View Full Version : old wiring, any ideas?

07-24-2007, 11:23 AM
Hey guys, need some electrical advice on what to do. I renovated my 3rd floor last year and successfully updated some old wiring. I am now redoing the 3rd floor bathroom. I have approx. 3 to 4 ft of the old 2 wire electrical wiring left that I had hooked into. I know I should replace old wiring whenever you find it but there's only 3-4 ft. of it, then it goes down into the wall/floor where I can't get to it. I wish I could buy some sort of a sleeve/cover to put over the old wiring and just keep it but I thought I would check to see if anybody has any ideas. I don't want a lot of hassle of rewiring what I did last year just to get rid of 3-4 ft.
I've attached a kind of fuzzy pic. It shows the new switch box that I installed last year. The bottom half shows the old fashioned 2 wires going from the box into the floor/wall. Any advice is appreciated.

George R
07-24-2007, 12:14 PM
You should try to find where those wires go to and replace them, especially since you have got them exposed this far. Perhaps to an outlet on the second floor?. An ohm meter and a long piece of extra wire can allow you to determine the opposite end of those wires. If you get this far, simply tape new wire to the old wire and use the old wire to "pull" the new wire in place. (assuming its not stapled inside the wall). If it is stapled inside the wall, you still should be able to get a fishtape from point A to point B. Simply pull new wire and abandon the old.

07-24-2007, 12:17 PM
are those splices in the wall? Big code violation! Plus, it's supposed to be anchored within so many inches of the box I think (I'm not an electrictian).

07-24-2007, 01:40 PM
No those aren't splices, the wires just cross in the picture. Yes, I'm going to anchor them to the wall but I need to decide if I need to replace or not. I can't find how far the wiring extends down to the next floor. My main question is if there is a way to cover them with some sort of sheathing since they will probably be buried in the walls again for another 20 years or so.

07-24-2007, 02:35 PM
If the insulation is cracking or splitting, the entire cable needs to be replaced.

07-24-2007, 07:32 PM
By 2-wire, you mean no ground wire, right?

And this is in a bathroom?

Don't be an idiot. Replace it.

Figure out where it goes to, and replace it.

07-25-2007, 10:19 PM
Agree with Frenchie. Also that looks like a metal JB. No ground wire and metal JB, not a good combo in my opinion.

If you absolutely don't want to change the wires, put them in rigid plastic conduit so that you can easily fish them through at a later date when you remodel the room below. Then put that circuit on a GFI breaker. And make the JB plastic.

07-26-2007, 06:20 AM
I like the idea of the plastic conduit but I'm probably going to replace the wring like frenchie said. The problem is that once it gets down in that floor I don't know where it goes. The box in the basement has all new wiring so it's hard to trace.

07-26-2007, 06:46 AM
there must be a place where the new wiring meets the old, in a junction box or a switch box. It can be fun to trace the wiring paths. Make it a family project.


07-26-2007, 08:47 AM
You're idea of fun is a little weird, to say the least!:)
That's what I figured too. Whoever wired before me probably did what I am doing which is replacing it when I find it, but leaving it alone if you can't. I'll let you know how it goes. If you don't hear from me sometime next week it's because I drowned in my plumbing problem, electrocuted myself in my electrical problem, or a combo of both. :D
-thanks for your help.

George R
07-26-2007, 08:05 PM
Turn off the breaker for that particular circuit and then determine what other outlets or ceiling junction boxes are also dead. One of these boxes contain the other ends of those wires seen in the picture. Generally the wires will be run in a logical fashion, so you'll have to look at all the different boxes and decide which ones are most likely and then check them first for conductivity as I mentioned above.

While you may not think it fun like David, it is sort of an adventure and you'll be pleased when you solve it.