Anyone that can wire a house in GA

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sancraft, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    and let me pay you monthly on your bill? I need my cabin wired, but don't have a lot of money. Just buying the supplies is going to be a major challenge. Is there anyone out there that can wire a new structure and let me pay you on time? Or does anyone know of a good book with detailed instructions on how to do it myself? I still wouldn't feel comfortable bringing it from the pole to the house, but I think I could do the inside wiring with instruction.
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Both Home Depot and Lowes both carry books that give very detailed displays of how to do it. They range about $10 to 12 each, come with illustrations, termonology, details, and about anything else you would need. The cabin should take about 1 day to wire due to its size; if the nearest town has a day labor service you can get it wired for 1 persons wages if the materials and tools are available. Do have the local electrical inspector look at it before useing. Most day labor pools will have someone exsperienced in electrical wireing. If you can transulate written words and pictures to physical actions it should not be a problem to do it yourself.

    Wireing is simple, it comes into the circuit box as 2 - 110 volt lines, each go to a buss bar in the middle of the curcit breaker box. The electricity travels on the black wire to be consumed at the outlet or appliance. The white wire is the pathway back and must be present even though the electricity does not come back, it is consumed. The white wire goes to the outer buss bars, same as the ground (green or bare) wire. There must be a ground wire that goes to an Earth pounded metal rod attached to the outer buss bars. The black wire is then attached to the circuit breaker and it is installed into its place in the circuit box. Two way switches, GFIC circuits, odd configurations are all exsplained in the books. The afore mentioned companies feature Saturday morning classes for many of the different applications of building trades, for free.
     

  3. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    I'll stop by Home Depot on the way home.
     
  4. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The local Library has books on the subject also.
     
  5. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    your local vo-tech school may be of some help. (not sure if they do summer classes in your area)
     
  6. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mitch-

    Well put.

    I'm sure the book will detail cutting out drywall for the outlets, toggle switches and wiring boxes, if Sandy has interior walls.

    It may also explain using the external outlets, toggle switches and boxes and the tubing or "raceway" (is that the term?) that is used to conceal/protect wiring when the wire runs outside of the wall, in case she has log walls inside.

    Rick
     
  7. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    If I was doing it myself, I'd ask a local guy to come check it out before and after I did it. Pay him $50 bucks or a six pack whatever. He wouldn't be liable but I'd still like a pro to check it out.

    I live in an owner built home. Long story short - twenty years ago, the guy pounded nails through the electric wiring not once but TWICE within two feet of wire. I finally figured out why my computer started browning out and I smelled smoke. We had the electricians come out and they removed part of the door frame - it was all black and burnt wood on the inside. If I had cranked up my computer one more time, the whole house could've gone up in flames!

    So I'm paranoid about this sort of thing now,

    Beaux
     
  8. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    To save money, you might check out the library for your wiring books before buying them.

    I wish I lived closer, we wired a cabin just like yours and every wire met code and the best part was it didn't pop breakers like our big house did when it stormed!

    If there's anything I can do long distance let me know.
     
  9. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    While I agree with the bulk of your message, there can be some curcits that require 220v, as well as 220 & 110 on the same appliance (drier, range) which get a bit more complicated than that.

    I agree with the person that from the pole to the main panel is best done by someone very familiar with electrical setups. There are a lot of little things to watch for. Setting up the branches within the house is possible if the person is mechanically minded, willing to understand & follow _all_ the safety rules. Setting up wiring is like setting up plumbing. Difference is with water, if you make a mistake you get wet & try again. With electricity....... well........

    We have disagreed on the one point before - If electricity did not need to return to the power station, then there would be no need for the white, or neutral, wire at all. Because it is needed, obviously it does conduct electricity & does carry a current at times. There is some fundamental difference in the way you understand electricity vs most everyone else. Your point would make some bit of sense (tho still not be accurate) on a DC setup, but certainly not on AC.

    --->Paul
     
  10. Lerxt

    Lerxt Well-Known Member

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    I got a really good book at Menards. It was all black and white with no photos. It handled everything from installing a light switch or electrical outlet to adding breakers to a box and adding a sub-panel. I think I paid $5 for it. Blue cover and it was hidden among the circuit breakers.

    My dad got the $20 one from Lowes with color photos and what not and ended up mis-wiring something in his home to the point he nearly caused a fire (I found melted wire nuts in his attic) and had to rip out drywall in order to re-wire some 3-way switches.

    A couple things I'll throw in from my own experience:

    1: Never trust someone else to turn off a breaker or to leave it off if you're working on the wiring. And always use a voltage sensor ($7 at radio shack )before you grab a wire. Did I say always? I mean it. If you reach into a bag to get a wire nut check that wire again. I learned the hard way. :eek:

    2: Dont' skimp on the wire. Even if you don't run the maximum amps across the wire you get a little benefit in power usage. And if you do end up needing to run a larger circuit you won't need to re-wire.

    3: When working in the breaker box use only one hand. If you screw up the circuit goes from that hand down to your feet (or wherever you happen to be grounded). If both your hands are in there you could close a circuit through your chest and you won't be posting here any more.

    Doing electrical really isn't very difficult. Especially if you're just doing really simple wiring (single-pole switches and what not).

    Last thing: If you are in a crazy county like the one I work in, make sure you don't have to have a license to do it. Doesn't sound like you will though if this is a cabin.
     
  11. Lerxt

    Lerxt Well-Known Member

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    Gotta agree with Rambler here. I've taken a hit from the "white" wire before. I learned to treat wires like guns. Just as there is no such thing as an unloaded gun, there is no such thing as a dead wire.
     
  12. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    simple once you read on it and study someones finished wire setup... a book is your first step. then study someones open panel and lines to see what the book is on about.

    simple rules... black is hot red is hot, white is neutral and green or bare wire is a ground.

    never cross the black and white wire.
    always make sure the job is grounded.
    buy one of those little plug in testers that tell you if you wired the plug right... it has 3 lights and a code printed on it. also buy a "tick".. its a red pen that blinks and beeps when it is touched to a live line... so you can see if a line has power or not.

    the most important thing is buy the right tools and dont be cheap, buy good supplys and dont be cheap, and when in doubt stop and look it up or ask someone else.

    oh yeah, turn the power off before you start.

    once you get the basic idea of how it all wrks and what goes where its really all just putting wire A in slot B and testing.

    you can start a new thread in the shop forum, and I for one will be happy to add an answer to any question you ask about it.
    I'm sure there are many here with experinece who will give you an almost immediate answer.

    oh yeah... i forgot one...
    ask 5 people the same question and go with the majority rule opinion. often asking just one person ends up being wrong.

    I try to be wrong at lest once a day, it keeps me from taking over the world.
     
  13. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    If you have no experience you need to consult an electrician. Most of residential electric is pretty simple, you could certianly learn how to run branch circuits with outlets and lights. But as anyone familiar with the NEC can tell you, there are also alot of particulars. You need to be able to do circuit load and voltage drop calculations, know the particulars of how to properly ground the system, and know the requirements for how to fasten the wires properly. None of the books you'll find at home depot or lowes etc that I've seen give you everything you need to know. They're more designed to give you enough information to say add an outlet to an existing circuit. Electricians go to school to learn this stuff, so you really need to consult an electrician. If you're lucky you can find a friendly one that's willing to work with you.
     
  14. ibcnya

    ibcnya Well-Known Member

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    I believe the only reason anybody ever gets zapped by the white or common wire is because they were a better ground than the intended ground or somebody used the white as a hot. Check your ground if you get are getting zapped by common. Also a bad ground causes lightning to enter the house wires alot more often causing unneeded damage.
     
  15. Bob NH

    Bob NH New Member

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    Most places in rural areas you can do your own wiring (don't need a licensed electrician).

    The best thing you can do for yourself if you are going to own a home is learn enough about the things in it so you don't have to hire someone to fix them. You will make a few mistakes but you will save a tremendous amount of money. There is nothing "High tech" about the wiring and plumbing in a house.

    First thing you need to do is make a list of what you are going to connect to the electrical system.

    Most things use simple circuits. Examples are lights, TV, computers, anything that comes from the store with a plug.

    Clothes dryers, water heaters, range, and oven require 230 Volt circuits and usually higher amperage breakers and bigger wires.

    You need to install the meter socket and connect it to a service entrance cable attached to your house or a conduit mast. Look around and see some installations on houses. Then install your main service entrance panel with the main breaker.

    Don't get the power connected until the main breaker is installed. The electric company will connect to your service entrance wires and install the meter. They may not connect it until the building inspector approves (if you need a permit).
     
  16. As a former electrician, I can tell you this. If you don't have a little bit of trainning you could either end up losing everything you have or end up hiring a electrician to fix all your mistakes and it could cost more than if you had hired him to wire it to begin with.

    Here in Oklahoma a residential electrician has to have 2 years of schooling plus 2 years apprenticeship. How does that fare with someone who reads a handbook for 1 hour.

    Not trying to discourage you Sancraft, but your talking about a lot of money that you have invested in the place. The last thing you want to do is start back at ground zero!
     
  17. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    sancraft you have gotten a lot of advice, most of it right on target.

    I'd just like to add that you can never have too many plug-ins, even in a small cabin. As an example you or someone in the future may want a stereo receiver/amplifier to the sound for television, which is using a digital satellite dish, while recording the program on a vcr. In just a small space you need four outlets. If you decide to use an electric heater while watching and recording your show---well you get the drift. Forethought. Really think things through what you or the next family might have or will have in the cabin. Consider loads and you may find that you wish to have those plug-ins on different circuits because of the extra draw, such as from a heater.

    Details--properly locate switches to the correct height and location. Ever walk into a strange room and can't find the darned switch in the dark? When you finally do find it you discover that someone has placed it about 6" higher than the standard.

    You may also wish to wire phones lines into your cabin. Think of where you may wish extensions or where you might wish to place a cordless phone base.
    Also where you might eventually place a computer that will be on dial-up service.

    Television antenna wire is something else to also consider wiring in whether it is coax cable or the old flat wire (is it still being used?).

    Think out which switches you might want for two-way turn on and off.
    Also outlets that you may wish switched. Turning off a table lamp at the doorway as you exit a room is easier than navigating a dark room after having switched the lamp off.

    When you buy wire in fairly large rolls it is pretty cheap. Boxes, switches, and plug-ins are too considering the convenience they provide. You are a good person, give yourself a little treat with a few extra perks. Remember that you will have the enjoyment of them for years with a small expenditure now.

    One extra I had on one house was an outlet at the eave line of the roof. It was switched inside so that Christmas lights could be turned off rather than having to go outside to unplug them on a cold night and also saved using an extension cord.

    If you do place switches on plug-ins watch for amp ratings of the switches you buy.

    I also highly reccommend that you check several stores in your area as to brands of breaker boxes they carry. If MOST carry "Square D" brand and you buy a lower priced "General Electric" box you may eventually have problems buying breakers for new circuits in the future. (Example only, I haven't a clue as to how those prices compare.)

    Really think things through whether you will do the wiring or whether someone else does it. It doesn't do much good to put in a plug-in if you will wind up covering it up with a cabinet.

    Oh yes, don't forget to wire in ceiling fixtures that will accommodate ceiling fans.
     
  18. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    I'm at the library now and I've already looked through the books on wiring. I really don't feel comfortable with this task. I am not particularly mechanically inclined. I most mechanical thing I've ever done (and have to do again this year), is remove and clean the carburator on my tiller. I gon't think I'm going to try this. I don't want to electicute myself or burn the house down. :eek: :confused: :eek:
     
  19. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    Do you already have electric to the box? Or have you even installed it yet? Around here they inspect the box to make sure it is mounted etc properly before hooking you up. As far as inside wiring goes if you dont feel comfortable doing it yourself see if you can find someone at a job site (new house etc) that works for a larger contractor. They will often do work ''on the side'' on smaller projects like yours very reasonably. I wish that I were closer Id do it for you. I wired an outbuilding for my sisters art class in a few hours. Complete with plugs lights etc. Had an friend that wires for a living check it out and he said it was perfect. Maybe you could save money by cutting corners on installation. Go ahead and put up the light fixtures, plug in boxs etc so all they have to do is feed the wire and connect. I know here in Bama there are mobile home manufacturing plants everywhere. Find someone who works in the electricians dept at one of the plants. Often they make less than 10 bucks an hour running all the wires etc in new mobile homes. So really you should be able to have it wired for less than a hundred bucks. Alot of money I know but far cheaper than an actual contractor if you can find one that will take any job less than a large house these days.
     
  20. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    ooops double post sorry!!