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#61583 - 01/28/06 04:44 PM Hey hacks. Just shoot them, it's quicker!
Redsy Offline

Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
I have a residential customer, a married couple in their 40s who are hearing impaired.
Very nice people. They have aluminum NM cable throughout which wasn't noted on the home inspection report(hack #1) when they bought their house 3 years ago.
I went to change a malfunctioning exterior fixture today. Vinyl siding, no outlet box, fixture strap screwed to the vinyl(hack #2).
Oddly, although the switch leg was 12/2 aluminum, the NM cable at the fixture was 14/3 copper. Found aluminum switch leg in attic. It disappears down the wall and magically reappears as copper, which would explain the intermittent operation of the fixture (hack #3). Also found several CU-only devices and a melted wirenut in a j-box splice (copper to aluminum)on a previous visit(hacks #4 & 5?).
These folks need to install special, low frequency smoke detectors for the hearing impaired, and have the whole house checked over, or better yet, move!

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#61584 - 01/28/06 05:31 PM Re: Hey hacks. Just shoot them, it's quicker!
Dnkldorf Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1091
Loc: nowhere usa
LOL, Redsy when are you going to away from that stuff?

Just when you think you've seen everything...along comes something else..


#61585 - 01/28/06 06:35 PM Re: Hey hacks. Just shoot them, it's quicker!

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 865
Loc: Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
Hi guys.

Interesting the "hidden" junctions between different types of cables.

I struck once a house which was sold as been rewired. yeh yeh, the cables from the fuse panel were all new TPS up to under the roof. then a row of stripconnectors and terminated in the old VIR and TRS cables.

I was called out to investigate intermittend flickering lights.

Whoever had done this job should loose its electrical registration if it was an electrician or a cowboy. (

Of course I quoted for a full rewire and the job was brought up to a safe standard

It's interesting that in the USA Aluminium is used a lot in house wiring, considering the relative high currents drawn by appliances at 110 Volts.

I have this not seen in New Zealand, and all cable here is made in copper for house wiring.

Streetcables are copper or aluminium here as are distribution transformer windings.
The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.

#61586 - 01/28/06 08:28 PM Re: Hey hacks. Just shoot them, it's quicker!
DougW Offline

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
When my Dad was re-wiring our 2 flat in Chicago many years back, the AHJ told him that they'd just busted a major EC who had gotten caught doing the following:

The CEC calls for 12 AWG in commercial gigs. This guy had run 14 between j boxes and simply spliced 12 at each end - apparantly for the $ savings.

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 01-29-2006).]

#61587 - 01/28/06 08:31 PM Re: Hey hacks. Just shoot them, it's quicker!
Larry Fine Offline

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 684
Loc: Richmond, VA
Holy moley! I can't believe the guy felt that his extra labor was worth less than the difference in price.
Larry Fine
Fine Electric Co.

#61588 - 01/29/06 02:57 AM Re: Hey hacks. Just shoot them, it's quicker!
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I did one place where I needed to pull back a cable running to an outlet. Nothing looked wrong at the receptacle; it was just a conventional 7/.029 T&E (Romex-like). The only problem is, when I started tugging on the cables in the attic I found the top end of it was a 7/.052, or some other much larger cable.

In the end, I found a splice about halfway up the wall and directly above the socket, all buried under plaster in a box of the type we normally use for our "cooker" (range) panels.

It looked like somebody had removed the old range switch and outlet, then just chanelled down to fit a socket below and spliced the smaller cable in the old box. They'd then just stuffed a piece of drywall loosely into the box and plastered over it.

#61589 - 01/29/06 01:14 PM Re: Hey hacks. Just shoot them, it's quicker!
DC10 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 8
Loc: Wichita, KS
Larry Fine, This guy was probably paying his employees so little that the 14ga wire actually saved some money.

#61590 - 01/29/06 07:04 PM Re: Hey hacks. Just shoot them, it's quicker!
frenchelectrican Offline


Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...

Let you know that i am hard of hearing electrician here also but for smoke alarm the most common one i useally installed is the strobe light verison it can be stand alone or interconnected verison.
they are not cheap btw but it worth every cent.

Merci, Marc
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)


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