Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


03:43AM | 03/19/04
Member Since: 03/18/04
11 lifetime posts
My wife and I just moved into an older home. The breaker was upgraded from fusebox to 100amp service in 1985. About 80% of the outlets in the home have been converted to three-prong and are grounded (according to the tester I have). There are a few 2-prong outlets still, and it seems that inside some of the switchplates there are wires that have the cloth/cord wrapped wires.

GFCI's have been installed where they need to be. Generally, though I'm a worrier, and have had some bad experiences with electrical work. Is there any reason I should have an electrician come in to look at anything? We had 2 general inspectors go through, but they didn't say anything was in need of dire emergency, but they didn't pull off switchplates, etc.

What does anyone here think? Should I be upgrading the panel again? In addition the walls are plaster and lath so I'm not sure what would have to be done about the cloth covered wiring. It would make me feel safer to "clean" things up a bit, but am I about to spend unnecessary money for the electrician?



Tom O

12:38PM | 03/19/04
Member Since: 09/17/02
476 lifetime posts
I would question the fact that the outlets are grounded, regardless of what your tester indicates. Even if your house is wired in Armored Cable, it may predate the time when a bonding strip was placed inside the cable during manufacture to make the metal jacket a good equipment ground.

Paying for a 1 hour service call to be sure about the grounding will make you feel better.



03:50AM | 04/14/04
Member Since: 11/26/02
33 lifetime posts
I live in Oak Park, IL and my house (1917) had the same wiring. Since 90% of the conduit was the original rigid type, it was relatively easy to pull new wire through the whole house.

When I pulled new wire, the older cloth wire was in great shape for its age. My concern wasn't the wire itself or the grounding (given the rigid conduit); rather, I was concerned about the shallow pancake boxes used for all the ceiling fixtures. They were overloaded as junction boxes, so I had to go through the messy process of replacing them with octagon boxes.

My house runs on 100A service and it is fine. Everything except the A/C compressor is gas, so we don't really draw big loads.


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