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Pandora's Box #116967 05/10/04 02:21 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,631
Admin Offline OP
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Got a call today for a bad circuit breaker (Zinsco, go figure!) anyways, I replaced the breaker & everything worked fine.. I offered to check outlets & switches before I left... I came across the broken quad in the master bedroom... I figured, ok... replace an outlet... no big deal, then I opened the box... which I have named "Pandora" :P...

Another pic is a "custom" faceplate for a despard/duplex I found amusing..

-Randy (Lostazhell)
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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[Linked Image]

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Re: Pandora's Box #116968 05/10/04 05:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
S
SvenNYC Offline
Member
Love the custom face plate.

Am I seeing this right? There's only one terminal screw per side on the sockets? What's the point of that -- wondering if these were like the cheapest-of-the-cheap sockets someone could get back then....

You know, like those 50 cent Home Depot-special sockets from Leave-it-On (Leviton). [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 05-10-2004).]

Re: Pandora's Box #116969 05/10/04 09:48 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,432
Lostazhell Offline
Member
Sven,
The right outlet is one of the "grocery store" GE's. The terminal design in these is kinda on the unique side.. There's one terminal on each side, but under the terminal are 2 small pieces of brass (one on each side of the terminal).. The idea was to place one conductor under each side, straight in with no loop. Pretty cheezy design IMO.. & once the tabs are bent down, they don't loosen up again to reterminate..

There are 3 conductors entering through the back KO's, The one on the right outlet is some sort of extension cord (16AWG?) & the red wire thats kinda hidden on the left outlet is switched.. the neutral is stranded 12 TW.. The customer didn't have time for me to really get into this, so I just capped everything here & installed a 2G blank until she calls to have this redone properly... Im curious to see what's going on behind the J-box.. but then again.... [Linked Image]

Re: Pandora's Box #116970 05/13/04 12:03 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
D
DougW Offline
Member
Actually, I've seen this before.

The old ("non grounded" / "polarized") outlets (pics 1-3) quite often had single terminals on them, back in "the day" (pre 1940's). I've pulled a bunch of them out of houses around here. IMHO (best guess) they weren't big on splitting the outlets back then, and didn't think that the extra molding of the Bakelite was worth it.

Of course, maybe the increase in two-wire circuits forced the industry to accept the two screw as "standard", once more developers / EC's demanded it.

Re: Pandora's Box #116971 05/13/04 07:47 AM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,283
electure Offline
Member
I don't know what's hiding behind this box, but the KO on the left is just begging for someone to peek through and see.

Randy, was the rest of the place in Knob&Tube? It looks almost as if someone looked at a K&T job, and then did a poor job if "imitating" the installation....S

Re: Pandora's Box #116972 05/13/04 11:39 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,432
Lostazhell Offline
Member
Scott,
This house is wired in the old style Romex.. (built 1957) From what I could see, there were all kinds of splices going on behind that box... From what I could gather, this was originally just a single switched duplex here before... someone came & added the 4S box, another device with the 2G P-ring... there is an outlet on the other side of here, which I opended, but that piece of extension cord isn't feeding from there like most of the amateurs would've done... (Unless there's an open splice on those lines in the wall also!) [Linked Image] I'm going to make sure I get pics when we go back for the full repairs on this.

-Randy

Re: Pandora's Box #116973 05/15/04 12:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 518
J
John Steinke Offline
Member
Does anyone know where to get those old-style faceplates?

Re: Pandora's Box #116974 05/15/04 03:38 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 806
N
NJwirenut Offline
Member
The best place I know for switchplates (including the interchangeable "Despard" types) is:
http://www.switchhits.com

I never knew there were so many types available!

Re: Pandora's Box #116975 05/15/04 09:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,432
Lostazhell Offline
Member
A couple of times when I've looked for the old "pushbutton" switchplates, I've gone to an architectural surplus, & found a few things there... Sometimes the old "mom & pop" hardware stores will even have some hard to find things. I went to a True Value that was kinda in the middle of nowhere & they had a full line of the despard devices & plates... Finding a despard/duplex might take some time, or end up being a custom order.. Sierra Electric Corp used to be local here in LA, & they were bought out by P&S.. Kinda sad because having a manufacturer here close made things sooo much easier when we needed things like custom plates & such! [Linked Image]

-Randy

Re: Pandora's Box #116976 05/15/04 10:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 790
W
wa2ise Offline
Member
As for the combination Despard and regular outlet faceplate, and depending on how handy you are, a combo regular and decora faceplate would fit the mounting screws. And you'd need to trim the old depsard plate to the size of a decora device so it fits into the decora sized hole in the new faceplate. Use epoxy or such to glue the trimmed despard plate to the new decora plate. However this would cost more in terms of time (labor) than other solutions would...

Probably quicker to loosen the device mounting screws so you can space them closer to close up that gap between the existing plates.


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