I'm working on a 1906 house. There is a KT wire in the attic room that
stays live (according to my current tester) even after the house main is
off. Is there something about KT I should know, or should I be looking
for something like a tap in from the neighbor's house?
On Jun 6, 11:56 pm, "Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds" <atlas-
Yeah OP can test that possiblity by pulling the meter/
Since its difficult to impossible to get new homewowners insurance on
a home wit K&T the best approach is a complete rewire. lack of
homeowners insurance makes it near impossible to resell home
Many people replace 20 grand vehicles every 10 years or less, so why
not replace your 5 grand cost electrical system every 100 years?
Labor would be the killer for a 100% rewire project. If you can DIY it
the materials aren't that expensive, but it will take you quite a bit of
time to complete, particularly if you don't work on it full time.
** Sure, anything's possible in a house that age. It probably got some
electrical upgrades every 20 years or so, starting from the mid 20's. The
way he says electrical tester, has me wondering if it's not a proximity
device. I love those things, but on occasion they do say a circuit is alive
when it's not.
If the house is attached (a duplex or row house) then a cross-feed
from the next property, inadvertent or otherwise, is very possible.
Also worth considering is that in some places, the utility supplied
flat-rate power for electric water heaters via a separate hot wire
that bypassed the service panel and the meter. Usually this wire had
its own cutoff and fuse box in some form, but not necessarily
anywhere near the main panel. Splicing into this unmetered feed to
supply household circuits became, predictably, somewhat of a sport
among d-i-y'ers (as did using the hot water for heat). So look for
that if you've really got a rogue hot circuit.
However ... are you actually testing *current* from this wire to
ground through some load (like a light bulb)?
If your meter shows *voltage* between this wire and something
grounded, or if it's just one of those detectors that lights and
buzzes in the proximity of a live wire, then very possibly this
reading is false, caused by stray voltages the wire has picked up by
capacitance from some other voltage source. Normally I'd say that's
unlikely if the whole house is dead, but it's probably not impossible,
if that wire happens to route via an outside wall near the service
mast, for example.
Digital meters are more prone to reading stray voltages owing to their
very low input impedance. Get your hands on even the cheapest
mechanical meter you can find at Walmart and see what it reads as a
voltage between this wire and ground. Make sure you're testing against
a real earthed ground point, which could be difficult if you don't
have plumbing or a newish 3-wire circuit in the vicinity. And test the
meter first on a known live circuit so you know the meter works.
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