If you have a quite old house, wiring upgrading is a necessary thing. It can make safer your family living here, but it also improves the efficiency of your appliances.
Many modern appliances require structured wiring or heavy-duty cables, and you can run this type of system when replacing dangerous aluminum or ungrounded wires.
Launching new wiring is messy enough even without removing the drywall. However, you can remodel your home without removing your existing wall covering. This article is about how to do it quickly and safely.
Planning and preparation
Before you start pulling the wires, you need a detailed plan of both the circuit you’re going to replace and the new circuit you are installing. Find the correct amount of wire and the most expedient paths for the circuits.
If you don’t want to remove drywall, you should run most of the wires through the attic or into the free area between the wall and drywall. For this, you need a lot of free space around. So, prepare the room, moving the furniture away from its borders.
Removing old wiring
You unlikely can just pull the old cable that you no longer need from the wall. They’re often fastened to the frame. As an option, after turning off the circuit control switch and disconnecting the wires from it, cut the cable, remove the exposed part and leave the hidden part in the wall.
If you come across a cable that you can pull through and you just want to replace it with a new one, you can attach the new cable to the old one. This way, when you pull the old cable out, the new one will automatically fall into place to take its place.
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Launching a new wiring
After preparing the materials and tools, you can fully start wiring. Install the clips on the marked walls in the right places. There must be a certain distance between the clips – 30-40 cm. If you can’t replace the clips, use plastic clips. In this case, you may work much faster, but there is also a serious drawback. The corrugated pipe can be damaged if clips aren’t used.
Before you start laying the circuit wire, first make holes in the drywall for a box for each of the electrical devices in the circuit. Then drill a 3/4” hole in the top or bottom wall slab directly above or below each of the holes. It’s a point when you likely need a helper, who can catch the wire as you feed it vertically from an attic or crawl space. It may be easier to catch if you attach it to a stiff wire such as a straightened clothes hanger.
The fact that you cannot attach cables to racks behind covered walls makes it especially important to secure cables to rafters or beams with wire brackets. Each wire must be properly secured to the electrical device box it’s using for.
We also advise splitting the circuit to provide more than one room with power. You can do this by connecting the wires in a closed junction box securely attached to a beam or rafter. The box must remain accessible so that you can carry on future repairs if necessary.
Q: Is it safe to leave the wiring under drywall?
A: If mineral wool or other non-combustible material is used as an insulating surface, you may not worry about the wires behind the drywall. However, if the material inside is fire flammable, the cable must lay in a corrugation of metal or plastic that doesn’t support combustion.
Q: Is drywall flammable?
A: No, according to the technical characteristics of most PVC manufacturers – it doesn’t support combustion when tested with a wire glowing up to 650 degrees Celsius.
Q: Is it dangerous to leave wires directly in drywall?
A: This option isn’t fraught with special difficulties but requires accuracy and precision in installation. The most important thing here is a precise and predictable scheme. The hidden cables should be located so that you can easily find them if necessary.