I have a space between walls that is about 14" deep and 8 foot wide, and goes from the floor to the ceiling. This space is on the second floor. Petty much in the center of the house. The space contains a sealed round air duct and also PVC water supply pipes. They go from the attic to the first floor in this space.

I will have an electrician rewire the house going from aluminum to copper. Can the wires be run in this space as well?

  • 2
    Done properly, there's nothing wrong with having aluminum wiring. Not sure if there's some other reason you're re-wiring but just want to point that out for future readers to avoid unnecessary work. There's a lot of paranoia around aluminum wiring, but it's essentially all related to when it's done wrong (and not to code). – gregmac Jul 7 '13 at 8:11

Yes you can run electric in any interior wall. You cannot run electric inside of water supply lines, inside duct, or attach electric to either.

The cavity you describe is common in a lot of house layouts. I have a 8 foot section that is about 12 inches wide in the middle of my house. It has duct work, main stack and tons of plumbing, with plenty of electric too.

  • Gregmac, In my area we have many insurance companies who write home owner insurance. ONLY 2 will insure you if you have aluminum wiring. Both require either the crimped copper tail or the copalon (sp) adapter, which I've done myself. I decided to redo the house and can pass most cost to the next owner. Incidentally, I got bids from highly rated electricians that went from $5000 to $14000. The last one I asked "how many days will it take?". He said ten - 8 hour days with two men. I asked how much he charges an hour. He said $95 for the two men. Then he dropped the price to $8000/ – BobJax Jul 7 '13 at 14:16
  • I also agree with gregmac with aluminum. Being an owner of a half and half house I had tons of issues when I moved in. Easily fixed when I bought aluminum rated outlets or pigtailed. – DMoore Jul 7 '13 at 17:08
  • Lady next door just bought the house and moved in. Couldn't get insurance because she had aluminum wiring. She had to pay a lot of money to have the approved pigtails added. Then she had a choice of two insurers only. I confirmed that with an insurance broker. Many electricians are asking $100 per outlet and switch for these pigtails. You can get the price down if you make them quote an hourly rate. One electrician said the worst outlet for fires is the refrigerator outlet. – BobJax Jul 7 '13 at 23:31
  • Pigtails take about 10-15 mins per outlet for someone who is experienced. Also I have not heard of any issues with getting insurance with aluminum wiring - interesting to hear that though. – DMoore Jul 8 '13 at 1:40
  • Not just insurance, but just selling a house can be a problem. In my locality the city performs housing inspections. If my house had aluminum wiring, I would not be allowed to sell it until it is replaced. If we foreclosed, anyone buying at auction would need enough money in an escrow account estimated (by the city) to cover replacing the wiring plus any other violations. Go down the road two miles, nobody cares. – user4302 Jul 8 '13 at 3:16

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