Electrical residential wiring for remodelers

Electrical residential wiring is the part of remodeling that intimidates most people. Quite often a homeowner will start to tear down walls and find wires they don’t recognize. Remember, if you don’t know what it is, find out from someone who does know before removing it.

It’s easy to run Romex and CAT5 through the wall studs if the sheetrock isn’t hung yet. Residential wiring codes need to be followed on renovations even though inspectors will seldom visit remodeling projects.

If the home is an older home, the wires may not even be color-coded. You can get a good idea about electrical residential wiring if you go to my page on
how to understand wiring diagrams

The electric components that fail the most(besides light bulbs)will be fluorescent light ballasts. You can usually hear a hum sound before they die. Sometimes, they will be slow turning on. Ballasts can be changed easily, but the power to the light needs to be disconnected first. There are always diagrams and instructions with the new ballasts.

GFCI’s will also fail quite often, but they usually fail within a few months if they are going to fail at all.

home circuit diagram
If you’re remodeling a home older than about 40 years, you might run into the older fuses and fuse boxes. We have replaced them with modern breakers and breaker panels. You will need to upgrade to a modern breaker box and breakers.

This is a tedious process. The most important thing is to make sure that the house power is turned off. It will need to be disconnected at the main shut off switch.

If I’m doing a thorough remodeling project, I tear out all old wiring and replace it with heavier, newer cables. Romex is cheap and older wires don’t have the capacity they need to energize modern appliances without getting hot.

It just makes sense to upgrade all wiring. If you leave older wires, you’re just asking for trouble.

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