Originally Posted by clevername
well, yeah, but I'm trying to avoid that. Don't want to pay the electrician and I've never done anything like that. The wire runs to an outlet about 3 feet to the right of the rack and runs out of sight in the other direction. There isn't any slack.
Could I do something as simple as taking the existing wire and splicing it to some excess wire in order to get it out of the way? What would I use to splice the two wires together?
Yes, you can. That's what an electrician would do. The only trick: each of the 'splices' needs to be inside a junction box, and that junction box needs to be accessible. Since it looks like the attic back there is accessible, that isn't a problem. You can just attach junction boxes to the studs out in the attic. If you follow a few rules, you'll meet code. The rules make sense as well, they aren't arbitrary. You want to do it right.
This really is NOT hard to do. You can do this if you are doing any other DIY like building that rack. (Disclaimer: I only play an electrician on TV)
what you need:
- two plastic junction boxes (you can get metal, but then get 4 romex clamps that fit the knockouts in the boxes)
- a few (6) wire nuts. Check the sizes to make sure they will handle two 12 gauge or 14 gauge wires.
- Romex wire of the same gauge as what is there now (read it off the casing). You need a ground and 2 conductors. It'll likely be 12/2 or 14/2. If you aren't sure, look at the breaker size. If it's 20 amp, use 12/2. If it's 15 amp, use 14/2.
- insulated romex staples (they'll be in electrical supplies)
- electrical tape (optional)
- find the circuit breaker for that wire. Turn it off. Double/triple check that there is no power in that line (you can check it at the outlet if you are 100% sure it goes to that outlet). Even when you are sure, make your first cut of the cable with wire cutters with insulated handles. If there is power, you'll blow the circuit rather than zapping yourself.
- screw/nail a junction box to a stud on each side of your opening, or maybe one stud over.
- cut the wire on one side, making sure the wire still reaches the box on that side with 3-6" to spare. Put the wire into the box (through clamps if metal box). Do the same on the other side of the opening.
- cut new romex and run it up/over the opening and into each box.
- strip back the outer sheathes, strip back the insulation on each wire (read the wire-nut packaging for how far). Pair up the wires (black/black, white/white, ground/ground). Get the ends to line up on a pair. Use pliers to pre-twist them a bit if it helps. Apply wire nut, screw it on. Screw it until the wire pair twists around itself a few times. Make sure the connection is firm and you can't pull out either wire. I then wrap with a bit of electrical tape, but you don't really need to. Repeat for all three wires in each box (including the bare copper).
- hammer the wire staples to secure the romex to studs. You need a wire staple on each cable within a foot of each junction box. Add one every couple of feet on the cable over the opening.
- Fold the wires carefully into the j-boxes. Attach the cover plate. Test the circuit.