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Fencepost
Re: DIY home wiring, bad idea?
skintigh wrote:

I'm also an EE and wiring some of my home.

Engineers should be required to complete an apprenticeship in their field of study prior to receiving their license. I.E., an EE should have to serve time as an electrician or electronics repair tech. An ME should have to learn how to repair engines or be a plumber or something like that. A structural engineer should have to build houses. A civil engineer should have to run a #2 shovel on a road project.

Then maybe they wouldn't come up with such harebrained, difficult-to-build and impossible-to-fix designs.

dj1
Re: DIY home wiring, bad idea?
Fencepost wrote:

Engineers should be required to complete an apprenticeship in their field of study prior to receiving their license. I.E., an EE should have to serve time as an electrician or electronics repair tech. An ME should have to learn how to repair engines or be a plumber or something like that. A structural engineer should have to build houses. A civil engineer should have to run a #2 shovel on a road project.

Then maybe they wouldn't come up with such harebrained, difficult-to-build and impossible-to-fix designs.

Right on. Also make cooks and chefs eat the food they prepare for others before they serve it.

Mastercarpentry
Re: DIY home wiring, bad idea?

I'm with Fencepost. I've seen to much stuff drawn on paper (and even marketed as a product) which works in theory but fails miserably in the real world. You can't gain real-world understanding from a book or instructor; it can be had only through real-world experience or observation of the same. Apprenticeships should be mandated for all academic degrees, and degrees should be rescind-able so that those who cannot properly deal with the real world lose their ability to cause problems.

At the OP, even if a contractor only allows you to do the grunt work of drilling holes and fetching materials, that is a fairly good part of his expenses so doing it will net you a lower cost as well as preparing you for future projects as you watch and learn the techniques, measurements, and work-flow methods they use.

Phil

Fencepost
Re: DIY home wiring, bad idea?
Mastercarpentry wrote:

I'm with Fencepost. I've seen to much stuff drawn on paper (and even marketed as a product) which works in theory but fails miserably in the real world.

Anything advertised in a TV infomercial.

A "labor-saving" device should not require more effort to clean than it saves during use.

Mastercarpentry
Re: DIY home wiring, bad idea?
Fencepost wrote:

Anything advertised in a TV infomercial.

A "labor-saving" device should not require more effort to clean than it saves during use.

Sorry I didn't get back here sooner, I was busy cleaning my "Veg-O-Matic" and resharpening my "Ginsu" knives again :p

Phil

Bemmy
Re: DIY home wiring, bad idea?

Make sure your state allows DIY. Where I live a HO can do electric but not plumbing. When I bought my house it had a wooden fuse box. I decided to upgrade to 200 amp. I hired an electrician to put in the meter, the panel box and one outlet in the basement. $600. I then had the code enforcement check it out and explain and give me a list of codes. (I pulled my permit beforehand) I lucked out, the house was a balloon frame with no insulation. So running wires was easy. When I pulled the permit I had already decided where each outlet and light fixture went. I wired all outlet with tamper resistant. Even tamper resistant GFI where needed. I loved being able to decide where I wanted outlets too. IE in closets where I could hide my network equipment and other things not needed to be out in the open. I probably have more then I need but I won't run out. 3 way switches were a snap. Hard wired all smoke / carbon monoxide detectors. I then had an electrician come in and run wires and hook ups for my range and dryer. Plus put in the Arc Fault breakers. $350. Materials cost around $2,000 so for about $3,000 and sweat, I got my 8 room Victorian with a huge entry way house completely rewired. Each room on it's own Arc Fault also kitchen and baths each with 2 separate breakers GFI in each of those rooms. Also my 3 story barn. PS I am a 58 yr old 5 foot tall woman. So with knowledge it can be done. Also when done I blew in insulation.

Re: DIY home wiring, bad idea?
Bemmy wrote:

Make sure your state allows DIY. Where I live a HO can do electric but not plumbing. When I bought my house it had a wooden fuse box. I decided to upgrade to 200 amp. I hired an electrician to put in the meter, the panel box and one outlet in the basement. $600. I then had the code enforcement check it out and explain and give me a list of codes. (I pulled my permit beforehand) I lucked out, the house was a balloon frame with no insulation. So running wires was easy. When I pulled the permit I had already decided where each outlet and light fixture went. I wired all outlet with tamper resistant. Even tamper resistant GFI where needed. I loved being able to decide where I wanted outlets too. IE in closets where I could hide my network equipment and other things not needed to be out in the open. I probably have more then I need but I won't run out. 3 way switches were a snap. Hard wired all smoke / carbon monoxide detectors. I then had an electrician come in and run wires and hook up my range and dryer. Plus put in the Arc Fault breakers. $350. Materials cost around $2,000 so for about $3,000 and sweat, I got my 8 room Victorian with a huge entry way house completely rewired. Each room on it's own Arc Fault also kitchen and baths each with 2 separate breakers GFI in each of those rooms. Also my 3 story barn. PS I am a 58 yr old 5 foot tall woman. So with knowledge it can be done. Also when done I blew in insulation.

Sounds like you did everything right, for very good price and had a great time...Congrats!

Fencepost
Re: DIY home wiring, bad idea?
Bemmy wrote:

So with knowledge it can be done.

This is key.

The responsible DIY'er will do diligent research to find the PROPER way to do things. Never assume that you know the correct way without research; rather, verify that your ideas are correct. The Internet should not be your sole resource; there is a lot of misinformation out there. Published books (in dead-tree format) are generally authoritative; where Internet and book disagree, go by the book. But make sure it's a recent edition; preferred methods and codes change as materials change and flaws in conventional wisdom are revealed.

An engineer is not a technician. While an engineer may be adept at designing things that function and work well, they are often not aware of current codes, available materials, typical work practices, and practical realities. For DIY-type stuff, I'd seek assistance from a technician before I would an engineer. But if I had a complex system or structure that needed to be designed, I might go with the engineer -- then consult the technician when it comes time to implement the design.

Bemmy
Re: DIY home wiring, bad idea?

I really lucky that the people I dealt with shared their knowledge with me. Also I did not have to touch a single live wire. But I know where every wire is run and where it goes. I also kept a notebook with really detailed notes. IE outlet by south facing dining room window is connected to outlet by south facing dining room door. ETC. When done code enforcer inspected it. Having detailed notes not just diagrams probably helped a lot. Always ask questions.

Re: DIY home wiring, bad idea?

I must say I agree with other posters that say the corrections needed, if any, will only cost you more money, which defeats the purpose of trying to save a few dollars by doing it yourself (even with someone who may or may not be knowledgeable, and licensed!)

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