60-yr-old Wiring - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-25-2011, 05:23 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 89
Rewards Points: 127

60-yr-old wiring

Hello Experts,

Thanks for all your help with my previous space heater wiring project.

I am thinking about restoring a log cabin that was built more than 50-60 years ago.

Some of the original wiring is still in place. Cables run under door/window fascia and through holes bored through logs to enter boxes chiseled into logs. Some of the holes could only have been drilled while the cabin was being constructed. A lot of care went into running cables discreetly under wood "U" moulding along/between logs.

I opened a box and observed that the wires are NOT bare copper, but more~silver colored, not aluminum.
[Q1] Did cables include tinned copper or steel conductors way back then?

[Q2] Where can I look up specs for old cable. I am concerned about resistance of non-copper conductors.

[Q3] Are there books on how residential wiring guidelines have changed over the last hundred years?

I will probably end up re-wiring everything eventually, but first I want to attend to some structural problems. I thought I would initially replace the main plug fuse panel with a 100A breaker panel and the ground rod -- it's just a 3/4" pipe in the ground.

[Q4] Is there a (museum) market for old Wadsworth fuse panels in good working condition?

[Q5] What size wire should I run to the ground rod and to an old well pipe? Does the size depend on the AMPS of the main panel?

[Q6] Any comments or references to re-wiring old houses would be much appreciated.



Daneel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2011, 06:11 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,158
Rewards Points: 6,652

Open up the main panel and take the picture and post on here, along with any writing on the sheath of the cable. Most like at that age, it can be Aluminum. If it is, and you take care to put No-Ox on the wiring, and use the proper receptacle's, light switches, breakers, etc, Aluminum is safe. Problems arise when people use the wrong fixtures, switches, receptacle's, etc. The latest NEC also recommends using AFCI breakers with Aluminum wiring for all points.


gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2011, 06:43 PM   #3
joed's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 13,464
Rewards Points: 13,728
Blog Entries: 11

Tinned copper is most likely what you have. It was done because the rubber insulation would react with the copper.
The wire itself will be fine. It will be the insulation that will be degraded.
Fuse panel is scrap. If there is any copper in it you might get some value at the scrap dealer.
Ground wire depends on panel size. 100 amp panel gets #6.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote

ground rod , old house remodel , re-wiring

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light SaxTeacher Electrical 34 09-15-2013 07:53 AM
Cloth Wiring - Replace? JessicaGus Electrical 9 09-23-2009 06:45 PM
electric wiring in house remodel wis_remod Electrical 6 04-02-2009 02:40 PM
New Home Wiring - Seeking Expert Advice Dirtrnr Electrical 3 02-10-2009 10:33 AM
Knob & Tube wiring - How concerned should we be? hotdiggitydog Electrical 6 04-11-2006 07:52 PM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1