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Strange things I find in my basement #185563
03/19/09 12:54 AM
03/19/09 12:54 AM
Bigplanz  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 73
Louisville, Kentucky
First thing I found, while tracing a door bell wire: a dangling, fully energized 120V line, just cut off and dangling in the HVAC duct work! Yep, I was trying to figure out where the bell wire went, and while doing so, I came across a piece of BX just up between the floor joists on top of a HVAC duct. I thought, "Hmm, this is odd, I wonder it it's hot." My hand started to move and then I thought: wait, check it first. There was about 6 inches of wire coming out of the cable, just snipped off. I took a pen tester, held it up to the bare wire and... beep, beep, beep!!!

Great. God knows how long it had been up there. Just being a conservative and cautious guy, I put wire nuts and tape on the end and terminated it in a box.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Being a curious guy, I looked around some more and found, well, this. Seems a few too many wires in this small 4x4 box. I didn't take the cover off, for fear that I would not be able to get it back on. Sigh. Somehow, I think these situations are far too common.

[Linked Image]

Is this sort of thing all that common? In every house I've owned, I find stuff like this.

Last edited by Trumpy; 03/20/09 09:39 PM.
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Re: Strange things I find in my basement [Re: Bigplanz] #185564
03/19/09 01:43 AM
03/19/09 01:43 AM
noderaser  Offline
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 404
Portland, Oregon, United State...
The cable to nowhere must've been where your old neighbor stole your electricity for his pot growing operation.

Or, his RV, as I discovered an orange extension cord plugged into my outlet one day.

Re: Strange things I find in my basement [Re: noderaser] #185566
03/19/09 05:16 AM
03/19/09 05:16 AM
JoeTestingEngr  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 791
Chicago, Il.
Why don't you take the cover off that 1900 box and add an extension. That way, you can do your safety check and have acceptable box fill when you're done. It looks like you have plenty of room.

Re: Strange things I find in my basement [Re: JoeTestingEngr] #185570
03/19/09 09:17 AM
03/19/09 09:17 AM
Bigplanz  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 73
Louisville, Kentucky
I looked around some more and I think the cable to nowhere used to go up to the kitchen. I notice a hole in the floor (below the kitchen) where the cable probably went at one time. The kitchen was rewired before I got the house. They also disconnected the gas stove and ran an electric circuit for an electric range at some point. During all of this, somehow this orphan was created. It was still hot, connected to a 15 amp breaker and just hanging up there on top of the HVAC duct work. As far as I can tell there is nothing connected to it since when I turn it off it doesn't effect anything else. That no one had noticed it all these years is pretty amazing. Two home inspections, and still this is what I find. I want my money back. frown

I'll probably put an extension box on the 4x4 one of these days. It's up above the dryer and I didn't have my ladder in the basement yesterday. No telling how long that has been like that either.

Re: Strange things I find in my basement [Re: Bigplanz] #185583
03/19/09 02:48 PM
03/19/09 02:48 PM
wa2ise  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 786
Oradell NJ USA
Reminds me of the time I found (by hand!) a similar piece of BX at my model railroad club building. Was working with some of the club's layout signal wires, and something seriously sparked. No 12VDC limited current sparks. Well, I went and found a box and an outlet, and mounted it in a reasonable location, to terminate this BX cable, and to put it to good use. This was up in a balcony built to look like a railroad yard control tower.


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