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rewiring my house

This topic contains 34 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  r-ice 3 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #499996

    Benny74
    Pro

    Hello all. I am buying a 1920 bungalow, and had an electrician take a look at what it needs to update the wiring. There is everything from knob and tube in the attic and crawlspace (don’t know if it’s live) to a fuse panel that supplies 200 amp service- a patchwork of generations of work. The 2-wire has not been updated, but someone put in some 3-wire outlets that now have open grounds.
    One electrician said I should just rewire the entire house at $5/s.f.- around $12,000. Another said he could rewire for $7.75/s.f., but that I could just leave the 2-wire alone and update the service where it comes into the house to the box, installing GFI breakers. This would cost $2980. Given that he’s talking himself out of a lot of money, I’m inclined to think he’s honest. He said this would be up to code, and I could then legally use 3-wire outlets.
    Any opinions on whether this is just as safe as a total 3-wire redo? I’m not flipping the house, but do plan on staying in it a few years. The money savings would be a tremendous help if it’s really a viable solution. Any thoughts on this? Thank you.

    #500004

    Hello all. I am buying a 1920 bungalow, and had an electrician take a look at what it needs to update the wiring. There is everything from knob and tube in the attic and crawlspace (don’t know if it’s live) to a fuse panel that supplies 200 amp service- a patchwork of generations of work. The 2-wire has not been updated, but someone put in some 3-wire outlets that now have open grounds.
    One electrician said I should just rewire the entire house at $5/s.f.- around $12,000. Another said he could rewire for $7.75/s.f., but that I could just leave the 2-wire alone and update the service where it comes into the house to the box, installing GFI breakers. This would cost $2980. Given that he’s talking himself out of a lot of money, I’m inclined to think he’s honest. He said this would be up to code, and I could then legally use 3-wire outlets.
    Any opinions on whether this is just as safe as a total 3-wire redo? I’m not flipping the house, but do plan on staying in it a few years. The money savings would be a tremendous help if it’s really a viable solution. Any thoughts on this? Thank you.

    I would be inclined to go for a full re-wiring. GFI breakers are better than what you have, and I don’t know your local code, but if you’re going to do it, do it right.

    If you choose to just do the box, make sure to ask about arc fault breakers. They may be a better choice

    #500021

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I would opt for a rewire.

    In my area, if you bring in an electrician, anything he touches must be brought up to current code…which would probably mean a rewire in your case.

    Knob and tube has been phased out for a reason! It’s just not as safe as the current standard.

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    #500022

    Where I work, the only code compliant upgrades are that smoke alarms be installed when a panel box or service entrance is upgraded. As for best protection, grounded outlets with separate ground back to the panel bar is by far the safest. There is an exception that allows for ground fault protection with no equipment ground; however, in such a case it is NOT recommended to install sensitive equipment not surge suppressing equipment where there is no equipment ground. I have rewired entire homes to eliminate ungrounded receptacles, and I have installed gfi protection.

    Anything is possible if your wallet is thick enough ~ my father

    #500050

    I would go for the rewire too. Better to know what you have when it comes to electrical. Gives you more confidence and if you sell, it is a big feature (keep any receipts). Canadian code is that they have to bring everything up to date once they start fixing things. That includes arc-fault in the bedrooms and split receptacles in the kitchen, and gfci in bathrooms and wet areas.

    Also, rewiring and a new panel can be put in so you know you have a balanced load, equalized between both legs of the service. If you can fish the wires yourself and put in the boxes you can save some money there.

    My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA

    I don't do a fast job. I don't do a slow job. I do a half fast job.

    #500057

    I would go for the rewire too. Better to know what you have when it comes to electrical. Gives you more confidence and if you sell, it is a big feature (keep any receipts). Canadian code is that they have to bring everything up to date once they start fixing things. That includes arc-fault in the bedrooms and split receptacles in the kitchen, and gfci in bathrooms and wet areas.

    Also, rewiring and a new panel can be put in so you know you have a balanced load, equalized between both legs of the service. If you can fish the wires yourself and put in the boxes you can save some money there.

    Also, you may find this is an ideal time to pull down walls. Sometimes cheaper to have the electrician work in open walls and pay a drywaller to put new (flat, nice, no lead paint) ones up after. You can also insulate any exposed outside walls

    Depends if you are living there already, and your tolerance for renovation work

    #500059

    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    I would opt for a rewire.

    In my area, if you bring in an electrician, anything he touches must be brought up to current code…which would probably mean a rewire in your case.

    Knob and tube has been phased out for a reason! It’s just not as safe as the current standard.

    yup same in my area, and the inspector will come and check it. He cut a few wires in my house when i bought it and now it is up to code with a breaker panel and all.

    #500060

    Clev08
    Pro

    I would do a total rewire, that way all the old stuff comes out and you don’t have to worry about it. The new wiring should increase the value of the home and give piece of mind to the next homeowner.

    #500178

    First thing what did your insurance company say . If they don’t approve it you my have to re-wire anyway to get insured from them . It’s a big thing now when buying a older home .

    Always willing to learn .

    #500197

    Doobie
    Moderator

    First thing what did your insurance company say

    That might be the catalyst reason in itself to do a total rewire.

    #500198

    MrFid
    Pro
    Sudbury, MA

    I would go for the rewire too. Better to know what you have when it comes to electrical. Gives you more confidence and if you sell, it is a big feature (keep any receipts). Canadian code is that they have to bring everything up to date once they start fixing things. That includes arc-fault in the bedrooms and split receptacles in the kitchen, and gfci in bathrooms and wet areas.

    Also, rewiring and a new panel can be put in so you know you have a balanced load, equalized between both legs of the service. If you can fish the wires yourself and put in the boxes you can save some money there.

    Also, you may find this is an ideal time to pull down walls. Sometimes cheaper to have the electrician work in open walls and pay a drywaller to put new (flat, nice, no lead paint) ones up after. You can also insulate any exposed outside walls

    Depends if you are living there already, and your tolerance for renovation work

    Seems you have some consensus to go for the rewire, and I agree. You’ll sleep better at night knowing everything was done right, and if you can reno the drywall it may even save you some money in the end (since the sparky can work faster with no pesky walls in the way), and you end up with new walls. Word of warning, if the current walls are the original ones, you’re likely to be opening a can of worms when you tear them down. Once you see what’s behind there, insulation-wise or other, you may find you have even more work to do.

    #500199

    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    First thing what did your insurance company say . If they don’t approve it you my have to re-wire anyway to get insured from them . It’s a big thing now when buying a older home .

    Better to do a rewire now than have a fire and find out you aren’t covered.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can’t Be The Pro… Be The Poster you’d want to read.

    #500237

    Boschmanbrian
    Pro
    Montreal , QC, Canada

    First thing what did your insurance company say . If they don’t approve it you my have to re-wire anyway to get insured from them . It’s a big thing now when buying a older home .

    Better to do a rewire now than have a fire and find out you aren’t covered.

    I would not take the chance of missing something , go for a complete rewire also,
    and @skillman has a very good point about the insurance

    #500238

    Benny74
    Pro

    yes, the walls are all original plaster, so I would prefer not to pull them down.
    The consensus makes sense. I’m just wondering why the electrician would be offering to do a $3000 job instead of selling me the $12-$15000 rewire if it’s that much better than GFI breakers in a new panel.

    #500241

    yes, the walls are all original plaster, so I would prefer not to pull them down.
    The consensus makes sense. I’m just wondering why the electrician would be offering to do a $3000 job instead of selling me the $12-$15000 rewire if it’s that much better than GFI breakers in a new panel.

    If he is busy enough, he can choose jobs that are more pleasant. Rewiring through lathe and plaster is a PITA. If he is in enough demand to not be missing the work, he can be happy to pass on it.

    Replacing a panel and putting in new breakers is a quick and clean job. In and out in a day, reasonable parts cost to him, and no cutting (and repairing) plaster

    He probably nets a good day, and he doesnt bust his butt doing it

    #500251

    Benny74
    Pro

    Must be nice not to need an extra $12,000. Having just purchased a home, I’m having trouble relating. But I suppose this is a possibility.

    #500252

    Must be nice not to need an extra $12,000. Having just purchased a home, I’m having trouble relating. But I suppose this is a possibility.

    You didnt ask how to do it good enough for now on a tight budget. You asked how you should do it, amd got a unanimous answer

    Good enough for now is between you, local code, amd your insurance company

    #500255

    Benny74
    Pro

    Yes- I appreciate the responses. I will spend the money if need be. That was tongue in cheek, because there’s a ton of new expenses in purchasing a fixer-upper.

    #500258

    roninohio
    Pro
    New Franklin, OH

    That is why fixer-uppers are much cheaper.
    Good luck whatever you decide. In the old houses the coating on the wires gets very hard and brittle and even falls off. I would do the re wire.

    #500265

    Must be nice not to need an extra $12,000. Having just purchased a home, I’m having trouble relating. But I suppose this is a possibility.

    It’s hard to say with out talking to them . Size of the company and needing a lot of overhead could be why the price is high . Are they Union Electricals doing the job . Is the one guy a one man show . Do they need the work and just priced it high see if you go for it .

    Who will do the patch work is it subbed out our in house with the contract .

    Always willing to learn .

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