Extra wirenut in 1954 switchbox

'allo,
I belong to a little brick bungalow in a midwest city, built in 1954.
It came with a single-gang box with a standard 2-position switch to control a ceiling fan/light assembly.
Whilst replacing the switch, I noted the usual red and black wires. One of the black wires was stripped about 1 " in the middle (where the wire was not cut), kinked, and wire-nutted (nothing else in the nut, just the kink). Both the strip and the wire nut serve no purpose whatsoever that I can see.
Has anyone seen anything like this? If so, know why they did it? Near all the old wiring in this tiny house is extremely simple and predictable: worries po' me when I see something I can't explain.
Thx, Puddin'
"Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens!" -Friedrich Schiller
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My first guess is that it isn't one wire, but two. If not, my second guess is that it used to have a second wire, but no longer does.
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That'll win ya noooooooooo cigar. It's a single length of single strand 14 g. cu wire.

It would defy the standard practice of that era that I'm familiar with, which simply involves cutting and stripping wires, then applying the wire nut.
P
"Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens!" -Friedrich Schiller
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-- It would defy the standard practice of that era that I'm familiar with, -- which simply involves cutting and stripping wires, then applying the -- wire nut
So? Who's to say that whoever did whatever it is that they did knew anything about "standard practices"? Many if us have seen many different types of hack jobs, electrical and otherwise,
I vote for the "second wire that is no longer present" along with a rookie installation/deinstallation.
Another possibility is a nicked insulation and not enough wire to cut it back to the nick, so they simply stripped of the nicked insualtion and protected the bare wire with a wire nut - mainly because they were out of electrical tape at the time. ;-)
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I thought of that as a third possibility, but it seemed too silly
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True.
Conceivable, but it didn't look like it.

I guess anything was possible. Part of the reason I posted was b/c I knew of the previous owners of the house. The first was in construction trades (roofer), the 2nd was a newspaper guy who evidently did nothing with wiring. Neither seems likely to have committed unnatural wiring acts.
But, who knows? Buying a house, even new, is buying at least a few mysteries.
Cheers, Puddin'
"Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens!" -Friedrich Schiller
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Puddin' Man wrote: ...

...
Well, no I don't think anybody is going to "know", but the guess would be there was at one time a splice there if, indeed the wire hasn't been cut.
--
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dpb wrote:

Actually, whether it was cut or not... :)
--
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Puddin' Man wrote:

Just about anything could have been done in the past 53 years. Is this midwest city anywhere near Chicago, where wiring is in conduit? If so, you can check the other end of the run (the fixture box would be the first place to check). From your description I would infer that it may have at one time been the source feed for two switches in the box. Are the fan and light separately switched?
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St. Louis.

Single box. No room for another switch.

No.
P
"Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens!" -Friedrich Schiller
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wrote:

Probably was a double switch that installed in a single gang box, they used a receptacle cover plate with one switch in each place where an outlet would normally be. Probably someone replaced it with a single switch or couldn't find a double replacement. They are still available if you look. In Decora style you can even get a triple switch, although wiring them must be difficult and cramped.
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They had those back in '54?
There is only one hot wire running from the box to the ceiling fixture. Can't imagine how/why another switched circuit would've been crammed into the tiny work box.

Thanks, but this explanation doesn't seem to fit the circumstances.
P
"Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens!" -Friedrich Schiller
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Then, someone probably skinned the wire accidentally and patched it with a wire nut. Things do happen.
wrote:

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wrote:

If there is a neutral in the box it seems likely that there was a combination switch and receptacle or a combination switch and pilot light. These combination devices to fit single gang boxes were definitely available at the time your house was built and I believe probably 10 years or more before then. Stripping in the middle of the lead and wire-nutting as you described is not terribly unusual, nor is stripping in the middle and fastening that section under a terminal screw and the end under another screw, especially where space is limited as it would be with the combination devices in a single box. It seems to me that the latter is most likely and someone just squeezed the wire together and installed the wire nut for insulation after removing the second device from the box.
Don Young Started wiring houses in the 40's
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Pilot light?
Mebbe they had the furnace in that 4 sq. inches as well? :-) (Forgive me, I couldn't resist.)

The black (HOT) wire?

To my knowledge, 'twere a simple, simple little switch box for a ceiling light fixture. Other wiring in the house is garden- variety Simon-simple.
But anything is possible.
P
"Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens!" -Friedrich Schiller
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On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 21:46:55 -0500, Puddin' Man

The make both double switches that fit in a single box, and switch/receptacle combinations that fit in a single box.
They definitely had the double switch in '54. In fact I think they were more common then. They had the triple switch too but not by Decora. I just did a favor for an old man whose expensive house is from I think the early 60's and his house has the doubles all over, including the bathroom, and the triples in the front hall.
Because it is the black wire and stripped in the middle, they might have wrapped it around one screw and then the rest of it went to the swtich screw. Later someone didn't need the outlet, or didn't like that it was in the middle/top of the wall.
Even someone who does no wiring might make this change, unless he actually says he did NO repairs.
As to standard practice, there are a million electricians and also DIYers. They won't all stick to standard practice every day. :)
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According to Puddin' Man <Pudding Dot Man At Gmail Dot Com>:



Another possibility:
At some point there may have been a combined switch/outlet device (or a double switch), and that bare segment was a connection to the outlet. Then, they replaced the device with a simple switch, and needed to protect the bare spot.
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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