I keep hearing about this internet thing. Maybe some day I will try it.

Wabi, where is the house? Why does it looks kinda shitty?

SF? or San Jose?
Permalink WorldRover 
May 16th, 2017 3:34pm
*Why does it look...
Permalink WorldRover 
May 16th, 2017 3:35pm
Nowhere. It burned down after Wabi started DIY electrical work on it.
Permalink Yoda 
May 17th, 2017 2:07am
The wiring DID look rather old.  And those were definitely wet-plaster walls, not drywall like we've used since the 1970's.

And that box-outlet -- I've seen boxes like that in a 1927 house in Rehoboth Delaware.  Problem is, the wiring is old, and the insulation just starts cracking off of it when disturbed.

But maybe his house isn't quite that old.  I'm thinking 1950's at this point.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
May 17th, 2017 9:29am
Looks like the kind of place where you can't run a space heater while the washing machine is going, or else you trip a circuit breaker.
Permalink NPR 
May 17th, 2017 9:36am
"Circuit Breaker"?  I'll bet it still uses fuses.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
May 17th, 2017 9:37am
By now it's possible the fuses have been replaced with nails.
Permalink Sangamon 
May 17th, 2017 10:16am
I meant fuse.
Permalink NPR 
May 17th, 2017 11:00am
I said 1950s because of that electrical conduit (aka "Romex") and the cloth electrical tape. That outlet was wired when Buddy Holly was on the charts.
Permalink Bored Bystander 
May 17th, 2017 11:59am
It was built between 1937 and 1963, in my opinion.

What's really interesting is the old wiring where the hot and neutral are separate wires and are run through separate holes in the framing as a bus, then individual outlets are taps off that. Sometimes the buses are uncovered wire! Which is great because the next step after that is... asbestos covered wire.

Not uncommon to have lath and plaster walls on top of that, which he very likely has.

Lead paint was certainly used in the past on wood surfaces. Hopefully the windows and sills were gutted and redone already so he doesn't have to replace those and deal with the lead dust.
Permalink Pestular Croaker 
May 17th, 2017 1:09pm
To be clear, when I said what's really interesting, I didn't mean his house which has covered multi-strand wire, I mean what's really interesting when looking at houses.

Advanced thinking victorians at the dawn of the electrical era have the raw wire going through holes. There's also victorians retrofitted later for electricity. But the cutting edge ones are nutty. People hadn't started manufacturing covered house wire yet.

Another more interesting thing to find is a house with dual voltage systems that has both 115V outlets and 24V relays everywhere that control all the lights from the switches. These are for big houses with lots of entrances to fancy rooms so you have 2-5 switches controlling individual lamps. There's two buttons for each switch, an on button and an off button, that are momentary on. The electrical panel will be twice as wide as normal and have a separate 24V section, and a big transformer.
Permalink Pestular Croaker 
May 17th, 2017 1:18pm
Before things were standardized they weren't standardized!

Most things eventually are retrofitted to modern ways so it's cool to find a weird throwback system that has somehow been maintained all these years. When you do usually the last owner was a ham radio operator as well.
Permalink Pestular Croaker 
May 17th, 2017 1:19pm
However, the raw wire systems are dangerous as are the ungrounded ones and if you can afford to it's vastly preferable to bring it up to code.
Permalink Pestular Croaker 
May 17th, 2017 1:20pm
About the 24V:

There's a fall time festival near us that has a local "small engines society" demonstration. The entire thing is a lot full of chugging engines on display.

Quite a few of the engines are part of house generators. I recall 24V being a predominant voltage level. Delco seemed to make a lot of these things.

Of course, that was an era when the only thing that electricity was used for were light bulbs and radios. The modern instant water heaters with their 12KW+ draw would be a no-go.
Permalink Bored Bystander 
May 17th, 2017 1:56pm

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