire easily in that space, and on one occasion even ran wire inside one layer of block (there are 2 layers).

not that this helps Robert much.....

btw - they are still selling the 12 ga in white, but do as Scooter says and get the yellow. your inspector will be happy.

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