Interesting "transitional" wiring; how to splice?

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your better off to let a friend live in a vacant house. they get vandalized.
copper and steel gone, i walked thru a home where it was vacant and someone ripped out a structural wall to steal copper plumbing
its sad what has happened to our country.
on the cloth covered wires pull some lamp fixtures and you might find the insulation literally falling off from the heat of lamps.
in which case the home will probably need rewired, and thats a lot tougher than swapping outlets.
check each ground to make certain its really grounded. there may be junction boxes where the ground wires arent connected
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Whether the inspector requires a permit or not may have no bearing on whether it's legal for you to do electrical work on a home you don't own without a license. And I can guarantee you it doesn't relieve you of possible liability if someone buys the house and a year later there is a fire where someone dies and which they try to pin responsibility for on you. Also, from a legal standpoint, the executor has potential liability too, because they had the obligation to make sure everything they did was within the law.
Not saying you shouldn't do it. Just that for a house that's part of an estate and about to be sold, it might not be the best thing to get involved in.
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On 2/13/2012 8:02 AM, Nate Nagel wrote: ...

Me, neither. Unless there's some other Code violation a fuse box, on its own isn't a problem.
...

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Just tie pigtails together w/ a wirenut w/ the existing end and then attach to the grounding screw on the receptacle and the box. No need to disturb existing solder joint at all. Or, as another poster says, if you have the length simply cut it off and proceed as if were new installation--tie all grounds together w/ the two pigtails for the box/receptacle and attach.
Or, there are (or at least were unless they've been obsoleted) receptacles that are Code-compliant w/ the connection to the box through the mounting screw. These have a spring-clip integral to the mounting flange and a four-sided pressed screw that identify them...they eliminate the second pigtail to the box.
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On 02/13/2012 10:22 AM, dpb wrote:

Yes, that would be the easiest solution but I don't like them simply because most people if they replace a recep don't buy the good stuff and won't know that they need to buy self-grounding. I know this is overkill for a house that will be in the family for hopefully only another couple months, but I'd like to have the pigtail there to prevent issues down the road - I'm kinda anal retentive like that.
As I posted in my last post, I like your first solution, but it didn't occur to me until after I posted. I think that that is what I will plan on doing. I should have everything necessary to do it save for the receps themselves. I did purchase some "spec grade" receps maybe two years ago and they still have the self-grounding tabs on them, in fact, I could use the leftovers for this job were they not the wrong color.
Now that I think about it, I'm probably required to buy those new "tamper resistant" receps though so I probably can't use any of my old stuff.
nate
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On 2/13/2012 8:02 AM, Nate Nagel wrote: ...

...
...
Actually, another post got me to realize I'd overlooked a key point here.
NEC doesn't allow a solder connection to be the mechanical means for holding the connected wires together.
I suspect your largest task will be to correct that throughout if mechanical fasteners were not used but only solder/tape.
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On 02/13/2012 12:48 PM, dpb wrote:

I've seen discussions of that before, some argue that twisting the wires together provides the mechanical connection, some argue otherwise. Or to sidestep the whole issue I could just put a yellow wire nut over every soldered connection? The ground connection in the box that I looked at was never taped.
nate
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On 2/13/2012 3:45 PM, Nate Nagel wrote: ...

...
The latter would be the easy way out that I think would be legal; I've never had the situation arise directly.
I think what you can get by with will depend on the inspector and the circumstance. I know the reqm't in old code was that if there is any tension on the wire, the splice must mechanically be as strong as the original wire w/o the solder. Certainly simply a twisted end doesn't come close to that level. I don't have an old copy of the Code at hand to conveniently be able to see what it says about a simply in-box connection of this type for the mechanical strength reqm't if there is/was any distinction made between where the connection was and what was required.
The ground connection doesn't require insulation; you could run bare wire just as well for the ground pigtail.
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On 2/13/2012 4:57 PM, dpb wrote:

Nec 110.14 (B) Electrical connections (Splices) " Soldered splices shall first be spliced or joined so as to be mechanically and electrically secure without solder and then be soldered.
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On 2/13/2012 6:53 PM, RBM wrote:

Were the other splices soldered (and taped)? Surely you are not going to leave them to fall apart???? Or do you think the friction tape will keep them together????

Where are you allowed to have tension on the wire? Overhead service wires from a pole might. Not exactly like wires in a box.
I do not remember ever seeing such a requirement.
It is not in the code now. It is not in the oldest code I have.
In the past wires were twisted and soldered. It was the standard. (For K&T most splices were Western Union tap splices or a variation.)
Is a wire nut as "mechanically be as strong as the original wire".

So you think the cockroaches will pull the soldered wires apart?
How do you think soldered splices are made? Crimped sleeve first? Screw lug first? Why bother with solder?

Which has been the requirement for a long time. Twisted has always been "mechanically and electrically secure without solder".
--
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On 2/13/2012 9:02 AM, Nate Nagel wrote:

http://www.drillspot.com/products/683485/hubbell_wiring_hbl1281_push_button_ac_switches_standard_switch
If it were me, I'd leave everything as it is, until or unless you know definitively that some entity having jurisdiction, wants something upgraded. I suppose, Freddie, Fannie, State Farm or anyone else involved in the buying - selling process can request/demand a variety of things, but unless you have something in writing, you may be duplicating your efforts.
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That sounds nice but come back to bite you bad:(
So the sellers do little, and a ready buyer shows up and they hire a home inspector.
who flags all the outlets, lack of grounds no GFCI etc.
Where before sale DIY could of taken care of all this. now their is a buyer and he will nearly always demand all work be done by registered electricians etc.
the costs to fix stuff will skyrocket and the registered contractors will find new issues. and more added costs.
in the case a buyer finds defencies its far better to get estimates and agree to deduct it off sales price.
otherwise registered contractors will find more issues and more added costs:(
sorry to muddy the water even more......
and to the OP you work on the home and something bad happens to the house owners may try to lay blame on anyone convenient... you. even if it wasnt your fault.........
you have been warned!
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On 02/13/2012 04:06 PM, bob haller wrote:

Hah, ain't that the truth.
Just did that dance with my own house last year. Home inspector found stuff, some of it reasonable some of it not. Some of it just plain wrong, but understandable why he flagged it and could be explained away. Difficulty: the buyer's realtor was a coworker's wife, so nobody wanted me (the only person who could speak intelligently about the issues) in direct contact with anyone on the buyer's side.
I eventually got them to agree, by passing notes from me to realtor to realtor to buyer, to strike the "licensed contractor" verbiage, make the necessary repairs myself, and have a reinspection w/ home inspector in lieu of presenting contractor's receipts, at my expense (reasonable.) Come to find out the inspector was a fairly reasonable sort, and had we just been allowed to discuss the issues up front I wouldn't have been nearly so stressed out and worked up. But c'est la vie in the modern age.
nate
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On 2/13/2012 4:06 PM, bob haller wrote:

If you're looking to renovate a house to raise it's value, I could write a huge list of items that would help. If the intent is to remove issues that may prevent a sale, I think the prudent thing to do, is find out what those issues might be. "Home inspectors" have no power or authority over anything or anyone, except maybe for you. They are hired by a perspective buyer to find problems and violations with the building. If the building has a valid C/O, then all the wiring, regardless of type or age, unless it's been damaged or improperly altered, is compliant. There is no violation in having fuses, non grounding outlets, no gfci outlets, no afci outlets, or anything else required in current code.
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no but you may be unable to get homeowners insurance.
and adding GFCIs etc you may find the existing boxes are too small. that makes for a bigger job
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On 2/13/2012 5:20 PM, bob haller wrote:

You are the only one who can't get homeowners insurance. My point is that if the perspective buyer wants to install gfci outlets or make any other improvements, it's his business. The seller doesn't have to worry about the size that the boxes may be.
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note i suggested OP CALL A HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY AND ASK IF INSURANCE IS AVAILABLE WITH A FUSE BOX!
is that so hard to understand? and since he was planning on upgrading outlets and installing GFCIs i merely informed him he may end up replacing boxes too. GFCIs are large and often boxes are already crammed with wires and GFCIs dont fit.
sometimes just opening a box can cause endless hassles. the wire is too short oh bleep what was left just broke off. i have had these problems they are no fun:(
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wrote:

Getting homeowners insurance requires an electrical inpection if there is "any" K&T wiring, aluminum wiring, or less than 100 amp service. If the panel is a fused panel in good shape, it passes. If it is a breaker panel in questionable shape it very well may not. If aluminum wiring, it needs compliant devices (CoAlr, not the earlier Cu/Al) or approved transition pigtails. A little bit of unmollested K&T for lighting circuits only can also pass. Here in Ontario a licences electrician registered with the ESA can provide the inspection.
The house does NOT need to meet current code requirements as to AFCI and GFCI, nor the code requirements for separate and split outlets for kitchen counters etc to get insurance.
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On 2/13/2012 8:23 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Is Nate's house in Canada, or do you believe the U.S. has the same rules and laws as you do?
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On 02/13/2012 05:15 PM, RBM wrote:

I agree 100%. The work original to the house actually looks very good. It doesn't look like anything ever got wet or even really dirty - the house as a whole is very clean and other than style you couldn't guess the age of much of anything in there from condition. I personally wouldn't touch the fuse box unless/until I was ready to upgrade the service and I'm not sure that that's necessary. (100A now. don't know what size the service wires are; they may be OK for 150.) For *me personally* I would want grounding receps everywhere though; your average person these days has too many electronics to not have that. Since it's an easy "fix" it might be a good pre-emptive strike to do them now. If I hadn't found the soldered splice we wouldn't even be having this discussion, I'd know exactly what to do. And even so I think I can make this work. What I'll do is -
pull the old receps, and at each box, put a yellow wire nut over the soldered splice to sidestep any future concerns about the "mechanical connection" verbiage
then take another wire nut, remove the pigtail from the ground screw, snip off the loop, then splice a longer piece of bare wire onto it. I will then wrap the bare wire around the ground screw and have the wire continue on to the ground screw of the device.
That should work, yes?
My initial thought was to lay a wire alongside the soldered splice and wire nut over the whole package, but I have concerns about the years of oxidation of the solder. If it appears that in some locations snipping off the solder joint would not shorten the wires enough to make a noncompliant installation, I would certainly do that to make life easier.
nate
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wrote:

Why not just install self grounding outlets? The box is grounded. The mounting strap grounds to the box, and the "U" ground is electrically connected to the mounting strap.
Done. No messing with any stinking pig-tails.

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