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Basement Finishing and Renovations Has it been 2 years already? Time to work on finishing the basement into some extra living space.


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Old 2014-08-19, 09:20 AM
TheGrudge TheGrudge is offline
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Default A question about wiring

I had an electrician in yesterday to wire my basement. He's licensed and he's getting a permit through the ESA. He's also the friend of a friend so I have faith in the guy.

When he left yesterday he said he was almost done, so I went and checked everything which looked pretty good to my eye. I mean, I've wired one basement before so I'm a pro, right?

The only thing he did that I wasn't a huge fan of, was he didn't drill holes in the studs that are on exterior walls. He instead ran the wires behind the studs. The studs are about an inch-and-a-half out from the wall and we used Barricade floor tiles on the floor, so there's a pretty good gap in behind the studs. I'll check it again tonight, but I think what he did was run the wire in behind, and then every second stud or so he brought the wire up a stud a bit, stapled it to the side, and kept going.

I'm probably the most anal guy on the planet so my instinct is to not be a huge fan of this. Having said that, it does look tidy and once things are spray foamed I can actually see this being safer than having it through the studs because the wire is behind the bottom plate most of the time. Who's going to accidentally hit the wire with a screw or a nail if it's located behind the bottom plate after all? At the very least, I haven't been able to see why doing it this way is bad, save for being a bit lazy maybe. It wasn't an "Oh come on!" moment when I noticed this - more of an "hmm....not sure that's how I would have done it, but I don't see why that won't work", moment.

Just wondering what the code requirements are for this and if there's any major disadvantage to doing it this way?

Last edited by TheGrudge; 2014-08-19 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 2014-08-19, 08:29 PM
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The wire is on the floor?

The wire cant touch concrete and must be fastened every four feet minimum so that part sounds ok.
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Old 2014-08-21, 10:01 AM
TheGrudge TheGrudge is offline
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Thanks. I had the ESA inspector in yesterday, so I was there while he inspected everything. I made sure to ask him about this stuff. First of all, he was super nice and very helpful. I also got the impression that he's not often asked such detailed questions by home owners. I caught him off guard a few times where he kind of looked at me like "how did you know that?".

He said the wire was fine as is, even in areas where there isn't a staple every 4' and where the wire touches the concrete. His answer was that the wire is "rated for that kind of use".

I asked if I could put staples in it every-other stud bay and attach the wire to the bottom plate myself. He said I could if I wanted but he saw no point.

He did point out a few things that need to be fixed, but the more I guys I have in my house the more I can't get over how they are all so different. One guy will say do it this way, the next guy will say that's stupid - do it this way....it's incredible.

For example, the switch for my furnace is at the bottom of my basement steps which is where my electrician left it. The ESA inspector saw that yesterday and said "he needs to move that switch into the furnace room". Really? I thought the point of that switch was for it NOT to be in the furnace room. Sigh.

I still feel like getting a permit is the right thing to do because I'm covered should anything go wrong. That said, I feel like you're subjected to the whims and quirks of whatever inspector you happen to get.

Last edited by TheGrudge; 2014-08-21 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 2014-08-21, 10:22 AM
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gerapau gerapau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrudge View Post
For example, the switch for my furnace is at the bottom of my basement steps which is where my electrician left it. The ESA inspector saw that yesterday and said "he needs to move that switch into the furnace room". Really? I thought the point of that switch was for it NOT to be in the furnace room. Sigh.
My understanding is that the switch has to be within sight of the furnace but that it can't be located in such a way that you have to walk past the furnace to get to it.
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Old 2014-08-21, 10:26 AM
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My understanding is the furnace switch is located so a service tech can shut it off when working on the furnace. So it needs to be visible and close to furnace. Its not an emergency shut off mechanism. Similar to outside disconnect on a/c.

Different opinions does make it entertaining.
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Old 2014-08-21, 10:30 AM
TheGrudge TheGrudge is offline
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Both of your explanations make sense. The ESA inspector suggested a location inside the furnace room but he positioned it in such a way that you'd have to walk past the switch to get to the furnace.
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Old 2014-08-22, 12:34 AM
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Motor load needs a disconnect switch within sight of the motor or something if I recall correctly.
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Old 2014-08-22, 09:06 AM
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Both of your explanations make sense. The ESA inspector suggested a location inside the furnace room but he positioned it in such a way that you'd have to walk past the switch to get to the furnace.
Yes, the switch should be between the furnace and the doorway. I think it also has to be distinguisable from a regular switch (usually put higher on the wall) and if memory serves me right it should be labled.

Last edited by gerapau; 2014-08-22 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 2014-08-22, 09:15 AM
TheGrudge TheGrudge is offline
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Yes, the switch should be between the furnace and the doorway. I think it also has to be distinguisable from a regular switch (usually put higher on the wall) and if memory serves me right it should be labled.
That sounds correct. The electrician put it up high and he kept the cover plate from the builder that says "FURNACE ON/OFF" in giant black marker.
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Old 2014-10-10, 05:32 PM
nileguy nileguy is offline
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Smile esa

what was the procedure for inspection exactly?
I assume:
Apply for permit
wire up
arrange for inspection
drywall
arrange for final inspection

Was there anything surprising you had to change? thanks!
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