Updating electrical switches

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The line running out to my garage was interesting when I bought the house. I followed it back, and the connection was right above my oil tank. It was a spiral metal conduit, with wiring inside; this went to all I can say it was a lamp fixture with a pull-chain, with a two-prong extension cord plug, then wired into romex, which went out under my back steps/walk, and wound up in the garage. This was off a shared connection, feeding basement lights and who knows what else (sump pump? dehumidifier?).

I had an electrician friend remove the nuttiness, and put this on its own run. On the garage side, he put a GFCI outlet, which then fed another outlet and the lights and electric garage door opener. This has served well going forward.
 

albythewhitey

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4 gang boxes offer a lot of utility at main entrances to control interior and exterior lights, and it looks neater than the multiple face plates you would get with separate boxes. This is particularly true when you have more than one source of light or method of lighting, so I am not sure how you can advocate for more lighting control yet not 4 gang boxes, unless you like lots of separate boxes and switchplates all over the place. Certainly would be interested to hear if you are doing it a smarter way.
you could use a duplex toggle switch to get 4 loads off a two gang? personally i wouldnt do this but just throwing the idea out there :D
 

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The line running out to my garage was interesting when I bought the house. I followed it back, and the connection was right above my oil tank. It was a spiral metal conduit, with wiring inside; this went to all I can say it was a lamp fixture with a pull-chain, with a two-prong extension cord plug, then wired into romex, which went out under my back steps/walk, and wound up in the garage. This was off a shared connection, feeding basement lights and who knows what else (sump pump? dehumidifier?).

I had an electrician friend remove the nuttiness, and put this on its own run. On the garage side, he put a GFCI outlet, which then fed another outlet and the lights and electric garage door opener. This has served well going forward.
I have several outbuildings on the southern end of the property. When I bought the place, they were wired with overhead knob and tube wires with knife blade switches in the buildings. Yes they were live and were among my first fixes.

To be clear, the wires were strung through the air with ceramic insulators tying then to the buildings. I guess they were safe enough. Nothing burned down in the 100 or so years they'd been like that.
 

Spanz

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I have several outbuildings on the southern end of the property. When I bought the place, they were wired with overhead knob and tube wires with knife blade switches in the buildings. Yes they were live and were among my first fixes.

To be clear, the wires were strung through the air with ceramic insulators tying then to the buildings. I guess they were safe enough. Nothing burned down in the 100 or so years they'd been like that.
i had about 20 feet of knob and tube in the building i am renovating now. But it had been screwed with...stuff added...and they say the knob and tube is ok, but the moment you screw with it, trouble happens.

I deactivated all the existing wiring, and we are rewiring with a new panel. Can not be sure what is hidden in the walls.
 

Energizer

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The line running out to my garage was interesting when I bought the house. I followed it back, and the connection was right above my oil tank. It was a spiral metal conduit, with wiring inside; this went to all I can say it was a lamp fixture with a pull-chain, with a two-prong extension cord plug, then wired into romex, which went out under my back steps/walk, and wound up in the garage. This was off a shared connection, feeding basement lights and who knows what else (sump pump? dehumidifier?).

I had an electrician friend remove the nuttiness, and put this on its own run. On the garage side, he put a GFCI outlet, which then fed another outlet and the lights and electric garage door opener. This has served well going forward.
Sounds like my house. Still finding stuff like this buried in my circa-1940 walls or in ceilings 18 yrs after buying the place. I've replaced the main panel and have been slowly rewiring when it makes sense. Old, cloth insulated 2-wire armored cable with soldered connections, metal lath concrete plaster walls, and full dimension "hard-as-a-rock" heartwood balloon framing construction makes even the smallest fix or alteration a nightmare.
 
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My kitchen has a fan next to the light. When I bought the place, it had an old fan and the old circline fluorescent light. I replace both, but separately, so still 2 connections/boxes/switches. When I pulled one of them, there was a baby food jar pushed up into the ceiling, with a ton of wires going into it, all electrical taped together. I think I had my electrician friend take care of that as well. There is another one, an outlet, and an outlet overlapping it. Yes, the plastic plate is cut so they are kind of overlapping. I think they did that to put the new (70's? 80's?) microwave on its own circuit. Maybe for dishwasher? There are also switches that do nothing in the living room. I'm guessing sconces that are now buried somewhere.
 

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On the 16 yard line, shootin' for the Lewis!
Could be worse.

In the 1970's America was probably ->this<- close
to getting switches, outlets, and wall plates in Avocado and Coppertone.
A relative has a Colonial-style house in Concord (modern, not a Real Colonial, bear in mind....)

She was doing a remodel, and was having trouble finding "colonial" switchplates. I explained that during Colonial times, they didn't have switchplates, as they didn't have switches, either. [laugh]

Sometimes, I'm not helpful.
 

MisterHappy

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I have several outbuildings on the southern end of the property. When I bought the place, they were wired with overhead knob and tube wires with knife blade switches in the buildings. Yes they were live and were among my first fixes.

To be clear, the wires were strung through the air with ceramic insulators tying then to the buildings. I guess they were safe enough. Nothing burned down in the 100 or so years they'd been like that.
Back in the late 80's/early 90's, I was talking with the Gas Man, who was doing a meter swap at my parents' house in Arlington. He told me there was a Little Old Lady in the town, who lived in a house that had never been wired for electricity: Gas light, gas refrigerator, etc. She apparently was of the opinion that it had worked so far, so why change? [laugh]
 
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A relative has a Colonial-style house in Concord (modern, not a Real Colonial, bear in mind....)

She was doing a remodel, and was having trouble finding "colonial" switchplates. I explained that during Colonial times, they didn't have switchplates, as they didn't have switches, either. [laugh] ...
Reminds me of the Wong Dynasty in Holden. It is the only Chinese restaurant I know of that is set in a Colonial atmosphere. (It used to be the Christmas Tree Inn, and the William Paul House before that.)
 
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namedpipes

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Back in the late 80's/early 90's, I was talking with the Gas Man, who was doing a meter swap at my parents' house in Arlington. He told me there was a Little Old Lady in the town, who lived in a house that had never been wired for electricity: Gas light, gas refrigerator, etc. She apparently was of the opinion that it had worked so far, so why change? [laugh]
There have been a couple houses in NH I had my eye on at times, both 150+ yo and never wired or plumbed. If I were single... Of course I'm not, but I would be again if I did buy a house with outdoor privy and oil lamps...

The sheds you parked the trailer by are the ones that had the overhead knob and tube. (One day I'll get it over to Bill's place [laugh])
 

AHM

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... the Wong Dynasty in Holden ... is the only Chinese restaurant I know of that is set in a Colonial atmosphere.
Manning Manse in North Bricka used to have a Chinese restaurant.
(Now it's got Jon Ryan's Pub).
It was built ca. 1696 - does that count?

It's where we first had pom-pom chicken
(cold shredded chicken salad with sesame sauce).
But the Chinese restaurant menu included a classic turkey dinner.
The owner said that customers used to the previous (Western) restaurant
kept asking for it, so they had to add it; LOL.
 

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Reminds me of the Wong Dynasty in Holden. It is the only Chinese restaurant I know of that is set in a Colonial atmosphere. (It used to be the Christmas Tree Inn, and the William Paul House before that.)
I hate eating there, everything is cooked the Wong Way.
 
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MisterHappy

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Manning Manse in North Bricka used to have a Chinese restaurant.
(Now it's got Jon Ryan's Pub).
It was built ca. 1696 - does that count?

It's where we first had pom-pom chicken
(cold shredded chicken salad with sesame sauce).
But the Chinese restaurant menu included a classic turkey dinner.
The owner said that customers used to the previous (Western) restaurant
kept asking for it, so they had to add it; LOL.
I thought the place had burned down....I guess it only mostly burned down.

+1 for "Bricka" [laugh]
 

AHM

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Well it might not be to code but chances are it wasn't uncovered due to a fire or there would be scorching in the pic. Therefore it was empirically safe.
At first I thought it was nails.
Then I thought it was seriously thick wire.
But I looked even closer and saw that it was insulated wire.

I've seen worse.

Note well:
It sucks to have your house burn down
(especially if you're inside it)
because of a clown shoe wiring job.

But it's no bowl of cherries to be towing a trailer,
stand on the brakes, and have the whole thing jackknife
because one of the wires fell out of the hole in the socket back by the hitch.

We should have been so lucky as for the dweeb to do this good a job.


It looks like nowadays if you're lucky the stripped end of the wire
goes into a collet where it's secured with a set screw.
But back in the day, there were stamped flanges with screws
that would ideally hold down a spade lug,
but at least get a wire twisted the right way.
 

Talon3

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860V? You're gonna need a bigger meter.
Back in the early 90s I was in an electronics shop class. Old CRT tvs and monitors rule of thumb was 1000v per diagonal screen inch. The tube has a big round rubber seal over the thick feeder wire. First rule was to not touch that until it sat for a while or was discharged safely first.
 
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