80 year old conduit

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After some wiring upgrades in my house I went around with an outlet tester to confirm all polarities and grounds were correct.
All tested good.
Later, doing some plumbing work, I noticed that on one run of conduit (from 1932) is loose at the junction box due to stripped threads.
Even though the ground on the circuits associated with this run test OK with a circuit tester, with my ohm meter it shows 200 ohms and I don't like that.
I took two ground clamps and connected them to either side of the poor junction and wired them together and the ground at the outlets shows about one ohm which should be OK.
My question is:
Is it permissible to leave things like that? If not I might as well replace the entire run...which is going to be a PITA.
Otherwise, since there are just a few lamps on these circuits, can I use a two prong outlet...the type with no ground? I see they are still being sold so presume there are some uses for them.
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On 08/06/2014 12:57 PM, philo wrote: ...

Certainly. Can't fathom stripped threads on a conduit connector. What kind of "conduit" are we talking about, specifically? If thin wall (EMT), can't see why it would be any biggie to simply replace a connector at the box if really need be--they're just compression fit to the conduit and threaded inside the box.
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On 08/06/2014 01:47 PM, dpb wrote:

The conduit is circa 1932, it's almost like water pipe.
The ends are threaded and it's fastened to the junction box by one nut inside and one out. I think the nut itself is stripped as it just turns and does not tighten.
To replace it I'd have to open the junction box and disassemble the wires. Back in those days they did not use wire nuts...the wires are twisted, soldered and taped. If I was going to take it apart and try to fix this, I'd be better off just replacing the run with all new Romex.
BTW: That old wire does not appear to be copper. It may be steel...I don't know but it's very stiff.
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On 08/06/2014 2:30 PM, philo wrote:

OK, that's RMC (rigid metallic conduit), then.

There's a lot of stuff that old and older here on the farm -- I've never had any trouble in just clipping the ends and having enough remaining to then use wire nuts.
But, I don't see any issue with the workaround you've installed either functionally or any Code prohibition.

I'm not sure on the wire itself, I've wondered a couple of times on some of this if it might not have been Cu-plated but haven't ever gone to the effort to really find out.
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On 08/06/2014 02:42 PM, dpb wrote:

<snip>

After the electricians put in the new , 200 amp panel I've spent two weeks adding new circuits and bringing all my "slap-dash" work up to code...so I don't feel like doing any more wiring right now.
The wiring itself seems to be OK and even the old insulation has held up pretty well....so for now I'm going to leave things as they are.
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That is a bonding jumper, it is legal. You should be getting less than an ohm.
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On 08/06/2014 02:38 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Thanks for the info.
Now that I know that it's legal I think I'll clean up the conduit and see if I can get a connection closer to zero OHMs.
It looks like there are several other spots I should bond.
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ends.
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On 08/06/2014 02:48 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Yep. that's it...now do you know what the wire is made of?
It's not solid copper...possibly steel with a copper coating?
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On 8/6/2014 4:38 PM, philo wrote:

Does it stick to a magnet?
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On 08/07/2014 06:47 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Duh, I never thought of that. Will try later.
OTOH I now think it's probably not steel as I used to cut up "commo" wire when I was in the Army. That has steel and aluminum strands and is very hard to cut.
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I only know of 2 kinds of wire, copper and aluminum. The aluminum might be copper clad but aluminum showed up in the late 60s in 12-10 sizes. By 75 it was pretty much gone in new construction.
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On 08/06/2014 07:15 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Definitely not aluminum, if it was I'd replace it at once
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hardened" and very stiff. To make it easier to use, modern copper wire is fully annealed.. Some older copper is not oxygen free and 99.9% pure, and it precipitation hardens - over a long time it gets hard. This wire also tends to get a verdigris colouring to it with age.
This is just my "educated guess" and there are half a dozen guys on the list that will tell me I don't know anything about electrical and don't know what I'm talking about. I do have a copy of the very first electrical standards handbook published in the USA in 1914 handed down through generations of electricians from my great grandfather's brother-in-law who was one of the first electricians in Waterloo County, ending up in my father's hands -I'm part of the first generation since NOT to make my living as an electrician although I did a lot of work with my dad as a youngster.
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On 08/06/2014 08:13 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

It may be some type of hardened copper ?
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On 08/06/2014 8:25 PM, philo wrote: ...

He's saying if it were drawn it would tend to be work-hardened and hence stiff...there's some of that here, too, and while it is stiffer than modern Cu wire of same gauge, the stuff here that is like what you describe also is _definitely_NOT_ solid Cu--that can be seen w/ a freshly cut face. It is plated and like your supposition, I think it is a steel core altho I've not analyzed it carefully.
The reason I didn't respond here yesterday is that I thought I knew where there was a scrap laying around and went and looked thinking I could determine if it were, indeed, ferrous by the magnet test, but apparently I did clean up and tossed it. I did not find any old roll ends of it in a cursory look around the barn loft where all the leftovers and rework salvage is, unfortunately.
So, I still don't know more than the appearance and the certainty it isn't solid Cu--unless there was some other alloy that lost the characteristic Cu color.
Curiosity question -- what's the insulation material on what is there?
--


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On 08/07/2014 8:44 AM, dpb wrote:

On thinking, I'm not sure precisely what age/era this belongs too...it's not in the house which was built in 1915/-16 and originally wired K&T with a Delco 32V DC windcharger system as the power source...forward-looking for farmhouse in them days, was Grandpa... :)
Anyway, it probably is roughly depression-era as where I've found it is in the old farrowing house and some other add-ons since the earliest outbuildings/barn that were all in the period right around the house but before the coming of the REC in '48 at which time there was quite a lot of additional wiring added since then had the capacity for more than just a light here and there. There's also some (where I last worked on it, adding another yardlight control to the circuit in the second garage that hadn't ever had one since we've been using both since coming back to the farm) but that dates to, I think, the early 50s. I'm guessing it was wired with leftovers from previous work at that time being as how neither grandfather nor dad would have ever not used something on hand if possible rather than buy new if it suited the purpose...
With that, I'm wondering if indeed, it is an aberration owing to the Depression that was a cheaper alternative in times of trouble, but that's purely supposition. Some web searching has turned up no references to anything like it that I've found.
It's never been an issue in all the years it's been installed out here so while I've thought "that's odd!" when run into it, never did more to really look into it at the time.
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On 08/07/2014 09:11 AM, dpb wrote:

Because I was in the battery business and studied the history , I have seen documentation on those 32 volt systems. There were even manuals showing you how to make your own lead battery plates!

Yep, I make use of leftover parts all the time!

BTW: Since my house was made in 1898 and they did not start to wire houses here until at least 1905 I was lucky that it was wired in 1932 and does not use knob and tube.
With knob and tube, even if the insulation breaks down, the ceramic insulators will keep things from shorting...
HOWEVER: Years ago the parents of one of my daughter's friend asked me to check out the wiring as their daughter was getting shocked when she took a shower. The knob and tube wiring was in the wall behind the bathtub and moisture had gotten in and created a conduction path.
I killed the power to that line and told the mother to call an electrician and have that circuit entirely replaced.
Later I found out she just turned the power back on and ignored my advice!
No way would I take a chance like that...they later sold the house.
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On 8/7/2014 11:31 AM, philo wrote:

That's shocking, but not surprising.
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On 08/07/2014 04:40 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

People have gotten killed from 115vac!
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