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Old 10-26-2013, 04:36 PM   #1
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Replacement of Existing Receptacles in Existing Dwellings

When replacing existing receptacles in existing dwelling National Electrical Code has the following requirements no matter how old the apartment or house is:

1. 2011 NEC requires replacement 125-volt 15-ampere and 20-ampere straight blade grounding receptacles that are within 5.5 feet of the floor to be tamper resistant-child resistant. This applies even if you are replacing them onesies twosies.

2. 2014 NEC will require upgrading to combination arc fault circuit interrupter circuit breakers or an AFCI receptacle at the first box when replacing an existing 125-volt 15-amp or 20-amp receptacle in most areas of a house. See my post about nuisance tripping of AFCIs. AFCI receptacles will also some restrictions including the Federal Pacific, Wadsworth, Zinsco, and ITE Pushmatic breakers also have to come out because they do not meet the requirement that the branch breaker must have an instantaneous trip for rapid tripping of short circuits. The type XO metal cased residential breakers that SquareD stopped making in 1959 also have to come out.

There is no sense in keeping obsolete breakers. Also, copper wiring that is 60 years old will probably be close to end of life anyways.

3. Do not forget to use #220 or #240 silicon carbide abrasive paper to remove copper oxide from the wires when replacing stuff. Copper oxide has been scientifically proven to be just as much as a fire hazard as aluminum oxide. At the request of the Consumer Product Safety Commission all of the major electrical terminal manufaturers ( Ilsco, Penn-Union, Burndy ) produce antioxidant greases that are listed for use on copper wire ( e.g. Burndy Penetrox E and Thomas & Betts KoprShield ) or both copper and aluminum ( e.g. Ilsco Deox and Penn-Union CuAlGel and Anderson VersaSeal ). Ilsco Deox passed the 3-years salt spray test on the starter motor of a car that I had.

Silicon carbide paper, elbow grease, and electrical grease as recommended by the CPSC and Dr. Jesse Aronstein also makes aluminum 4-wire service entrance cable work splendidly in heavy industrial applications.


Last edited by mc5w; 10-26-2013 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Fix spelling
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
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Sometime people need to tell the NEC to back off and get lost. They keep adding ridiculous requirements to solve problems that don't exist and cost everyone a lot of money for no reason. AFCI in residential applications are useless nuisance that costs the homeowners a lot of money. Arc fault or not a major problem, really not even a minor problem with residential voltages, they are only a problem with higher voltage installations. Tamper-resistant plugs are nice for families of young children but again are just a nuisance that costs more money for everyone else. Enough is enough!

Where do you come up with 60-year-old copper wiring being close to the end of its useful life? I've never seen copper wiring that was installed and maintained correctly wear out or deteriorate. Just take a look at many of the old installations, the only thing it really is a problem is the insulation! Now, depending on the type of installation some 60-year-old wire may need to be replaced because insulation breakdown but not because of copper problems.


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Old 10-27-2013, 03:19 PM   #3
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60 Year old copper wiring

I have seen less than 25 year old copper wiring burn up due to copper oxidation. When Dr. Jesse Aronstein investigated the aluminum wiring failures problem he ended up proving that there were a lot more in the way of copper wiring failures than aluminum wiring failures. He also scientifically proved that copper oxide is just as much of a fire hazard as aluminum oxide.

At the request of the Consumer Product Safety Commission all of the major electrical terminal manufacturers produce antioxidant greases that are listed for use with copper wire.

Also, the reason why 1990 NEC upgraded the insulation rating of romex, BX cable, and metal clad cable from 60 Celsius to 90 Celsius was that is was shown that 60 degree Celsius wire insulation that is embedded in thermal insulation was deteriorating at an abnormally high rate. Since fire rated walls and ceilings and sound deadening walls and ceilings contain glass fiber insulation, this was becoming a concern. In particular, wood frame motels that have sprinkler systems are allowed to use romex and a growth industry are places where women can go to be loud with their husbands etc.

Also, you cannot tell if wire insulation is past its effective end of life unless the insulation is already falling of or cracked in which case the insulation is well past its end of life.

Also, I have found out that some of the plastic insulated cables that were produced in the 1950s and 1960s contain polychlorinated biphenyls. This is not considered to be an environmental hazard or waste disposal hazard unless the wiring catches fire.

I do not know of anybody that does chemical testing of wire insulation to determine how much life it has left. The insulation sample would need to be from the middle and ends of wiring that is embedded in thermal insulation and to get the samples you would have to completely replace all of the cables to find the one circuit that has been cooked.

Last edited by mc5w; 10-27-2013 at 03:29 PM. Reason: Spelling errors, forgot something
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:26 PM   #4
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Old Wiring Has Been Abused

I have also seen a lot of installations where the wiring has been abused because there were a lot of circuit breakers on the market that DO NOT WORK. Among then are Federal Pacific Electric, Wadsworth, Zinsco, and ITE Pushmatic. There is a Federal court ruling Manoma Realty Management versus Federal Pacific Electric that says that there is no such thing as an FPE breaker that works or at least so many do not work that you might as well say that all of them do not work.

When we were living in our house at 8611 East Barkhurst Drive McCandless, PA 15237 the 15 amp Pushmatic breaker for the family room and a few other areas was able to carry an amazing amount of load. In December of 1981 I replaced the electrical service using SquareD breakers. Mom and Dad sold the house in 1985 and one of the later owners complained to me, "Some of the circuit breakers are set kinda low."
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:43 PM   #5
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Why are we creating all these debate type topics?
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Answers based on the National Electric Code. Always check local amendments.

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Old 10-27-2013, 05:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
Why are we creating all these debate type topics?
Over complication of a very simple process and trying to spread knowledge associated with complicating this process??????????

I have been involved in infrared inspections from the early introduction or IR into the electrical industry I can tell you from experience the current practices of installing devices and connections utilizing copper and modern aluminum, the connections will last a long time, if current industry practices are followed.


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