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#114054 - 12/19/02 08:18 PM Our Old House - 1920s
Webmaster Offline


Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3142
Loc: NY, USA
Posted for Remarked:

One of the newer outlets. Has open ground. Upper rats nest of wiring apparently added later, leads to an outside light.

Close up of improvised wiring. Other wiring in the house looks older but more professional

Most plugs in the house look like this. Metal housing, two holes. We think this is an example of the oldest wiring.

More recent but still old? Metal housing, three-hole outlet but has open ground.

Close up of wire at "open-ground.jpg" Most of the visible house wiring is of this type.

Typical of the light switches in the house.

Pictures are are from the 1920's house BEFORE any electrical work has been done. AFTER hasn't happened yet. I am looking forward to the critique.


[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited 12-19-2002).]

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#114055 - 12/19/02 09:15 PM Re: Our Old House - 1920s
classicsat Offline

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 449
I'd have to say mid 50s/early mid 60s.

There may be a ground in those thar wires,
but the original an subsequent "handymen" never used them.

#114056 - 12/19/02 09:26 PM Re: Our Old House - 1920s
ga.sparky56 Offline

Registered: 11/24/02
Posts: 582
Loc: young harris georgia usa
It looks as though the original installation was probably as good as could be done at the time.I see this a lot here.The wiring original to the house is safer than the add-on.

#114057 - 12/20/02 03:22 AM Re: Our Old House - 1920s
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
the walls are open, now's the time....

#114058 - 12/20/02 05:16 AM Re: Our Old House - 1920s
Trainwire Offline

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 364
Loc: Strasburg,PA,USA
You could put a realtime camera in there, and you could do it yourself with all of us looking over your shoulder making sure it's up to snuff

I'll put money on the main panel being a "range+4". I'll agree with sparky,
"now's the time"


ps, love the switch that you could wire with it still fastened in the box. Put that one in the museum.

[This message has been edited by Trainwire (edited 12-20-2002).]

#114059 - 12/21/02 08:44 AM Re: Our Old House - 1920s
rhagfo Offline

Registered: 04/16/01
Posts: 44
Loc: Portland, OR. USA
I sure hope the way you refer to metal boxes in your captions that you don't think they are a bad thing! I prefer to use metal boxes as a home owner. Yes, they are more time consuming to use, but if you ever have a device or splice failure (smoke and fire) in a metal box it is more likely to be contained by the box. Installed properly (boxes grounded) any loose hot conductor will short out to the box and trip the breaker.
The house I live in now was build in 1968, we purchased in 98 from original owners. In the process of replacing light fixtures I came across some scorched wires in the ceiling box in the closet. Metal box was discolored , and the insolation on the wire was toast in the box. I went in the attic and found some slack in the cables, enough to cut off about 4" of bad cable and make new connections.

#114060 - 12/23/02 06:17 AM Re: Our Old House - 1920s
sabrown Offline

Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 297
Loc: Ogden, Utah, USA
I have an receptacle sitting on my monitor from my grandma's house in which the heat disapation properties of the metal box probably saved her house from burning down (a loose AL wire connection or glowing fault).

#114061 - 12/23/02 08:52 PM Re: Our Old House - 1920s
spkjpr Offline

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 226
Loc: Sedalia,MO, USA
According to a book I have called "Old Electric Wiring" by Shapiro,around WWII NM had a cloth cover but the wires were encased in plastic. The old switch is common to the houses we have here that date back to the 30-40's.Another interesting note from the book is that 3 prong devices were available in the 20's but it took nearly 50 years for them to be in common use. A copper ground cond was also required as far back as 1928 but was not always used according to this book.

[This message has been edited by spkjpr (edited 12-23-2002).]

#114062 - 12/23/02 09:16 PM Re: Our Old House - 1920s
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Re. metal boxes vs. plastic boxes:

I prefer metal also. Plastic boxes break very easily. One slip with a hammer and it's splinters all over the place.

Also, if you use metal-clad cable, it also becomes part of the ground system along with the green conductor inside the armor.


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