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Old 10-12-2012, 03:27 PM   #1
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Hello. New member, long time lurker.


Hello, my wife and I bought our first home. We are finding that there are some things needing to be upgraded. I was crawling through our attic inspecting a spot where I'd like to install a recessed light. Our house is wired with the older cloth covered romex and about half is wired with the newer romex. While in the attic, I found some interesting things. A few splices and a stray hot piece of romex. I will post pics of what I found. One splice in particular seemed very bad.

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These wires run down to a switch, out trough the soffit to an outside ceiling fan, and then power out to the rest of the circuit. Trouble is, there is no slack on any of it. Also, it is in the narrowest part of the attic where the roof ends. I know splices need to be in a box and accessible.


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Different view.

I found this, hot, so I terminated into a handy box and attached to a roof truss


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Any advice on fixing that terrible hack splice job would be greatly appreciated. I can't afford an electrician right now but am very handy.

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Old 10-12-2012, 05:00 PM   #2
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Hello. New member, long time lurker.


If you feel confident taking this on, you came to the right place. Pick up a couple of books on residential wiring at your local library or the big box stores and start reading. Ask your questions here. There are a lot of professional electricians including myself who would be glad to help you out. If you feel this is beyond your capabilities I suggest you hire a professional electrician instead of taking a chance. Updating your profile with your location will help you out as well.

As for the pictures, they need to be addressed ASAP. You have a few unsafe electricial violations. Not including what you can't see. I encourage you to find a good local electrical contractor and pay him to check out the entire system. Then you will have a place to start and can prioritize the work that needs to be done. Start with the most dangerous items first then work your way down your list. MAke the house safe for you and your family first!!

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Old 10-12-2012, 05:16 PM   #3
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Hey thanks! I am in southern California. I am confident with my skills. I worked for a commercial EC for a while as a helper. I mostly did conduit installation and tugging large wires for commercial projects. Never any residential. I am not in contact with this guy any more either.

My problem with the trouble splices in the picture is there is no slack to install jboxes.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:22 PM   #4
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I also found this splice. Nothing else in the attic really stands out. I dug through all of the insulation in the attic and looked at all o the other circuits.


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Old 10-12-2012, 05:27 PM   #5
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Hello. New member, long time lurker.


Welcome to the real world of buying an older house.
Just wait untill you get a look at what's hiding behind the walls and the antique plumbing.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:31 PM   #6
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Yeah, it's interesting. I'm having some venting issues as well. My neighbor is a plumber though thankfully and says the plumbing is in good order. House was built in 1964
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:43 PM   #7
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Hello. New member, long time lurker.


What part of S California?

Your house looks like the typical 1950's batch that got thrown up after WWII.

For the wires with no slack, you will just have to pull the wire back to a box and run new romex to the next box.

Unless your load center has been upgraded, you most likely have the 60A job...unless it's been upgraded.

If not, good time to upgrade.....It's not as hard as it sounds.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:54 PM   #8
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I've been thinking about upgrading my service like you mentioned. I am in Yucaipa. I'll add a photo I my panel. It definitely doesn't look great either.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:03 PM   #9
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Hello. New member, long time lurker.


100a main breaker. Here are some pictures of the panel as well. I'd love to rewrite the place. Most of it any way. My spare bedroom isn't grounded either. Each receptacle reads "open ground"
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:06 PM   #10
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Hello. New member, long time lurker.


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Old 10-12-2012, 06:15 PM   #11
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Hello. New member, long time lurker.


You look like you could use the old cables to pull in new cables and get rid of the splices.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:20 PM   #12
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Jim Port, that's kind of what I'm thinking
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:52 PM   #13
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Hello. New member, long time lurker.


If you can't replace the entire cable on those nasty hack-job runs, the solution is to cut out the spliced section entirely and mount two boxes, one at each of the ends of the cut cable, and run romex between them. That way you don't have to worry about slack - you create your slack by using as much romex as needed to reach between the J-boxes.

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