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Thread: Knob and Tube in attic / insulation

  1. #16
    Engineering Technician The old college try's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was happy to see that the breaker was a GFCI.

  2. #17
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nate R View Post
    Mikey, how do you ID every outlet? Do you put a number on them?
    I did until She Who Must be Obeyed opined that it looked dorky. Now they're identified by area/location -- e.g., kitchen/N wall, 3rd receptacle. Or Hall/ceiling cans. This means, of course, you often need to have the cross-reference in your hand to identify things, but it turns out not to be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills
    Labelling on the panel is only supposed to be indicative.
    Every inspector who's seen my panel has said he wished they were all that detailed. I've said the same thing when called to work on one of the "Plugs" and "Lights" style...

  3. #18

    Default Labeling Receptacles

    I like the spreadsheet idea very nice, I think I will do the same.

    As for labeling them I did work in a hospital and they had all the recep covers marked with the circuit number on the back of the plate with permanent maker. This may be a good alternative to marking on the outside.

    And the panel schedule wasnt all that bad most panels are pretty bad and you are lucky if there is a marking at all.

    Once again kudos to the spreadsheet idea. Why didnt I think of that?

  4. #19
    Engineering Technician The old college try's Avatar
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    So, I went up this evening now that I have all of the fiberglass removed from the area and I mapped out the old wiring. I think my next step is to pull off the switch plates and see if the old wires and entering those locations. If so, hopefully I can run new switch wires up to the attic and disconnect the old junk. I'll probably have to put a junction box where the old wires come up out of the exterior wall. I'm annoyed that I'm getting false readings on my non-contact tester. I tested it on a wire that not connected to anything on either end and it's reading voltage in the line, so I can't trust it.
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  5. #20
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    What are red vs black?

  6. #21
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Get a better non-contact tester - there's ones with an adjustment dial, you can set it to be more or less sensitive, depending on the situation.
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  7. #22
    Engineering Technician The old college try's Avatar
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    Oh. The black lines are existing black wires, and the red are existing white wires. The x's represent wires that disappear into the ceiling, and the c's are wires that I found cut and exposed just laying under the insulation. I checked the switches in the rooms and they all seem to have new wire running to them with the old wires capped off in the boxes. I'm tempted to just go and cut out all of the this wiring and then figure out how to hook up whatever doesn't work (if anything). For the most part, everything seems to have new wiring run, but for whatever reason this old wiring is tied into the new. If I have to run a new cable all the way from the panel, then so be it. If I do this, can I just put the wires that are sticking up into boxes and cap them? I think that the only item I'll have to re-wire is the ceiling fan. Also, should I figure out a way protect the small bit of wire that sticking out of the ceiling into the box before I insulate?
    Last edited by The old college try; 02-06-2008 at 06:15 PM.

  8. #23
    Engineering Technician The old college try's Avatar
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    Default Better tester

    I went and picked up a better tester and was able to determine the circuit that the wiring is on. The tester sings until that breaker is shut off, however it does keep slightly beeping until another specific breaker is shut down. I haven't had a chance to check the voltage in the line during the slight beeping, but is it possible that the wiring is not still connected, but rather just picking up the field from other wires that are close on another circuit? If so, would I even be able to measure that voltage in the line?

  9. #24
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The old college try View Post
    is it possible that the wiring is not still connected, but rather just picking up the field from other wires that are close on another circuit? If so, would I even be able to measure that voltage in the line?
    Yes -- the wires running close to each other form a transformer, and a small voltage is induced in the "dead" wire. You could measure that voltage with a very sensitive voltmeter, but probably not with a typical inexpensive tester.

  10. #25
    Engineering Technician The old college try's Avatar
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    Well, I got an estimate from an electrician of $1200 to fix my attic wiring problem, so, I started ripping apart a wall and found the connection point of the old knob and tube to the new wiring that leads to the panel. This line has at least 2 places where it has been spliced, both places just sloppy wire connectors with no junction box, and the old k&n runs through an exterior wall filled with blown in cellulose. Turns out the only thing that this wire powers is the ceiling fan in the upstairs hallway. I think I'm just going to disconnect and abandon this wire and connect the fan to the lighting circuit. The lighting circuit has 5 lights and 4 receptacles (three of which are located at the light switches and rarely used) all of which are on the second floor. I'm also thinking of moving the 4th receptacle over the circuit with the rest of the receptacles on the second floor. I can't see any reason why someone would go through all the trouble of running the cable up through the first floor wall to connect to the old wiring just to power a single ceiling fan. Any thoughts on what I'm proposing?

  11. #26
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Sounds good. Now you'll have a $1200 proposal to refinish the wall .

  12. #27
    Engineering Technician The old college try's Avatar
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    Yeah, or have my old pushmatic panel swapped out for an updated panel.

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