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as long as we're sharing messy wire pics...

I'm new to this site, and thought I'd add to the fray of messy elec pics. This is a small sample of what I inherited when I bought my 1905 house in Los Angeles.

...it's all replaced now thank heavens.

First pic - where the POs (who fancied themselves commercial & signage electricians I think...) joined original K&T with various romex runs cut into the walls.

Second pic - Why diversibit down thru the fire blocks when you can just chop a hole in the plaster and run the romex *around* it? We found our first one of these when my wife put a picture nail in a wall...many more were to come...and to get ripped out. It made no sense at all: the place has a walk-around attic under a 5/12 pitch roof and the top of the top plates to just about every wall is easily accessible.

WM
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome to the site!

That is some bad wiring right there. You got it wrong, don't even use the word "electrician" to describe the installers.
 

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wmldwilly,

thats a lot of splices. would that be considered excessive?

did you redo all of it yourself?
Oh lord...NOTHING in that photo is my work other than the green gaffer's tape flags identifying what circuit went where. That work is completely gone now thanks to an 850sq. ft. add-on that i'm wiring myself.

My first visit from the inspector got me a "hmm...do you do commercial?" comment. :thumbup:

WM
 

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Welcome to the site!

That is some bad wiring right there. You got it wrong, don't even use the word "electrician" to describe the installers.
Generous of me I know. The Previous Owners left behind a shed filled with what they described as "the renter's stuff". The shed was filled with sheet plexi, what appears to be galvanized flex, a ton of ballasts, spools of orange 8gauge stranded, huge wads of old blue NM cable (not NM-B), and all sorts of outdoor switch plates and covers and stuff. The only thing I could picture them doing with all of this is installing banks of Flouros in gas station or grocery store outdoor signage. Oh yea, and the whole house was running on 4 hots, 2 neutrals and 1 ground spidered and spliced into every original Knob & Tube circuit in the place. Every single original circuit except one that had been cut was still functioning. :eek:

WM
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow sounds like a mess.

I'm sure you do some nice work, do you have pictures? I don't think it would fit the threads title though.
 

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Wow sounds like a mess.

I'm sure you do some nice work, do you have pictures? I don't think it would fit the threads title though.
i'll dig up some more 'before' pics, like the surplus meter head the renters put in the middle of the single 20amp run feeding the rear building that they'd turned into an illegal apartment under the previous owner's noses. :eek:
 

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Looks like a real mess. Glad you cleaned out that rat's nest before you had a fire. Most homeowners, when they do their own wiring, either do an awful job or an excellent job. Our inspectors tell me they either fail right away or pass with flying colors. Post some 'after' pictures!
 

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Looks like a real mess. Glad you cleaned out that rat's nest before you had a fire. Most homeowners, when they do their own wiring, either do an awful job or an excellent job. Our inspectors tell me they either fail right away or pass with flying colors. Post some 'after' pictures!

How true is that! When I built my own house, I asked a load of questions from the BI and he was always straight up with me. Passed the rough-in and final inspection the first time through. When we were talking when he was getting ready to leave said what you did...glad I was on "that" side...
 

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How true is that! When I built my own house, I asked a load of questions from the BI and he was always straight up with me. Passed the rough-in and final inspection the first time through. When we were talking when he was getting ready to leave said what you did...glad I was on "that" side...
Here in LA inspectors rotate every few years thru the council districts. The guy I started with on this project (we're in year 2) rotated out right about when my contractor finished the "shell" and was done so the old guy dealt mostly with him but with me on a few small issues since I'm "owner/builder". The new guy is...shall we say...less casual? :censored: So, I called for one of the sequenced roughs and left him a message telling him that I wasn't looking for a signoff on that visit and just needed to ask a few questions. My main motivation was to have him look at the first floor boxed/roughed in with no devices and tell me right then if there was something he hated so I wasn't all the way home on things and had to really do a lot of work to backtrack and correct. He didn't really have anything to poo poo, he just laid out what needed dedicated 20 amp circuits (fridge, disposal, dishwasher, 2 for countertops, etc), reminded me about the 50% flourescent rule, and said my positioning and such was all right on the money and asked if I did commercial electrical for a living. :)

He did however latch on to a large J-box i'm putting in a wall behind where the fridge will go. The new structure is a varitable fortress of parallams and steel and brackets and such that really gets in the way of an easy path for conduit/romex/whatever. So, I came up with a solution i'm comfortable with and can install myself and he spent 20 minutes going on and on about how I really should just make that a subpanel. I sort of did the "um...er...well" thing at the idea and he just hammered on the idea. There's LOTS of reasons why I decided to pull circuits to this j-box and not put a subpanel anywhere in the new area (the house is only 35 feet wide...it's not THAT huge a project) and i've thought about it and calc'd and read code guides extensively and came up with my solution. He had me a little freaked out about it but his parting shot on his way out the door was "give it some thought and i'll see you when you have your devices in on both floors, and hopefully have the heat/air guys started."

So, I went back to the books and made ABSOLUTELY sure what i'm doing is okay, made a minor alteration or two to my plan: I added a conduit run to keep circuits out of the 50% fill derating category (now I can use #12 instead of #10 if I want), and added a conduit run to a central light switch bank (two 4-gangs) and re-routed the ends of the ceiling light runs to that bank to get a few more circuits out of that big j-box (it's 12" x 18" x 4" for crikey sakes...). I called my Architect and he said "don't worry about it you're not doing anything out of the ordinary...just nicely but firmly tell him you're more comfortable with this technique and you appreciate his suggestion...if he keeps pushing tell him you have plans for a built-in fridge right there and not a moveable one...if he still pushes you're going to have to ask him to call the code on what you're doing and see if he can back his objections up".

So, that's where *I* am with it all, and you can bet your bottom dollar that photo above and everything in it was long gone before I ever called in for rough electrical. :jester:
 
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