Strange (dangerous?) wiring in a 2 wire home circuit

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Old 01-10-18, 01:14 PM
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Exclamation Strange (dangerous?) wiring in a 2 wire home circuit

Hi people!

First...my house was built in 1952-53 with a cloth(?) wound, 2 wire (ungrounded) system all over.
I've added 1pc. grounded wire for my computer, but nothing else. At least there is a new circuit breaker box in the basement

Here's my dilemma:.

* I was replacing 2 old double socket wall plugs upstairs in my 1/2 finished attic area.
* The first was easy - 2 white & 2 black wires. No problem.
* The second one was something I had never seen before. There were 3 cables coming into the box - 3 white wires & 3 black. The top screws had 1 white and 1 black attached from one of the cables (normal), but the bottom screws had 2 white and 2 black wires wound around each of the bottom screws.

I'm not an electrician at all, but I've replaced many wall sockets and have never seen this before. My first thought was that this setup is really dangerous and completely illegal.

Before I do anything on this, please let me know what you think...

Ken H.
Clarksburg, WV
 
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Old 01-10-18, 04:34 PM
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Did I confuse anyone on the prior question?

About the 2nd double wall plug:
* The top wires from 1 insulated line were screwed on fine
* ....but, the bottom screws had 2 wires going to each screw - (2 white & 2 black). Each set of the bottom hot lines were in 2 separate insulated cables.This is what I am questioning.

As far as I know, I have 3 hot lines coming into 1 double wall plug.
 
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Old 01-10-18, 04:47 PM
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As far as I know, I have 3 hot lines coming into 1 double wall plug
You likely have 1 hot cable coming in there, and this one feeds the other two. Which is done all the time. The two wires on one screw deal is lazy/shoddy but easily fixed with a pigtail. If the metal tabs on the old receptacle are still intact (meaning this receptacle was not split wired) then you can join all 3 into the same pigtail and just have one wire running to each side of the new receptacle.

By the way, what was that "1pc. grounded wire" for your computer?
 
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Old 01-11-18, 12:26 PM
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I agree with Core, one thing that popped out as a question is:
I've added 1pc. grounded wire for my computer, but nothing else. At least there is a new circuit breaker box in the basement
You're not allowed to extend a non-grounded circuit. (not that you would want to anyway). Any new receptacles you install, you'll want to run back to the circuit breaker box and create a new up-to-code grounded circuit.

With the old 2-wire circuits, you can either replace the receptacles with new 2-wire ungrounded receptacles, or use GFI receptacles with the sticker "No Equipment Ground". You're not supposed to install new grounded receptacles on a 2-wire circuit, and they won't work anyway.
 
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Old 01-13-18, 09:05 AM
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the bottom screws had 2 white and 2 black wires wound around each of the bottom screws.
laskdhf
Yes, this is an issue. There should only be one wire per one screw. putting two wires under one screw can create a poor connection and cause a fire.

I recommend taking all the wires off the screws, connect them together (black to black, white to white) and then pigtail a wire to the device.
 
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Old 01-19-18, 01:31 PM
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Because of my concern for my computer and its accessories, I had an electrician install a new, double outlet, grounded line to the main box downstairs. Right now it's the only grounded line in the house and for me to have the whole house rewired would cost a small fortune.
 
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Old 01-19-18, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
laskdhf
Yes, this is an issue. There should only be one wire per one screw. putting two wires under one screw can create a poor connection and cause a fire.

I recommend taking all the wires off the screws, connect them together (black to black, white to white) and then pigtail a wire to the device.
I'm going to have an electrician come over and take a look at the situation and tell me the best solution, Someone else here thinks there is 1 hot line going to the top plug and the 2 other lines on the bottom plug are "feeder lines" going to other plugs. I think this too....and yes, the small strips for top and bottom sockets are still there.
 
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Old 01-19-18, 01:41 PM
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BTW - Thanks go out to all of you who answered my questions on here . I just wish I knew more about electrical circuits - lol.
 
 

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