Today Noel wired the upstairs subpanel. We are that much closer to having good wiring in the entire house.

It turned out that he did a good job putting the conduit together, because there was no need for the use of the vacuum cleaner in fishing a rope through the conduit; the fish tape just went through smoothly. This is good because I was a little unsure about the vacuum trick: you tie a ball of wadded up paper onto the end of a long piece of string, stuff it in the conduit, and vacuum it up to the top of the conduit. This seemed kind of iffy, and I am glad we did not have to test it and find it wanting.

Rope coming through the conduit in the upstairs subpanel

Here's a photo of the rope fished through the conduit.

Ready to pull the wires through the conduit

In the basement, Noel tied the rope to the ends of the wires to go through the conduit. You can see the fish tape lying there to the left, in its green plastic reel.

There are four wires: two hots, a neutral, and a ground (the green one). For those interested, they are AWG1, which allows us to run more power upstairs. We don't NEED all of that right now, but we might as well since we're running wires. At some point we may want to use an electric dryer upstairs (if we install solar panels), so now we have the wiring to do that.

Wires in the conduit

This is what the wires look like being pulled through the conduit by the rope. Noel had to tie two ropes together because the run was 55 feet long, and the rope was 50 feet long.

After pulling

And this is what it looked like from the basement after the wires were all pulled (there was an incident with the ground wire detaching from the bundle and having to be fished individually; it was worked out). The extra wire was trimmed off, and then Noel used a utility knife to strip the ends. They do sell special tools for stripping the wires, but given that we would have needed that tool only today and probably not ever again, it doesn't seem worth spending money on.

Coming out in the upstairs subpanel

And the top of the run. The red and white tape designate one of the hot wires and the neutral, so everything can be wired up properly at each end of the run. Crossing wires is bad bad bad.

And wired in place

Probably my most favourite thing about Noel is that this is what his wiring looks like. Nothing gives you a nice secure feeling like knowing the wires inside your walls are neat and tidy.

Hey, it takes all kinds of people to make a world.

Wired into the junction box

Then there was a lot of struggling and shoving and a strategically placed screwdriver head, and Noel got the wires run from the outside main panel into the junction box, and wired up nicely with the wires to the upstairs subpanel. The ground for upstairs is still hanging there because the wire nut that ties the grounds together is not large enough to hold it, so some more supplies are in order. That can wait.

And in the meantime, last week the hall light suddenly stopped working. We don't know if the bulb is out or the extremely iffy "fixture" (if you can call bare wires sticking out of the ceiling a fixture at all) is to blame, but we decided to just not try to fix it and let the fix be handled as part of the mass upstairs rewiring to come. In the meantime, who knew I even used that light so much? Not me. So good timing on getting this far.

posted by ayse on 04/19/14