Wrestling With a Big Wire

To pick up from my last post where I was waiting impatiently for our cabinets to be delivered the delivery guys showed up around 4pm. Since our kitchen is still in shambles we had them put everything in the garage which made it easy for them. They even gave us a pallet so that the boxes wouldn’t get wet if water came in the garage. Look at all those boxes of fine Swedish furniture!
Kitchen Cabinet Delivery Truck
A Pile of Cabinets

Irene woke up in time to see the delivery and get excited by her big new sink.
New Sink!!

After all that excitement it was time to get back to work on the electrical. Over the rest of Saturday and Sunday morning I ripped out the old wire for the range and installed the new one. Our range requires a 40 amp circuit, which requires 8/3 wire. This is the big expensive wire we spent $145 on. While at the store buying this monster I also looked at the staples available for fastening it in place. I’ve used these plastic cable staples gratuitously throughout the house. They are nicely labeled with which wires they fit. Unfortunately they are not labeled for 8/3. Neither was any of the other types hanging on the shelves. There were some marked for #8 & #6 SEU cable but I didn’t know how similar that is to 8/3 NM-B. A quick search on my iPhone yielded so answers. So I went home without any with intentions to research more.

Google at home was not any more help with which size staples I should use. I was very surprised by this. I finally found one page selling metal staples listed for both #8 SEU and 8/3 NM-B. So I wnt back to the store and bought 4 packs of these guys.
Cable Staples for 8/3 NM-B
The depth was perfect for the 8/3. They are a little wide, the cable can move some side to side, but that is not harming anything.

The thick cable did not want to lose it’s twist from being in the package. I wrestled with it, pulling out 15 foot segments trying to untwist it. That did not work. The best approach to untwisting it was to just bend it the opposite way that it was trying to twist to as you are stapling it up. You have to bend it the other way past being straight to get the permanent twist out. I wish electrical books would cover this tip!

I decided to go with the wall outlet for the range instead of the floor outlet. It will make a cleaner looking installation, not that anyone will see it once the range is in place.
Range Outlet Box & Cable in Place

Next on my to do list was to add the outlet box for the dishwasher. Apparently it’s now code that dishwashers have to be plugged in. I think the actual code calls for a way to safely disconnect them from the electrical supply and an outlet is just the easiest way. The outlet will be at the back of the cabinet under the sink turned it on it’s side. I had to figure out how high I should mount it. I wanted it low, out of the way of the plumbing for the sink, but it can’t be below the bottom of the cabinet! The internet told me that the legs on Ikea cabinets are initially set to 4 3/8 inches long and the thickness of the frames are 3/4 inches thick. Then I added an inch for the cover plate. That gives 6 1/8 inches. You’ll also want some clearance between the cover plate and bottom of the cabinet so I rounded up to 7 inches. That is above the finshed floor so don’t forget to add in the thickness of your floor if it is not yet installed. For me that ended up at 7 1/2 inches.

I cut a piece of leftover 2×3 to fit horizontally between two studs and attached it with decking screws. Then attached the outlet box to it. Here is a tip for cutting small pieces of lumber. The 2×3 scrap was 14ish inches long and I was cutting it down to 11 7/8 inches. Such a piece is too small to fit over two horses! Only clamping it to one horse would allow it to move when the weight of the circular saw was on it. So I got a bigger piece of lumber that was big enough to go over both horses and put my small piece on the one end like so. This gives it stability, and still allows enough overhang for the saw to clear the clamp!
Cutting Small Pieces of Lumber

Once I got the piece of lumber in place I decided to mount it centered on my 7 1/2″ measurement with the box above for extra clearance.
Outlet Box for Dishwasher Installed
I am holding off running the cable to this box for now. I am re-purposing one of the existing 20 amp kitchen outlet circuits for the range and dishwasher. That circuit and the outlets are still in place so we can use the shop vac and other power tools.

After that was all done I started cutting the holes for the ceiling boxes, where the lights will go. But that’s another post for another day!

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