1920's wiring....


Awl --
No real problem here, just some inneresting stuff, a general Q.
Of course, the wiring is old, cloth covered, but in BX, and super-high quality. The wire seems to be nickel or silver coated/tinned -- not just ends, but the whole wire. Curious as to what the purpose of that coating is. And today, in 2009, the cloth is STILL supple!!
The wire appears to be only 14 ga, but still more than ample for 15 A, AND each splice is wire nutted AND soldered!!
Imho, soldering adds a big safety factor to the splicing process, and I'm surprised they dispensed with the requirement -- esp. in a union trade, where the slower the better.
Most peculiar, tho, is the "circuitry strategy", which seems to be a kind of statistical shotgun approach, where one room is not wired on one or two or three breakers, but rather randomly throughout the house. So if a breaker trips, 4 different locations could be affected, all over the house. Really a pita, but it is what it is. Fortunately, there are many many circuits -- over 20.
Curious if other people in older houses have this wiring strategy. I don't think it's easily solvable.
The electrical wisdom seems to be, leave the old as is, just add new as you need it -- appliances, A/C, etc.
The Q is, to go through the trouble to run the new in the walls (a real pita), or use wire-mold?
--
EA



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I like to wire lighting circuits on separate breakers from outlets. Then if an outlet breaker trips, you still have lights to see!
And I like to wire each room's outlets on its own breaker. Much easier for troubleshooting and labeling of the breakers.
As to rewiring, if you are going to live there the rest of your life, I would run the wiring in the walls. Looks much nicer. Electricians know how to do this. You can always just do one room at a time.
"Existential Angst" wrote in message

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On Mon, 26 Oct 2009 11:38:56 -0400, "Existential Angst"

The idea behind it is - if one circuit blows the whole room does not go dark.
I've seen wiring done that has, say, all the outlets on the left wall of all rooms on one circuit. Outlets on the right wall on one circuit, outlets on the back wall on one circuit, and on the door wall on one circuit.
All switched outlets on one circuit, and lights on alternate circuits so no 2 adjacent lights share the same fuse . This was for safety reasons - never have more than a short distance dark at one time from a blown fuse, and for seviceability - which outlet went out? - it's the fuse for that "location".
Not common - and only in more expensive homes, because it took a lot more wire, and work, to install.
I'd put new wires in the wall if possible.

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wrote:

Most wire nuts don't even require pre-twisting of the wires. The soldering is overkill and makes working in the box a pita.

Fein Multimaster to cut the holes, and setting type joint compound to repair them. Quickest way, and you should have the wires in the walls for a number of reasons.
R
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