Knob and tube insanity (to me, at least)

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-21-13, 04:20 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 2
Angry Knob and tube insanity (to me, at least)

Hi, all.

My girlfriend has a dark stairwell. It had panelling over lathe and plaster. So I've ripped that out with the intention of drywalling it.

I found knob and tube wiring. I know she had a lot, the house dates from 1910, but it was supposedly replaced when she bought the place. Fair enough, they may have just left it in place here.

But I tested it, and it's hot. Well. So we tried to match it against a breaker. We tripped EVERY breaker in the joint, yet the wires stayed hot.

I am buffaloed, how can this be? Of course the basement is well and truly drywalled so I can't easily trace the wires.

Any ideas before i start breaking walls and ceilings open?

Thanks in advance.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-21-13, 04:23 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 2
The drywall progresses where possible, it's brightened it up.
 
  #3  
Old 01-21-13, 04:27 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Welcome to the forums! With it being that old and possible remodels being done there is a possibility of a subpanel existing somewhere. Have you looked for small panels in the garage, basement, laundry room, etc? They may control the KT wiring.
 
  #4  
Old 01-21-13, 06:59 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,056
Have you tried turning off all the breakers? It's possible that the one wire is connected to two breakers at the same time (of course mistakenly).

Is this an apartment? Might it be for another unit's power?
 
  #5  
Old 01-22-13, 04:30 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,212
We tripped EVERY breaker in the joint, yet the wires stayed hot.
It's possible that the one wire is connected to two breakers at the same time (of course mistakenly).
Yes, two circuits could possibly be cross-connected by mistake. Try turning off all the breakers at the same time or turning off the main breaker.
 
  #6  
Old 01-23-13, 12:17 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 77
Maybe this is obvious, maybe not... as several have said, get a flashlight and switch all breakers to the OFF position, including the main. If that wire is still hot, then you must have some hampster wheel connected to a generator generating some power in your house.

Assuming it is now NOT hot, switch the main back to ON, check again. If it's hot now, yet all the branch circuit breakers are OFF, then perhaps that wire is mistakenly loose in the breaker panel and touching a hot leg or something.

However, if main is ON, all other branch circuits are OFF, switch them on, one at a time, until you find one that energizes that wire. Even when you find one that does energize it, switch taht one back off and continue checking the rest as well. As others have said, it's possible that it's mistakenly connected to more than one.

If this wire is far away from the breaker panel, a pair of 2-way radios and a helper would make the process go a lot faster.


Nic
 
  #7  
Old 01-23-13, 12:35 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,631
Good advice from Nitrionic. Now days though you can substitute cell phones for two way radios to keep from having to yell. If you don't have a helper use a long extension cord with a trouble light positioned so you can see it from the breaker box. Or the old trick of plugging in a loud radio.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'