So I finally unloaded those 20 old #14 bx cables off the ancient upstairs
fuse panel, onto a breaker panel downstairs, 7 (mis-wired) Edison circuits
It went pretty well, with about half the bx cables able to reach the new
panel, and half being spliced upstairs, via #14 wire in 3/4" Greenfield.
The advice here prior to the job proved invaluable, and **
many thanks to all
who offered their thoughts and hard-earned knowledge and experiences**
is really a web-treasure.
But.... Holy shit, What a job!!!!. You might wonder, Well, what's so
tough about DAT?
I don't really know, as much of it is a bad fog now.
But, I can say that including the demolition (about 70 sq ft of heavy
plaster/lathe wall, about 30 feet of 10" duct in about a 1.5' x 1.5' wood
encasement), this was a 3-week job, many days 10 and 12 hours days.
Admittedly some head-scratching time, but mostly back-breaking and
finger-wearing labor. Including some moved appliances, gas plumbing.
What a I thought would be an afternoon's work would turn into days.... Good
thing I'm not in the contracting/estimating business, dats f'sure.... And
the cosmetic finishing still awaits, an even longer job. But everything is
at least functional now.
But here's some weird/funny stuff I encountered.
1. During the demo, I inadvertently cut a bx cable, an edison circuit.
Would normally not be a problem, except the "red" had so faded that it is
sort of indistinguishable from the white, ie, both appear tan/beige.
Worse, I don't really know what these wires control, as the house was wired
in a helter-skelter fashion, where one fuse would control a hodge-podge of
How do I sleuth this out? It seems to me, for the time being, it would be
best to keep both presumed hots on the same leg for now. Nothing is
blowing so far.
2. While unloading the fuse panel of its neutrals (first I'd remove the hot
from the fuse, then the corresponding neutral), my main temporary neutral
connection to one fuse panel became undone, unbeknownst to me.
As I unloaded the circuit neutral (hot already removed), there was still
arcing. I'm assuming that with the main neutral removed, this neutral was
carrying return current from *other*
hots, with the current eventually
making its way to ground (btw, these bx cables don't have a ground wire).
Ergo, arcing from other hots?
Is this to be expected, with a main neutral removed?
3. With a non-edison circuit (one hot/neutral) controlling a few
lites/outlets in the kitchen, and all wires separated in a junction box from
a demo'd wall, I noticed on separating out the old mess that I could get an
outlet and lite to go in series, ie, both would dim.
I can readily see how this would happen in an edison circuit with a lifted
neutral (in which both lites etc would be normal OR one dim and the other
too brite), but I haven't been able to sketch out how, with just one hot,
parts of the circuit would wind up being in series.
Is this normal with a lifted local neutral? Or does this indicate a
fundamental wiring problem? How to sleuth?