The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#153466 - 02/27/07 05:31 PM Old wiring method?
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Photo and info courtesy of Pappster855
This was one of many lights still in use at the railroad station in Tampa, Fl. This one was the last in line but there had to be at least close to 100 before it!

Thanks Ian!.

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 02-27-2007).]
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

Super Rod Cable Installation Tools

Super Rod Cable Rod System
Super Rod Cable Rod System -
Best Product of the Last 50 Years by members of NICEIC

#153467 - 02/28/07 02:39 PM Re: Old wiring method?
Rewired Offline

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 567
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
That looks to be old K&T with a pigtail and some kind of terminal block or something similar??? Kind of hard to tell.
Actually "pigtails" are an approved method of wiring up barns and the like up here where there is the risk that the lamp may get bumped. It allows for the lamp and holder to simply move about freely and not get smashed off the ceiling as it would if fastened securely, Mind you there is NO open wiring, and the connections are done in a box and covered with an actual bakelite canopy cover.

#153468 - 03/02/07 11:36 AM Re: Old wiring method?
cschow Offline

Registered: 09/08/06
Posts: 41
Loc: Boise, ID, USA
That's common in old barns too. They used to run cleat or knob wire the length of the stalls and just pigtail a socket on it wherever one was needed. Cleats seem to be more common with exposed wire. The switch was near the door adn turned them all on at once. If they were real fancy, they used cleats or rosettes and hung a corded socket with a turn switch or pullchain.

I've also heard the term "open or cleat wiring" or "mill wiring".

It must be somewhat safe because I've seen a few systems like this still in operation after 70 or 80 years.

#153469 - 03/08/07 08:05 AM Re: Old wiring method?
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
I've also seen those pigtailed out-door lampholders used as temporary replacements until a proper fixture is installed.

Lived with one in my room for a couple years until the thing literally went out with a BANG on morning (the insides of the rubber lampholder were all carbonized)!!


ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals