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  1. #1
    Paul Luczyk's Avatar
    Paul Luczyk Guest

    Question Old house wiring in Chicago

    My sister-in-law in 1920's home needs to install some new outlets. The place has a breaker panel and original cloth covered wiring. I have not seen the place myself. A electrician claims he must replace all the old stuff when installing the new circuits in metal conduit. Is this Chicago code or a contractor looking to make extra money??

    Paul in Seattle

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    3,741

    Default Re: Old house wiring in Chicago

    To find out what the requirements are, call your building dept. and speak with the electrical inspector there.

    On a side note.
    When a contractor only does the minimum required, years later we complain because he did only the minimum required at the time. But when a contractor recommends more than the minimum, now we think the contractor is trying to make more money by charging for work that was not needed.

    I'm not suggesting that this describes you in any way.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: Old house wiring in Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by imported_Paul Luczyk View Post
    My sister-in-law in 1920's home needs to install some new outlets. The place has a breaker panel and original cloth covered wiring. I have not seen the place myself. A electrician claims he must replace all the old stuff when installing the new circuits in metal conduit. Is this Chicago code or a contractor looking to make extra money??

    Paul in Seattle
    Since I am not from Chicago I do not know if it must be replaced but it sure should be if she can afford it.The cloth covered wiring is now very old and for safety should be replaced in my humble opinion. It will have to be replaced eventually anyway.
    While she is at it upgrade the panel if needed.
    She is lucky she found an Electrician that even wants that type of renovation work as it is a real pain in the ass.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    25,314

    Default Re: Old house wiring in Chicago

    Also not being from Chicago, but I agree with David.

    That wiring system served that house for more than 80 years, it is time to replace it with a safer system which is also designed to carry more loads.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Old house wiring in Chicago

    Depending on the details of the scenario the electrician is mostly correct. Everything has to be piped, no bx, no romex, greenfield is allowed limited usage.
    If she is only going to add 'a few outlets' she can do that without bringing the entire house up to current code. If however the work is more extensive, like a new service, etc. then she would have to bring the entire house up to current Code. The threshold is based on a percentage of the entire system. I'll have to look it up. I think it's 40%, just don't remember for sure.
    As others have stated, she should consider doing more extensive work if the system is that old.
    If she needs a couple more referrals for electricians, let me know. I can give you a couple #'s of good guys.
    Markus

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Old house wiring in Chicago

    Ok, I looked it up.
    If new/current work is less than 60% of overall system, existing has to meet minimum Code requirements.
    If new/current work exceeds 60% of overall system, entire house has to be brought up to current rehab Code for that building type and occupancy.
    I hope this helps your sister. Good luck

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  7. #7
    Jim Zborowski's Avatar
    Jim Zborowski Guest

    Default Re: Old house wiring in Chicago

    Yep, in Chicago they want wiring in conduit. Remeber the story about Mrs. O'Leary's cow? They're paranoid, lol


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