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Old 06-30-2011, 09:27 PM   #1
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Odd wiring at breaker box

I picked up a very old house and have been doing some work on it. Mostly updated but some old stuff, even knob and tube left in there....

There is an old two wire entering the panel- its old and circuit goes into the floor boards and I cant find anything powered by it. In the box, one of the two wires is wire-nutted to an adjacent modern circuit's neutral wire (i.e that circuit's neutral is not connected to the ground/neutral bar). The other of the two goes directly to the neutral/ground bus. In other words, the two wire circuit does not appear to be connected to anything hot in the panel box, and just as odd one the modern and working circuits has its neutral wire nutted to this old two-wire circuit.

Any ideas what is going on here?



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Old 06-30-2011, 09:32 PM   #2
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Only if I was there to see and try to trace this wire. Really can not give you a clue, because I am not standing there seeing what you are seeing.


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Old 06-30-2011, 09:35 PM   #3
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Sounds like it connects to a wall switch somewhere ....

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Old 07-01-2011, 07:32 AM   #4
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thanks.. interesting. I wonder what that switch could be powering? Since it is connected to the adjacent circuits neutral line, would it the switch turn off that circuit?
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:50 PM   #5
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Working on old K&T wiring can be tricky, frustrating, and a PITA.

Some old houses I’ve been into in this area, had a common neutral, or 2 that did the entire house. Back when it was originally installed…1910’s, 20’s, they didn’t have a tenth of the load they have now. As years went by, and more electrical devices were used in the home, people added more outlets, etc. In the early days of this ‘upgrading’, people just kept tapping onto that common neutral without replacing it.

Sounds like someone may have ‘added’ more neutral to the house. Crazy, huh?

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Old 07-01-2011, 05:17 PM   #6
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Sounds like SD515 hit the nail right on the head.


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