Electric circuits in old houses--the Random Approach

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"Proctologically Violated©®" wrote:

Bingo!
They base their decisions on what their lawyers say they can get away with, not on any objective or scientific information.
Pete C.
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Yeah, viva Katrina. -- Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY Stop Corruption in Congress & Send the Ultimate Message: Absolutely Vote, for *Anyone BUT* a Democrat or a Republican Ending Corruption in Congress is the Single Best Way to Materially Improve Your Life entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs

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Pete C. wrote:

To the contrary, they use very extensive actuarial models and are a driving force in the development of risk reduction for the express purpose of saving exposure which, coincidentally, tends to be more to your advantage than making a claim.
I've never had an insurance company even ask or have a spot on the form/application that addressed wiring type. No policy has had any provision for denial of claim on the basis of the type of wiring. This goes back to extensive renovation work on houses as much 150 years old which were in some cases originally wired in the proverbial dark ages to modern. Some required inspections, most didn't. Far nore apt for lenders to require than insurance underwriters ime. And if the policy doesn't have the exclusion or condition, claims can not subsequently be denied on that basis. (Not to say they don't/won't cite every limitation in the policy, but they can't make up new ones after the fact.)
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dpb wrote:

To which they apply significant bias to in order to justify what they have already decided that they want to do. It's a case of creating data to fit the predetermined conclusion.

If it were really true it might be to the public's advantage, however it is not. To a very large extent the insurance industry applies what is essentially extortion to the public to both increase their profits and also in many cases to push an agenda.

Then you haven't seen many policies. I've seen and dealt with this exact issue personally, and have also seen policy documents indicating increased premiums for electrical over 30-40 years old.

I've seen it required by both, though mostly be insurers.

Claims can't, but they can and will either raise premiums or cancel policies.
Pete C.
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Pete C. wrote:

Have you actual data to substantiate that. Having known working statisticians for severl companies whose work is such, that doesn't corroborate with what I know...

I think this is mostly opinion with which, for the most part I disagree...

Only a few dozens, granted... :) We averaged 4-6/year for 12-13 years. I'm sure it will depend on locale and underwriters...as noted, we did a significant number of very old dwelling renewals in a revitalization area and of all the issues there were, wiring _type_ was never an issue w/ insurance underwriters. Condition, otoh, is/was something else but in almost every instance I can recall specifically, the underwriter followed the lender's lead. Probably 80% of these were with an area/region-wide concern, so perhaps a comparison to some of the "name" guys might not be so favorable. It was also in a smaller/medium-sized market altho I don't know that had a tremendous amount to do with it, but perhaps???

Again, was never an issue that came up except for natural disasters or (later on) roofing materials. Probably, again, more to do with specific carriers and areas than anything else.
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dpb wrote:

older than xx years. They were forced to drop the policy by a class action suit or state regulators, don't remember which.
In the previously posted link http://www.maine.gov/pfr/ins/hearing_2003-13680.htm a policy holder challenged a policy cancellation for T&B wiring at a state Bureau of Insurance. Part of the challenge was the insurance inspector had no qualification to judge the safety of the wiring. The insurance company provided no justification, statistical or otherwise, for not covering K&T. The insurance company was reversed.
It is not a secret that insurance companies would like to redline neighborhoods.
-- bud--
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Bud-- wrote: ...

I guess that is so...I tend to forget/ignore/am unaffected from most if not all of those problems by being in smaller market areas and that dealing w/ regional/local firms instead of the national big boys is really a completely different experience..I guess not everybody has the luxury to choose... :(
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When did they start using BX cable in these here parts? Do you think as early as 1920? I would be surprised if BX was that old, but indeed, the wiring looks original, not re-wired. Or else they did one helluva a re-wire job. :) -- Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY Ending Corruption in Congress is the Single Best Way to Materially Improve Your Life: Stop Corruption in Congress, Send the Ultimate Message: Absolutely Vote, for *Anyone BUT* a Democrat or a Republican entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs

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Proctologically Violated©® spake thus:

Can't comment on anything in "those parts" (I'm on the west coast), but, having worked on lots of houses of the same vintage as yours out here, I'm pretty sure that both BX and NM cables coexisted peacefully with knob & tube wiring. K&T for the runs inside walls and under floors, and cable to go into boxes to devices (switches and outlets).
And yes, I also like the old spliced & soldered connectors. I use wire nuts, and (pretty much) trust them (though I twist the hell out of them just to be sure), but they're not as good as a well-made soldered connection.
--
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This seems like it might be a regional issue, though I'm not sure why that would be true. K&T is very difficult to insure in some Western states, yet seems to be readily insurable in some East Coast states. I haven't seen the actuarial studies used in making these decisions, so I can only guess why.
In markets where a large share of the housing stock is old enough to still have K&T, it might make more sense to charge a higher base rate and not distinguish between wiring types; while in states where most housing is too new for K&T, an insurance company can decline coverage to K&T houses without turning away too much of the market, and thus charge lower rates to everyone else.
Remember, too, that insurance companies use very detailed actuarial analysis of claims histories in making these decisions, and they react to what may seem like very small risks. If obsolete wiring has only a 5% higher risk of starting a fire than modern wiring, that's a pretty small difference for the homeowner, a 5% increase in a very small risk. On the other hand, if you're an insurance company trying to charge a competitive rate for taking on the risk of houses burning down, that increase could represent a chance to trim your average premium a couple of percent by not insuring houses with K&T wiring.
Other common wiring-related underwriting issues include total capacity being too low for modern use, e.g. a 60-amp service for a house, and fuse panels instead of circuit breakers.
Finally, there's a difference between underwriting questions -- whether the insurance company wants to insure your house, and policy exclusions -- things the company won't cover when they do insure your house. The company might not want to insure homes with K&T wiring, but if they decide to insure your house, unless the policy itself has an exclusion for damage related to K&T wiring, it's covered.
--
snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
<http://www.phred.org/~josh/
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message

Yes. This meant that when one fuse blew, you were likely to have light from another circuit nearby. It is the reason fuse boxes are equipped with a table, so the homeowner can write down which rooms are supplied by which circuit.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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Yeah, but my "fuse table" is about 6 goddamm pages long!!! goodgawd.... That's why, for the poster who asked, I would like to consolidate things, but I think it's a futile task. -- Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY Ending Corruption in Congress is the Single Best Way to Materially Improve Your Life: Stop Corruption in Congress, Send the Ultimate Message: Absolutely Vote, for *Anyone BUT* a Democrat or a Republican entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs

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"Proctologically Violated©®" wrote:

My breaker table is a CAD print of the house with each outlet and fixture indicated along with the circuit number. Far easier to make sense of quickly than a text list.
Pete C.
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Proctologically Violated©® wrote:

might help to make a map with receptacles and lights and the circuit number indicated - easy to look at the map and figure out the right fuse.
--bud--
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Man, I got 20 fuses, 5,000 sq ft. I'll be mappin fer the rest of my g-d life!!! -- Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY Stop Corruption in Congress & Send the Ultimate Message: Absolutely Vote, for *Anyone BUT* a Democrat or a Republican Ending Corruption in Congress is the Single Best Way to Materially Improve Your Life entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs

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"Proctologically Violated©®" wrote:

Get a helper, a non contact voltage tester and a pair of FRS radios. Should take two hours at most.
Pete C.
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I also got 5 flights of stairs! :)
Ackshooly not a big deal. Was more curious as to whether was something intrinsically wrong with the house.
When a fuse blows, we run around to see what else is out, add to the *notebook* by the fuse box. Do wish, tho, I had done this mapping before or upon moving in. -- Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY Stop Corruption in Congress & Send the Ultimate Message: Absolutely Vote, for *Anyone BUT* a Democrat or a Republican Ending Corruption in Congress is the Single Best Way to Materially Improve Your Life entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs

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likely usage of a circuit by spreading it all over the house?

In that case, label the outlets according to what circut they're on.
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Proctologically Violated©® wrote:

why?
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2 things try to sell a home with K&T BIG HASSLE, espically since new opwner may not be able to get homeowners insurance, or pay MUCH MORE
Statistically K&T has more fires, after all frequently its a 100 years old or more.
solder by the way can detoriate with time.
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