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#15350 - 10/14/02 12:32 PM Reusing wiring devices in a re-wiring job?
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Do any of you re-use outlets, switches, wall boxes, etc. when doing a rewiring job?

I've always been of the opinion that it's better to put in everything new and avoid trouble later on. Even if the switch or socket is in good condition and all I'm swapping out is the cable in the wall.

For example, all the outlets in my apartment are new (year old). I changed the old (painted over many times) two-hole outlets for new three-hole grounded sockets as soon as I moved in over a year ago.

However the wiring in part of the bedroom and the bathroom is rotten, there is an open ground on one socket and the rusting BX needs to be pulled out. Something I plan on doing in the near future.

When I do this, I plan on putting in all new outlets also (same heavy duty "spec-grade" kind that I used before) in the sections that are being repaired just because I want to start with everything new and trouble-free.

Of course I'm putting in new wall boxes because even though some of the originals are OK looking, they're starting to show rust.

What do you guys think? Waste of money or good thinking?

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#15351 - 10/14/02 12:46 PM Re: Reusing wiring devices in a re-wiring job?
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6791
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Sven: Your apt??, NEW?? YES!!
We had a property mgt co that we "started" doing work for... the "boss lady" said "re-use the existing devices, plates & cable".
My crew called me, told me the story. I called the lady and said "NO WAY". Needless to say, we don't work for them any more; finished the first "job" and never hard from them again. The EC that came in after us has a collection of red stickers on the doors of the office building. (Inproper cabling for use of premises; undersize boxes, etc.) The PM Co.'s idea of demo was to sawsall a partition wall at the top & bottom plates, "move" it to the new location, shoot it back down & up, and patch & spackle the holes.
Don't need that type of work.

Old "crap" is tossed out!!

#15352 - 10/14/02 01:04 PM Re: Reusing wiring devices in a re-wiring job?
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Sometimes, depending upon the condition of the existing fittings and, of course, what the owner stipulates.

I'll never try to re-use anything which is in any way suspect, but to be honest some of the 30+ year old receptacles and switches installed here (if a good brand such as MK)are still far superior in quality to the cheap no-name brands available new.

#15353 - 10/14/02 02:15 PM Re: Reusing wiring devices in a re-wiring job?
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
At $.39 for a receptacle why bother reusing. I wouldn't be part of a job that requires reusing old materials. The time it takes to remove the old wire from the terminals and the potential for problems is not worth the hassle. I agree with Paul about some of the older receptacles being far superior to what we get today.

#15354 - 10/15/02 07:30 PM Re: Reusing wiring devices in a re-wiring job?
nesparky Offline

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 650
Loc: omaha,ne
The cost of new is too low to cause youself the trouble of going back for service calls. If the property management types are that cheap, they will want you to warrent everything you touched.
NO WAY is right.

#15355 - 10/16/02 01:44 PM Re: Reusing wiring devices in a re-wiring job?
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
At $.39 for a receptacle

I wish.....

British duplexes are about $2.00 even for the cheap & nasty types these days. The aforementioned MK brand, while still good quality, work out to about $9 each for a duplex.


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