I think you should change all the "old wood", since it is old (1972)
and may have problems. After all, the trees the wood, the 2x4's that
make up the frame, was made from trees that would be dead by now if
they hadn't been cut down for lumber. Dead trees are unreliable.
When you find an electrical problem, fix it. Brushing by and
touching wires that are sticking out of the box doesn't count as a
found problem to me, but as a created problem.
ALL the old wires are not the cause of the problem. At most, ONE of
the old wires is the cause, and maybe not even that many.
Why were wires sticking out of the box? Doesn't seem like something a
competent electrician would do. Seems to me common sense would be not to
have wires sticking out that could come in contact with somebody. to me any
damage would be on him, he assumes quiet of liability as a contractor.
If they think the wires should be replaced I would ask what they base that
opinion on. Copper last a long time if your wiring is copper. There's houses
still using knob & tube think how old that is.
To me it's sounds like he is trying to ding you for more Money. This is how
a lot of contractors operate they come in get your trust sound very
convincing and then start suggesting other should be done items. On that
same subject is he a licensed contactor? Did you check the status of his
contractor's licenses? Did you check to see if he has liability insurance?
( that's a biggie)
I 'd think about replacing the electrician before replacing all of those
'old 1972' wires. It sounds too fishy that he brushed up against a wire and
it shorted out while you were there.... It may just be that a wire nut that
is used to make an electrical connection was installed incorrectly, leaving
a little bit of a hot wire exposed and it shorted to the junction box. Or he
could have also staged that to get more work out of the job. I had wires
from the 1920's that were still fine. Eventually the insulation of this old
wiring does become brittle and crack. But this was cotton and rubber on
mine, yours is much more modern plastic and lasts longer.
Get another opinion. Mark
he is ok.
we are now basically done with all wiring (new ones), and many of the
boxes have wires coiled in them with the mud rings installed, and
waiting for drywalls to be done before switches, outlets etc... are
since it will be at least a few weeks until drywall, I don't want to
call them a month from now and find out they have left town or
whatever (they told me business is slow and their owner is selling the
biz as RE gets really bad in south Florida), I told them to label
everything on the panel and each device, and I know this outlet goes
to electrical panel B and circuit 18 etc... and in cases the junction
box has multiple devices (fan, light, three ways, etc...) to label
each accordingly, so that is why they had quite a few junction boxes
open and some wires "untangled" so they can label all of them, new and
It was not really an explosion like things blasted into pieces, it was
a pop sound and part of the 1900 box is now dark and burnt. I will
examine closer to see if I can identify the exposed portion that
caused the problem, there has to be some exposed copper somewhere in
that box that caused this.
Wires installed in 1972 are not so old as to require replacement.
However, it sounds to me like the wire was damaged where it entered the
JB, probably when it was originally installed. It is not normally
possible to cause a short just by brushing against a wire. So, I would
suggest, absolutely, that the cause of the short should be determined,
and that wiring, at least, should be replaced if necessary. The black
carbon deposits should make the location of the damage rather evident.
One might be suspicious of the quality of other wiring, particularly
with regard to splices and abrasion. This would require an inspection of
all, or at least a reasonable sample, of the device and junction boxes,
and perhaps an insulation test.
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