Question of Safety?


Old 10-13-04, 01:12 PM
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Question Question of Safety?

I recently was in my attic running new wire for recessed lights(I had a post in the past regarding wire connections etc, and I figured to stay to code I would have to run all new wire and circuit for 6 recessed lights) and I noticed a junction box in the area where I would be working.

The junction box is on top of a joist and it has one new 12-2 beige wire coming in and one old wire coming out? Pretty clean connection but I noticed that the new wire had a ground capped off and the old wire was just 2 wires. Not sure what gauge because the wrapping is silver and black and old but it looks smaller. I thought ok since I couldn't hook up to any 2 wire, wire in my house whats going on with this one. So I traced where it went.

The 12-2 wire is coming from a switch in the kitchen and leading up the wall through the ceiling to the juction box where it connects to the old wire and the old wire leads to the ceiling fixture in the kitchen. I took the switch out of the wall and and it has many wires connected. 3 white wires together, 1 black pigtaled to 3 black wires on the top brass and 1 black wire connected to the bottom brass and a ground capped and taped off.

The weird thing is, this is the only junction box I can see in the attic. So for my question ... Is this safe for there to be a 12-2 wire connected to this old 2 wire,wire? It seems to be only about 6 feet of this 12-2? From the switch to the box. All the other wires at the switch are old too. Any help I would be very thankful!
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Old 10-13-04, 01:21 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Old wire is still okay as long as it's in good condition and the insulation is not crumbling. Grounded wiring is of course safer than ungrounded wiring, but there's certainly millions of homes still wired with ungrounded wiring. Bottom line is that it's relatively safe, but not as safe as modern wiring. The safety scale is a continuum, and there's no sharp line between "safe" and "unsafe".

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