Soldered connections in old house

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Old 05-24-15, 05:05 PM
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Soldered connections in old house

Old house question.... should soldered and taped wire connections in an old home be changed even if there are no problems on the circuit?
 
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Old 05-24-15, 05:09 PM
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Are we talking about aluminum wiring? What do you call old? I've seen people call a house built in the 70s, old. In NY, that's not an old house. We could use some more info.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 05:18 PM
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Soldered and taped splices would denote knob and tube wiring. As long as the insulation is not crumbling I see no immediate need to replace it. Some insurance companies will refuse to write coverage on a house that has knob and tube wiring.

Current philosophy prohibits burying knob and tube in insulation but my parents house had knob and tube AND had the attic and walls insulated in the early 1950s. They never had a bit of trouble from the knob and tube.

Where trouble DOES occur is when some dimwit (like my daddy) replaces the 15 ampere fuses with 30 ampere fuses.

Pulpo, have you ever tried to solder aluminum wires?
 
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Old 05-24-15, 05:24 PM
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That's a good question. I'm working in a house right now that was wired in BX. All the connections are soldered and taped. The connections are good and the tape job is good but once you disturb the connection the problems start. Usually, due to the age, the insulation starts crumbling at the joint. Especially in ceiling boxes where the heat from the fixture has baked the wiring.

They also made very short wiring splices so by the time you get the joint apart there is next to nothing left.

This job is an upgrade and replacing all the wiring was not in the budget so some will be staying. I would have liked to replace it all although I didn't find any problems.

This house has no K&T in it.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 05:24 PM
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Its mid 50 copper wiring... not knob and tube nor aluminum wiring.

Im talking about the joints in general... Not looking to rewire the house!! lol.

Kind of like you open a box to change a switch and see a soldered and taped connection tucked in the back of the box... do you open it or just leave sleeping dogs alone?
 
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Old 05-24-15, 05:55 PM
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As long as the insulation is in good condition, I leave the splices alone.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 08:35 PM
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I fully agree with the boss's reply.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 08:42 PM
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I've seen soldered and taped splices in houses as new as the early 1970s. It is in my opinion, the best connection method. As long as you're not having any issues and the insulation is good you shouldn't need to touch it.
 
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Old 05-25-15, 04:33 AM
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A properly made soldered connection also has mechanical strength such as twisting so it does not rely on just the solder to hold it together. Then it will never come apart or lose conductivity unless it got overheated and all the solder melted and dripped away.

Soldered connections would not indicate aluminum wiring because aluminum cannot be soldered using conventional electronic solder. Plumbing solder and fluxes/pastes must never be used on wiring as it could lead to corrosion that can eat through the wire and detract from conductivity.

While soldered knob and tube wiring does not develop loose connections (unless oveheated), there is no assurance other than by inspection that the K&T wiring was indeed soldered. Just twisting wires together is (nowadays) insufficient for ground wires let alone current carrying conductors. Another problem with K&T is slackness leading to drooping together with deteriorated insulation resulting in short circuits inside the wall or ceiling.
 
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