was cleaning up today and decided to replace some receptacles upstairs
since 'rents are coming to visit soon, and these were ugly, painted
over, plates didn't match each other, etc...
now I knew that some of the work was less than optimal, and that things
weren't properly grounded, but the wall I was working on was added after
the house was built and was wired with romex with a ground conductor, so
I assumed that at least that run was done right...
1) at each receptacle, the ground was connected as follows - one
conductor was under one cable clamp, a pigtail was connected to the
actual ground screw to the box, and then the pigtail and the other
ground conductor were both under the screw of the device. How much
would a wire nut and another pigtail have cost to do things right and
have all the grounds securely spliced and only one conductor under the
2) all receps were backstab only. Several of these were ones I didn't
use because I'd identified them as loose. Dunno if there's a connection
there or not...
3) I ASSumed that since these were wired with grounded romex that they
were actually grounded. Guess what? Not so much. I found one recep
with a bootleg from neutral to ground; when I put everything back
together wired correctly, now they test as ungrounded. Guess I have
some poking around in ceiling boxes to do to find where the new wiring
begins and the old wiring ends, and provide a ground at that location.
No big deal...
4) here's the one that really gets me. One box was loose and flopping
around. Rather than ripping it out and putting in an old work box,
someone had gobbed a mess of caulking behind the plate in an attempt to
hold it in place. Of course I knocked it out and put an old work box in
instead, and spent a little quality time with a razor blade getting all
the nastiness off the wall. (have had to do this in three different
locations now in this house...) In this same box I found a 20A spec
grade receptacle, even though this is a 15A circuit. I also repulled a
horizontal run through the wall to the next box, because it was easy to
do with one box out, because...
5) all conductors were trimmed so there was maybe 1.5" of wire past the
wall, if you pulled the wires straight out from their clamps. Made
wiring up the receps a royal PITA, I tell you. Repulling this one run
made sense because the old work box didn't have a side entry knockout
which meant that reusing the old cable was going to be very difficult
without any slack.
I'm not really looking for advice, because I can handle this, I just
needed to vent. I suspect that this work was done not by the previous
owners of the house but one back from that, who was supposedly a contractor.
I should be really glad that he didn't do more work than he did. My
next project is to replace a couple ceiling boxes on the second floor,
which should tie in nicely to the work that I've discovered that I need
to do to provide grounds, because they too are loose and floppy and
hanging down below the plaster. (I'll replace them with fan rated
boxes, because I think the girl wants to put ceiling fans in the
bedroom, and at the same time repull the switch legs with 14/3WG in
preparation.) I just can't believe that someone supposedly professional
could do work that even I can recognize as really shoddy.
One question after that whole rant, though - does anyone make fan rated
octagon extension rings? I suspect that at least one of those ceiling
boxes must be pretty chock full of wire.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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