My fmily recently purchased a "new" holiday/weekend residence in the countryside, close to the Czech border. The house was built in 1879 but did not get wired for electricity until 1949 or even later as the entire village did not have electricity before. In 1976 the previous owners undertook a large but somewhat sloppy renovation, replacing some of the wiring in a fairly sketchy way and leaving some of the frayed old wiring which must have been bad even when they rewired as they covered some of it with plenty of tape.
The original meter and fuse board (1 single circuit for the entire place, likely 6 or 10A) were located outside. When a new meter/panel combo was intalled, the original feed was disconnected at the old fuse box and left hanging lord knows where - I can only guess the exact location. As they tapped the new feed into the middle of the circuit said end out in the back yard was still live until I disconnected it.
This is the panel:
Made by F&G Austria, Moeller is still producing the same design. The metering setup is fairly typical of the area and age, left: 3 phase day rate meter, center: tariff switch, right: 1ph night rate meter (feeds the water heater 10PM -6AM). Both tariff switch and night rate meter have been removed as we'll put in a gas water heater (combi boiler). This also removed the nasty and very loud 50Hz hum from the contactor.
Circuit arrangement: bottom left day rate main RCD, 4 pole 100mA and general prupose circuits. Note the electric range (3 phase) being connected to two single pole breakers and one single pole+switched neutral... not a good idea to disconnect the neutral with two phases still present.
The three taped breakers used to feed a well pump which has been removed when the house was converted to city water. At the pump location in the wine cellar they just cut the wires without even taping the ends. Apparently taping the breakers did not do a good job, when we took purchase one of them was actually on. Besides, somewhere along the line there's a transition from 4 conduit singles to 2 flexible cords 3G1.5, that means either they used yellow/green as a phase conductor (about one of the most illegal things to be done) or they ran the phases of a three phase circuit in two different cords...
Bottom right: dedicated circuits for electric day rate heaters installed in the late 1990s. As you can see the standard breakers are smaller than the old ones and special covers have been fitted. RCD is 4 pole 30mA.
Top right: 100mA RCD (defective) and 16A breaker for the night rate water heater. Disconnected right now, maybe the circuit can be reused for a dishwasher or other purpose. At least unlike all the other rubbish it's wired in 2.5mm2.
Panel with the covers off:
The original breakers are connected using adjustable copper bus bars with fit the breaker's screw terminals. Instead of using an appropriate bus for the neutrals too they were connected using wire links - 2.5mm2 for 35A (absolute maximum 25). The setup of the new breakers is similar, but there's a cover over the bus bars. The lonely object at the top center is the bell transformer.
A close-up shot of the day rate section:
This is how the DIN rail for the new breakers was installed:
The original breakers are bolted to the rails in the background. This setup brings the new breakers too close to the front, preventing the cover from fitting properly.
This was the hallway light switch. Yes, bare copper wire threaded through holes in a piece of plywood. But why the plywood?
Apparently somebody did not have a flush light switch handy to replace the original...
A typical junction box, mix old and new work. Note the bare wire going into the neutral connection at the bottom right... awfully close to the metal edge of the box.
This is how light fixtures were connected around 1950.
Today the connections would not be twisted and taped and made inside the fixture rather than above.
Really old junction boxes pretty much look the same all around the world.
A ground wire has been pulled through at a later point and the white zip cord (low voltage bell wiring) doesn't belong here at all.
Sheer beauty in the living room:
There used to be a flush Schuko receptacle here, but it has been removed, a cover fitted to the box and the ungrounded duplex slapped onto the wall. The grey ugly outdoor rated receptacle is for the electric heater (the room was heated using two portable oil filled radiators).
The kitchen had a permanently installed electric heater.
This is the illegal transition from solid NYM cable to flexible cord in PVC trunking next to the heater.