I got some (startling) pictures here from my house that I thought you might like for the forums, probably the Violation Forums.
Ian A. Theelectrikid
Pic1: Went to replace a wall-plate, found this. Every outlet up here, no, in the whole house is probably like this:
Pic2: Temporary Fix.
Pic3: Permanent Fix: (Yes, those are "GFCI Protected" and "No Equipment Ground" Stickers in both English and Spanish:
(PS: The bottom cord's the plug-strip for my desktop/server, the top orange cord is a truely temporary cord, so I can plug my laptop into the GFCI, thus keeping me from using the dreaded 'Cheater Plug.')
Let's see, I need about every 1-15 receptacle on the east coast, a couple of GFCIs, ahh forget that! Hand me the hammer!
For added kicks, here's a phone-junction in my closet. The cable (former incoming) on the left is only three wires, no fourth black wire:
The 3-wire cable used to continue down the wall and around the corner to another jack. For some reason, they fed my room first, then downstairs to the kitchen. This 3-wire stuff is nice and heavy, at about 18AWG Solid.
Ian A. Theelectrikid
[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited 02-28-2007).]
John, first off, there's a date on the back of the wall to 1955, and a new sheet on top dating to 1990. (Of course for some reason the old sheet chipped away near the boxes, as can be seen in the picture.)
What I'm trying to point out here is the recept. was being held up only by the painted on-cracked-in-my hands wallplate.
Since they have no plaster ears (right word? Remember I'm the resident idiot.) they were help up by the plate, and would fall back when you plugged anything in. Almost every outlet in the house (kitchen and guest room excluded) is like this.
Plus, the darned outlet just needed replacing.
I know the phone cable wasn't always quad. (Thank you VDV Forum! )
[This message has been edited by Theelectrikid (edited 02-28-2007).]
Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
Oh! Now I see what you're getting at. I've never liked plaster ears, anyway, since there's usually so little plaster to grab. In old work like this, I add spacers behind the receptacle ears so I can seat the screws and make the receptacle mounting solid.
Thank you for the clarification.
[This message has been edited by John Crighton (edited 02-28-2007).]
Pic1(Master Bedroom): Another old, double-drywalled outlet. Yes, a cheater plug. Yes, it's screwed to the plate despite it not being grounded at all. IT's only screwed because it'll fall out otherwise! Yes, that's a powerstrip for the TV. Yes, that's drywall dust down on the baseboard heater from the plate moving when I plugged that in. YES, I want this outlet replaced, but it's WAY down there on the list for some reason. (Not that the list ever gets touched, anyways.) NO, as you guys will like, I'm not allowed to do it. (Even though my father has a tendency to wrap the neutral wire counter-clockwise around the screw. I don't even do that!)
Pic2(Behind entertainment center, living room): The only thing holding this one up is the paint wand those two nails. (I thought Falls Township inspected this house...) Yes, another cheater for another plug-strip. The brown cord's only there to plug in the digital box's wall wart, as it wont fit there with the nail! (Normally I'd plug the plug-strip into the top in that case, but then it falls out of the outlet.)
Ian. Wallpaper over a receptacle to hold it in place!? Well, I guess it's one elegant step up from paint or the bent nails as per your other pics!! Retaining sockets/recepts in sheetrock is a problem here too, it being quite common for the whole shebang to come off the wall on the end of the cord cap/plug as a visual laxative. We found one here which had been plastered in absolutely solid with a great gob of "Polyfilla" [spackle?] by a French "Darwin Award" candidate.
Ouch... just while reading that post iTunes in shuffle mode decided to play "Just around the corner, half a mile to heaven"...
Never seen anyone paper over the plate... but the bathroom light switch was held in place by 4 layers of paper between device and plate, just with a small cutout for the rocker. Removing the wallpaper was promptly followed by the switch falling out. Common problem with old work - the steel boxes were slightly bigger in diameter, so from about the 1960s onwards the claws on devices didn't spread far enough to secure the device. And for some reason most electricians were too lazy to use screws. With the advent of the first PVC boxes screws became more or less useless because they didn't go into the box itself but a thin PVC ring that was just snapped into the box... pulling a bit harder on a Schuko plug reverses that process... So, it's very important to have boxes solidly plastered in from all sides, so the clamps can't spread the PVC box.
I don't think anybody actually wallpapered OVER the plate. It looks like to me they carefully covered the wall plate with a scrap piece of wall paper, to make it blend into the background. They did a fairly nice job, taking care to line up the stripes. I had two switch plates in my house that were wallpapered the same way by the previous owner.