House wiring is completely HACKED!


Old 02-04-05, 03:48 PM
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House wiring is completely HACKED!

I just completed a huge workbench in the basement and now I want to mount fluorescent lighting to the canopy. So I got to looking around at the overhead electrical wiring. This is what I found:

circuit box is corroding and mounted on a rickety wooden board

wires were run haphazardly, some even run a diagonal path along the ceiling

abandoned (or else never used) junction boxes still in place

power source for doorbell was fed through a wire off the back end of an incandescent lighting fixture

multiple communication wires frayed and hanging down from overhead (what a mess)

three phone lines are coming into the home with only one active line


I do have my work cut out for me. Who else out there has hacked wiring?
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Old 02-04-05, 04:53 PM
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My first project with latest house, built 1925, was to clean out old "junk" from the basement/crawlspace/attic. I had to - it was hard enough tracing circuits without all that junk to confuse things.

Removed: 4 non-operational phone lines, 2 separate non-operational alarm systems (tons of wire to doors/windows), abandoned knob&tube, abandoned ungrounded 12/2, abandoned grounded 12/2, 2 abandoned RG-59 cable, 1 abandoned old-style flat antenna, a couple empty boxes, old boxes filled with plaster and covered inside walls (one with a live wire still passing thru)

The best was the 3-way light circuit in the kitchen. I traced and drew the entire thing, and everything it connected to, yet to this day I still have no idea how it could have possibly worked. There were 3 circuits involved, and hots and nuetrals were all intermingled willy-nilly. Somehow it all worked. But I didn't care, and I hated it for stumping me, so I ripped it all out and installed it properly.
Old 02-05-05, 11:18 PM
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Mine was relatively simple to fix but only by chance did I find it. It was the switch controlling the front yard light.

--He wired it up using a piece of old extension cord.
--He didn't use a box for the connection; he just used wire nuts and tape to make what I call it a "flying splice."
--He didn't staple it anywhere near the "flying splice."
--He buried that end of the whole thing in the ceiling above the washer and dryer.
--On the switch end, he used a round porcelain switch with the screws on the front. Taking off the cover plate meant you were looking at hot wires.
--He "framed in" a small wooden box for the switch.

Only because I took out part of the ceiling while replacing the dryer vent hose did I ever find it. Scariest part was that the cord had gotten brittle and it cracked with the slightest movement.

To boot, this is the second piece of this "recycled" extension cord I've found around here. I truly hope it's the last.
Old 02-06-05, 04:12 PM
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My 65 year old house was that way when I bought it in 2000. One look and I called an electrician who rewired the whole house, bringing it all up to code. Easier to sleep at night, it is.

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