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My attic project
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2009-12-02, 00:29

I don't have any pictures of the project yet but will add them in a few days. My attic is built using trusses so I can't use it for storage or anything other than open area to run wires and such. I'm storing empty boxes up there though along with Christmas stuff when out of season. My A/C unit and air handler are up there though.

So my attic isn't going to look anything like WLP's did. I'm more looking to make it more functional when I need it. Currently I'm adding data lines throughout my house. I've tackled what's likely to be my hardest to get done leaving the "easy ones" to do. This is basically all of them. So since I'm going to be working in my attic a lot in the near future I decided to make my attic a little better by adding lighting and electrical outlets.

I've installed a light switch and the lights in the main area of the attic already. I still have two more sockets to install and then the lighting side will be done. I'm going to make it it's own 15A circuit for the whole attic. I have it connected to power temporarily using a molded plug and then just plugging the circuit into a receptacle in the garage.

My next phase is going to be to install the receptacle circuit. I'm going to put a GFCI outlet on first in the series and then normal ones after that. My current plan is to have one every 9' or so. This will make working up there so much easier, plus make power readily available for when I have to attic vents changed out for two powered vents.

I'm pretty excited about this little project. It's the first really fun yet inexpensive project I can do in my new home. So my question is more looking to see if anyone out there has other ideas I should think about when working on the electrical parts of the attic. One thing I'm wondering is if my lights have to be on a GFCI circuit in the attic too? I know the receptacle power side does.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2009-12-02, 00:41

I'd install a small breaker box up there and run 2 15s off of it instead of GFCIs. One for lighting/AC and one for power outlets. Saves having to run down the stairs to flip the switch if needed. I'm not sure that I'd trust a GFCI to be your breaker...it's probably OK, but I don't know for sure. Seems weird to me.

Plus, pics!

So it goes.
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Partial
Stallion
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Milwaukee
 
2009-12-02, 00:48

Just be careful. No one likes a fried turtle
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2009-12-02, 21:06

Yeah, I'm pretty good with electricity. I've messed with it once or twice. I do know my limit though when it comes to opening the breaker panel. I'll leave that to the paid people. Plus, my insurance company says all major electrical work must be done by a licensed electrician or electrical fires aren't covered.

I like the idea of a small breaker box in the attic. This does allow more options for me up there. I don't want the lights on the same line as the A/C though...if the A/C has to be isolated then I lose lights too.

My original plan was a normal 15A breaker in the main panel and then the GFCI for the run of receptacles. Now I like the idea of being able to isolate them with a breaker upstairs. Thanks for the idea!

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2009-12-04, 01:13

It hit me tonight while I was at Lowe's that I don't need a breaker sub-panel in the attic. I just need to add a light switch inline on the receptacle branch. Then I can have my GFCI outlet lead the series with a switch on the front of it. Still a normal 15A breaker in the main panel.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2010-01-07, 10:48

Lights are finally done! I plan to install the outlets in the next week or so! I'm pretty pleased with my work so far in getting the place lit up too. Very nice to work in now. I'll post pictures in the next day or so.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2010-01-07, 21:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by Partial View Post
Just be careful. No one likes a fried turtle
Except pscates, apparently.

But yes, safety first.
  quote
thegeriatric
geri to my friends
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Heaven
 
2010-01-07, 21:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
Except pscates, apparently.

But yes, safety first.
Don't knock it till you've tried it.

Fried turtle and chips Hmm......................

Seriously though be careful, we don't want you to become an endangered species.

I used to be undecided.....But now I'm not so sure.
No trees were harmed in the sending of this message. However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2010-01-14, 17:24

So here's the finished lighting portion of my attic project. The pictures aren't as good as they could be but are good enough to show the progress. I used 60W bulbs because of the cost and limited use. I liked the idea of CFL or LED, but not for the limited usage they'd have in my attic.

This is my temporary power connection until I can get an electrician to tie into the breaker panel. It is just an extension cord plugged into my garage receptacle.


This is the switch located at the frame of my attic ladder. Very easy to get to as your climbing into the attic.


Junction box for the switch and main power to be split off for my receptacle run. The outlet pictured here is continuously powered. It's the start I did so I wouldn't have to mess with the junction box again. At this point I'm likely going to move the box or replace it with a larger 2-gang box so it can house the GFCI receptacle as well at the circuit on-off switch. My plan is to leave the lights powered to the switch continuous with only the breaker in the main panel the only way to isolate it. It's rare I see this circuit needing to be modified so I'm pretty confident this will give what I need. Plus, who needs to de-energize a lighting circuit ot work on it?



Looking down my attic with the lights off and then with them on. Hard to tell how bright it seems in there with the pictures, but there's fairly adequate lighting for most work with these 60W bulbs. I might put 100W ones near the air-handler though.



Instead of putting holes in the trusses to run the wires I tacked them down on the outer edge of the studs. While it doesn't seem as permanent, it also seems less damaging to the trusses.


If you look at the earlier pictures looking down the attic where the air-handler is these are to the right of the air-handler. The original structure is an "L" ranch and these are of the back stretch of the "L". Both shots have the lights on but the second one is without the flash.



So here we have my wonderful homemade DTV antenna. It's one of the few perks brought to AN by a now banned member. This little baby works well enough for my use though I'll likely move it to the back corner of the stretch at the end of the "L" since that'll put it closest to the signal source with minimal structure interference.


Since I don't have a patch panel yet I have just terminated the few ethernet cables with wall plate jacks. Not pretty, but functional.


So now on to getting the receptacles in place. I'm planning to get them in today or tomorrow. I might not complete the wiring of them, but at least get the boxes in place. My plan is to install them on the other side of the trusses from the lights. This is the back side of the attic and where the powered attic vents are going to be going. I currently have the turbine style but can't wait to get away from though.

Well, what do you think?

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2010-01-14, 17:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle2472 View Post
Well, what do you think?
I think that I wished that I lived in close proximity to you, because I wouldn't mind helping you out with this shit...even though you're doing a fine job on your own.

So it goes.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2010-01-14, 22:04

Well I'd enjoy the company. Thanks.

I went to Lowe's today to get the final parts I needed to put the receptacles in. One of the items I got was this little unit:


This i going to be my circuit isolation for the receptacle side of my attic. Lit when the circuit is active and out when it isn't. Perfect for this case if I do say so myself!

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2010-01-17, 19:15

Well, it's done! I finished it up today with the help of my 15 year old. She tacked down the wire while I terminated the receptacles. It worked really well as we moved down the line starting from the back of the "L" working our way to the attic entrance.

So I thought that we would be better off not having my wife have to plug in the attic circuit whenever she needed to use the lights up there. It dawned on me that I would be able to put it down through the port near my network/server equipment.




From the attic entrance you can see the pilot light being lit so you know at a glance that the attic receptacle circuit is powered.



Here you can see the lights on and the switch to control it. The big point is the light operate independently from the receptacle circuit.



Here you get a closer view of the isolation switch and the GFCI receptacle to protect the attic circuit. I tested out the circuit from one end to the other and all are working as they should. It's pretty darn cool! The power comes from the junction box to the isolation switch to the GFCI. All the receptacles are in series from the GFCI



Here you can see some of the receptacles down the line that are ready for action!



It was just so much fun and the feeling of accomplishment is just great! It isn't *totally* done in that I need 6 more receptacle plates and still need to have the circuit wired into the breaker panel. The project used 14-2 wire with 15A devices the whole way. While the ground isn't needed for the lighting circuit I went ahead and used it

Here is a picture of the bonus prize:


That's sunlight coming in the roof at the eve where the rodent has chewed a hole. We were pretty sure we had been hearing one up there. So the droppings I found along with the hole, I placed traps with peanut butter on them. I hope they work well and swiftly.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2010-01-21, 00:39

So I evicted scratt today!

I set my network camera up in the attic so I could get an idea of who or what was in my attic and guess who I found, scratt. Sure he says he's in Thailand but I know better. I'll post a link to the video of him and his wife chilling in my attic later, but I had to "rat him out".

So after watching the recording of it and seeing they had left for the day I started watching live just for giggles. What do my eyes see but the happy couple trespassing again! I post my daughter at the screen to keep an eye on them and I run into my attic at high speed! They were still up there so my old sailor came out of me as I said things I hadn't heard come out of my mouth in a long time!

After scaring them out I went outside to find what I could to block them out. I found a broken brick that could actually fit in the hole they chewed and crammed it in. Then had to borrow a ladder so I could do a real block job. I got some wire blanket yesterday from Lowe's after knowing what I was up against. So after getting the ladder I folded the blanket so it was doubled over and blocked the door with some plastic too the keep out the rain.

I still have the camera recording now just in case they actually manage to chew through the wire, but it's 19 gauge and doubled over too. They looked like a cute couple either way.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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billybobsky
BANNED
I am worthless beyond hope.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Inner Swabia. If you have to ask twice, don't.
 
2010-01-21, 01:29

i don't think it was wife and husband you were seeing since squirrels are solitary... i think you just evicted the meth addled single parent and her bastard child...
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2010-01-22, 01:15

Well, the junkies are on the street either way. I watched one of them try to get to the hole a few times but they kept getting scared off when I'd approach the building. No I need to cut the overgrown bush down to keep them from getting on my roof again.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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