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How to drop wire from attic into old work box

Install wire to old work box

old work box
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Old work box is installed in hollow part of wall

Can be installed on any interior wall
Do not locate where pipes, otherwires, or pocket doors are present.

Wire is dropped into wall, and then hole is cut for box.
Do not cut hole for box before dropping wire.
14-2 wire

Old work box at Amazon
Wire cable at Amazon

Select wire and breaker size

install 2 old work boxes
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Drop wire from attic before cutting hole for box.
Once wire is dropped down inside wall, have helper rattle wire around.
Noise from wire will confirm location to cut hole.
Helper pulls wire up out of way so saw will not cut wire.

Cut 2-1/4" x 3-3/4" hole in sheetrock using knife or saw
Reach in and find electric wire inside wall
Pull electric wire through hole
Feed wire into box
Set box into hole
Turn screws so pop-up fin tightens against inside of sheetrock
Install switch.

Note: Water Heater Timer requires only one box and one wire.

attic wiring

Instructions for locating where to drop wire:

1.Before going in attic, choose wall for switch
2. Avoid walls with pocket door or plumbing pipes or exterior walls with insulation
3. Go in attic and estimate location of wall

Wear protective mask when working with insulation

4. Pull back insulation & find top plate as shown.
5. Each interior wall will have double 2x4 top plate that will be visible when insulation pulled back.
6. Have helper tap on wall from below
7. Note location of other wires. Do not use drill next to other wires or damage to wire can occur accidently.
If another wire already drops through top plate where you want your wire, see if your wire will push through same hole.
If you have to drill, move over several inches from other wires so drill won't contact wires.

When drilling through top plate 3 things may occur:

1.) You may hit a nail > drill another hole
2.) You may hit top of upright 2x4 > drill another hole
3.) You may drill into the wrong cavity > that's why you drill through top plate before cutting hole in sheetrock

Tip: after drilling hole in top plate - and - before cutting hole in sheetrock, drop your wire into wall and have helper rattle it around to make sure you're in the right spot. Put timer at eye-level so it's easy to program.

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drop wire from attic

Cut-away view of residential wall

1) Drop wire through top plate.
2) Have helper rattle wire inside wall
3) Noise from rattling wire will identify where to cut hole for box
4) Try to identify mid-way between studs so blade will not cut existing wires.
5) Existing wires will be stapled onto 2x4's

Do not cut wire accidently
drop wire from attic

Other wires can be inside same wall

1) By code, other wires are stapled to 2x4's
2) However, not every home has code wiring
3) Existing switches and outlet boxes will be attached to 2x4
4) Wires also run horizontal through walls
5) Horizontal wires usually located below level of outlet box ... BUT can be anywhere inside a non-code structure

Be careful When cutting through wall to install old work box:

Do not put blade far inside wall where it can hit other wires and possible pipes
Use a utility knife to cut hole
Cut hole slowly
Locate old work box in center between 2x4s

Buy deep scan stud finder:
Deep scan stud finders at Amazon


Basic 120Volt wiring inside wall
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Other wires can be inside same wall

Be careful when cutting through sheetrock to install old work box
Do not push blade too deep past sheetrock

Buy deep scan stud finder:
Deep scan stud and electrical and metal finders at Amazon


How to wire switches
Water heater timer
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Family chart for setting timer

GE 15070 timer to control water heater

Compare all timers with same features
Eye-level installation: easy to change times, set override, reset current time after power outage and seasonal time-change, and turn water heater ON-and-OFF manually to override timer function.
30-minute timer intervals: Summertime 15-30 minutes for shower, wintertimer 30-45 minutes for shower.
Image shows timer mounted on wall below attic light switch. Timer is same size as typical light switch

See timer installation

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Test for breaks in wire/ Test for voltage
Most appliance require 80% rated voltage to function correctly
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Safety when testing wires:
Never touch wet or previously flooded appliance.
Never stand on wet surface when working on electric.
Never stand on bare soil, put down dry boards.
Tape tester leads to wood sticks to keep hands away from power.
Use non-contact voltage tester before touching wires.
Never touch or lean into any made of metal.
Remove metal objects from pockets.
Do not use oxygen or fuel accelerants in same room as electrcial repairs

Basic house wiring

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Test for power without touching connectorss
NEVER assume power is OFF

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Yellow for 12-10 wire
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Built-in cover keeps silicone in place
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Add solder to 1" length of tightly twisted stranded wire to make into solid wire
Heat wire. Touch solder to wire. Let cool. File away over-solder.
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Timer caught fire

linesman pliers
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Keep enclosure door closed at all times

Fire caused by stranded wire

Do not use stranded wire under screw plate

Applies to timers, switches, outlets, pumps etc.
Small devices, with small loads, such as lamp socket, stranded wire is fine
Add solder to 1" length of tightly twisted stranded wire to make into solid wire
Heat wire. Touch solder to wire. Let cool. File away over-solder.
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Timer caught fire

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