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Theelectrikid's camera returns...

Posted By: Theelectrikid

Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/08/13 08:12 PM

Reading the thread on finding stuff in your own home got me looking through my photo libraries. I dug up all of these right now, I have more to go through and upload too.

Here's the flying splice that was buried in the garage/house wall right next to the panel. It's in the 10/3 dryer line, guess they cut the old one too short when they put the new panel in! mad It's all since been replaced. To add insult the injury, they had the wall stuffed with newspaper and tarpaper!:

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Here's the vintage fluorescents in the bathrooms. The first floor's had its ballast and sockets replaced at some point, hence the blue wire. The second floor's was original and extra crispy. I assumed they were both original so when I replaced the guts of one (the second floor) I did them both. The aluminum wire runs up the utility wall to ground both to the water line.

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Oh, so that's why my bathroom light stopped working!!:

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Here's the old sockets:

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I can't get that last thumbnail to show up for some reason, here's the link to the photo: .
Posted By: harold endean

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/10/13 04:12 AM

The one picture you have out there with the three wire hooked up to long fuse like items is a telephone fuse block. That was suppose to protect the phone from lightning strikes. All the old phone wiring started out on those fuse blocks.

I had some old pictures of old vintage wiring stuff out here. It was posted under old wiring or something like that.
Posted By: Theelectrikid

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/17/13 03:08 AM

Harold, I'll have to look again but I don't think I have a picture of that?

Here's some more pictures. These Levittown Jubilees were built with a total of four hi-hats; one over the front door outside, one at the top of the staircase, one in the first floor hallway and one in the kitchen. This house still has two intact, outside and at the top of the stairs, with the other two being butchered out of existence. Here's the extant pair:

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The previous homeowner (handyman) and his son (partner in crime) decided to convert the other two to conventional fixtures at some point. For each one they butchered it in a different fasion, with the kitchen one later being partly abandoned in favor of a ceiling fan in the center of the room. First here's the hallway fixture. It consists of the old can being removed and replaced with a sheet metal plate with a box floating over a hole punched in the center. The splices fell right apart.:

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And I guess when they put the fixture up they cut the wire too short, needless to say these splices also fell right apart cry :

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For now I can only pulled the fixture down, fixed the splices and put it back as-is. Unfortunately the can itself is no longer there so I can't simply convert it back, but the way it's done now doesn't seem too "bad" since it's secured to the old hi-hat brackets. As for the kitchen...

Posted By: Theelectrikid

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/17/13 03:19 AM

Post 2 of 2.

The kitchen:

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This one was ripped out completely, with the hole being covered with a square piece of 1/4" plywood and molding. The box seen wasn't secured at all, it's pretty much just there to splice the wires. At some point there was a fixture installed here, screwed into the plywood with those anchors in the corners. However, at some point a ceiling fan was added...

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The new 14/2NM in the box runs to the ceiling fan box, which as you can see is on its way down without my help (it'll come down with my help soon enough). There's a patch in the ceiling right between the fan and the former hi-hat where I suspect they notched/drilled the joist for the cable. All I could do here for now was fix the half-broken neutral in the box and put it back as it was (with a blank plate over the hole). The ceiling fan will be tackled soon.

And to finish for now, I pulled out the GFCI's the former owners old-worked in order to get the CO from Falls Twp. I only pulled it out in order to try and find a flying splice, unfortunately it wasn't there but I did find the wire I was after. Wood chips make good spacers!! (Since replaced with one of those multi-colored spacer rings, I think the 1/4" worked perfect.)

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And this is the reason I'm looking for a flying splice, the new 14/2NM running out the right side of the box transitions at some point to an old cloth cable. Thankfully this is an old-work box so it'll come out to investigate. It used to be a switch for a receptacle in my room. The switch never worked so now it's spliced through and blanked.

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Posted By: harold endean

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/18/13 03:36 AM


Sorry, I was going through pictures here the other day and I guess I went right through all of your pictures and into someone elses picture file. I have seen my fair share of burnt wires behind light fixtures. One of the first jobs I did with my old boss was to restore power to a 6 apt. building after a fire. The fire was caused by 2-150 bulbs inside and old kitchen light fixture.
In my neck of the woods, some of the houses in town are over 200 years old and the used Knob & Tube wiring back then. The old K&T wires was only rated 60 deg. ( I believe) and it was old RH or rubber coated wires. Every time someone asked me to change a light fixture we used to cringe just thinking about what kind of wires was in that box. How brittle was it? We also use to care shrink tube with use. We would gently slip the shrink tube over the very brittle rubber coated wires and melt it down on it. In order to hold the original rubber coating on the wire.
Posted By: Theelectrikid

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/18/13 04:06 AM

Harold, it's funny you mention the heat shrink- in both of these cases with the hi-hats the original wires were covered in heat shrink. I didn't think of it then but that makes perfect sense.

Also the K&T comments reminds me of more pictures I have.
Posted By: harold endean

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/20/13 05:36 PM


Did PA ever get a state license program for electrical contractors yet? Greg and I had a good friend who lived in Norristown, PA and they were trying years ago to mandate (?) a state license. I don't know if it ever happened.
Posted By: Texas_Ranger

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/20/13 10:40 PM

That's one reason why I prefer pendants over any other kind of light - even if they are heavily overlamped, the fixed wiring won't suffer.
Posted By: Theelectrikid

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/21/13 03:53 AM

Harold- never happened. Makes the whole helper/apprentice/journeyman sequence muddled and sometimes pointless.

Texas- I'll give you that, although the old wiring didn't help in my case.
Posted By: Texas_Ranger

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/21/13 02:31 PM

Texas- I'll give you that, although the old wiring didn't help in my case.

Most certainly - rubber disintegrates even worse than PVC.

PVC can go south too though. Our homebrew living room pendant was always fitted with 100 W bulbs, which should have been ok in theory - a pendant with metal socket and mostly exposed bulb, the shade was only some kind of fishnet. However, the cheap cord didn't survive the heat at all. I still have very vivid memories of my dad carrying one of my younger brothers on his shoulders, and as the toddler touches the lamp shade, there's a flash and the room is plunged into darkness - moving the pendant was enough to shorten the wires inside the socket. That happened at least twice and we had to cut the cord back by almost 6" because it was stiff as a board. Things improved considerably when we replaced the cord entirely, but it still didn't fare too well. I guess 100W bulbs should only be used pointing up.
Posted By: Lostazhell

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/23/13 05:22 AM

TW doesn't do any better than cloth K&T under overlamped fixtures from what I've seen.. Too bad no one ever came up with a Type S adapter to limit an edison base to 60 watts...
Posted By: HotLine1

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/24/13 03:03 AM

The federal gov't elimination over time of the incandescent bulbs may help the heat situation. That said, the early CFL screw-in, self ballasted, created some heat.

Posted By: Theelectrikid

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/25/13 05:17 AM

Randy, if it wasn't for what John posted I'd be running to the patent office.

The two remaining hi-hats have 10W LED bulbs now which help greatly (and light up the stairwell a LOT better).
Posted By: Trumpy

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/26/13 02:38 AM

Over here, it is standard trade practice to use fibreglass sleeving over the phase and neutral wires that actually make contact with the bulb in light fittings.
When I say "standard practice", I mean that only the clued-up, responsible electricians are doing this.

As an Inspector, I've failed at least 2-3 installs where this has not happened.

As a Fire Officer, one of the most annoying calls to attend, is a roof fire started by an over-lamped (sometimes 150W+) fitting with the cover removed, the top of the bulb is always the hottest part (when the bulb is mounted base upwards), that heat is borne by the light socket, the terminals and ultimately the wiring attached to it.
Using fibreglass sleeving minimises the risk of a short circuit in the roof or around timber that the fitting is screwed to.
Posted By: Texas_Ranger

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/26/13 04:25 PM

Store-bought fixtures are usually supplied with silicone or fiberglass sleeving, but everyone knows what to do with it.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Theelectrikid's camera returns... - 01/26/13 08:32 PM

Lamp holders are typically wired with 105c fixture wires and sometimes I see the fiberglass sleeve where it penetrates the top of the base on a ceiling luminaire. Your mileage may vary when it comes to Asian manufacturers.
They generally are arranged to keep the wire away from the lamp. It is still exposed to the heat, especially when they ignore the "60 watt" label. I guess that may be less of a problem now that our government has outlawed 75 and 100w lamps.
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