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Old 01-11-2016, 07:08 AM
 
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Has it been confirmed that that is K&T wiring, or is it old BX wiring?

Can you peer inside and see if there is a ground wire connected to the box?

Last edited by BostonMike7; 01-11-2016 at 07:22 AM..
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonMike7 View Post
Has it been confirmed that that is K&T wiring, or is it old BX wiring?

Can you peer inside and see if there is a ground wire connected to the box?
I have posted pictures earlier in this thread that confirm it is knob and tube, and there is no ground in the box.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Vermont
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Buy a $3 outlet tester and stick them in all of the outlets. You will probably confirm that there is no ground.
I doubt you can have a 3 prong outlet with no ground, depending on where you live.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:56 PM
 
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Default Um no you have not!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eightbitguy View Post
I have posted pictures earlier in this thread that confirm it is knob and tube, and there is no ground in the box.
THIS IS K&T --


These are literally the PORCELIAN insulators that the wires pass through --


What you have looks a whole lot more like semi-modern BX -- I would estimate it is from the period before the Korean War, the older style was produced for many decades, starting around the 1920s. Undisturbed, it is just as safe as any other wire, but if devices (switches and outlets) are relocated it should be replaced. It is NOT against code to attach a new switch or outlet to old BX.


The cloth stuff is not as slick (literally, it is harder to pull...) as the current PVC / teflon type metal armoured cable that is currently sold, but is NOT a hazard...

BTW -- You see that UNINSULATED wire in the above photo? THAT is the bonding conductor -- it serves to GROUND the armoured cable, the electrical boxes AND any switches / outlets properly installed...

Go ahead and waste you time finding out the the PROPER PROCEDURES have been followed your complex!

You know what is a hazard? An unqualified RENTER DIGGING AROUND WITH THE WIRING -- a smart landlord would ask a judge to evict you before you end up killing yourself -- very hard to rent an apartment that an idiot tenant electrocuted themselves in...

Last edited by chet everett; 01-11-2016 at 06:25 PM..
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:57 AM
 
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Ok, so the problem is that it is BX but the outlets are not grounded. So still against code, just not as dangerous as I thought.

Any thoughts on the double breaker that seems to be not wired correctly? I posted this earlier but people seem to be missing it:

In slot #9, there are two 20a mini breakers. When you switch either one (alone) off nothing happens but when you switch both off at the same time, a bunch of lights and outlets shut off. What could cause this? Again, it can't be to code for it to be wired that way? It seems like it must be that they share a hot wire instead of a neutral, right?
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Old 01-12-2016, 07:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eightbitguy View Post
In slot #9, there are two 20a mini breakers. When you switch either one (alone) off nothing happens but when you switch both off at the same time, a bunch of lights and outlets shut off. What could cause this? Again, it can't be to code for it to be wired that way? It seems like it must be that they share a hot wire instead of a neutral, right?

Without opening up the panel and tracing wires, there is no way for us to know. Technically, the nuetrals are all shared, and the double breakers physically sit on one phase of the 2 phase panel.




If you are really concerned, hire an electrician to come give the system a look-over.

Last edited by BostonMike7; 01-12-2016 at 07:51 AM..
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Old 01-12-2016, 07:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eightbitguy View Post
Ok, so the problem is that it is BX but the outlets are not grounded. So still against code, just not as dangerous as I thought.
While most BX cable installed in the 30's-50's does not have a bonding strip, some of it did and is considered an acceptable means of grounding the box when the bonding strip is twisted back on the sheathing.

Back in the 40's and 50's this was code as the metal sheath and boxes were considered the ground.

Nowadays things have changed but whether or not this needed to be brought up to code depends on if permits were pulled for the job. The permit could have extended to only replacing the electrical and wiring in the kitchen and nothing else. Does the panel have modern 12-2 Romex feeding into it? That is a newer style electrical panel. Those 3-prong outlets could have been owner installed rather than getting the correct 2-prong outlets?


Honestly, without having an electrician poke around and trace out wires, we are just guessing at what is in the walls and in no position to make suggestions. Given that it took 4 pages to clear up that it was not Knob-and-Tube, you should get someone in who can visually inspect it.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonMike7 View Post
While most BX cable installed in the 30's-50's does not have a bonding strip, some of it did and is considered an acceptable means of grounding the box when the bonding strip is twisted back on the sheathing.

Back in the 40's and 50's this was code as the metal sheath and boxes were considered the ground.

Nowadays things have changed but whether or not this needed to be brought up to code depends on if permits were pulled for the job. The permit could have extended to only replacing the electrical and wiring in the kitchen and nothing else. Does the panel have modern 12-2 Romex feeding into it? That is a newer style electrical panel. Those 3-prong outlets could have been owner installed rather than getting the correct 2-prong outlets?


Honestly, without having an electrician poke around and trace out wires, we are just guessing at what is in the walls and in no position to make suggestions. Given that it took 4 pages to clear up that it was not Knob-and-Tube, you should get someone in who can visually inspect it.
Here's the thing: all of the outlets are brand new, modern outlets like the one in the picture (so not two small, rounded outlets but one plastic face with the two outlets in it). It a complex that was built in the 1940s and the entire thing was just remodeled in 2014 (new cabinets, countertop, appliances, etc). The kitchen/bath is up to code, the rest of the apt is not. the outlets in the hall (outside my apt) are also ungrounded, but obviously all I did was plug in my ckt tester out there.

So while they technically could have just pulled permits for the kitchen/bath, replacing the outlets is still not to code and is unsafe. This isn't a single building or house broken up into apartments, this is a 20+ building complex, so its not like the single owner upgraded one unit in his building. This complex is owned by a large national apartment company, they hired contractors to do it and remodeled every single apartment in all of the buildings. At this point, the "best case scenario" is that they hired an company to do the upgrades and that company (or maybe just a few workers) cut corners to save time/money/effort.

Slight update on the breaker: this morning I flipped one #9 breaker and checked every outlet, all were still powered. I turned that breaker back on and turned off the other, all outlets were still powered. I then turned off both #9 breakers and all the outlets lost power plus all the lights went out. There are 8-10 outlets and 3 overhead lights between the two ckts.

What I've learned from this thread is:

The outlets shouldn't have been switched to normal three prong outlets. They should be grounded if there is a ground in the box (the ground screws in the outlets should be attached to the box) or should be GFIs and marked "not grounded" (or switched back to 2-prong). If this was done by the contractors it was not "to code" but it is in a grey area of sorts if someone else did it.

Secondly: the breaker is clearly not wired correctly.

You (and others) are right, I am not an expert by any means. I'm going to call the complex manager to send an electrician out and see what they say. If its really just as simple as grounding the outlets or putting in GFIs, and correcting the panel, then no big deal. If they try to tell me "no, everything's right there's nothing to worry about" then I'll call the city and report them. I certainly don't think it was done on purpose by the people who run the complex on a day-to-day basis.

Thanks to everyone who pitched in with info! Its been very informative to say the least.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:38 AM
 
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Default YOU are NOT QUALIFIED to assess this!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eightbitguy View Post
..The kitchen/bath is up to code, the rest of the apt is not.NOTHING you have posted proves this! the outlets in the hall (outside my apt) are also ungrounded, but obviously all I did was plug in my ckt tester out there.

So while they technically could have just pulled permits for the kitchen/bath, replacing the outlets is still not to code and is unsafe. This isn't a single building or house broken up into apartments, this is a 20+ building complex, so its not like the single owner upgraded one unit in his building. This complex is owned by a large national apartment company, they hired contractors to do it and remodeled every single apartment in all of the buildings.WHY WOULD YOU THINK A LARGE COMPLEX, REMODELED BY QUALIFIED CONTRACTORS WAS NOT DONE TO CODE? At this point, the "best case scenario" is that they hired an company to do the upgrades and that company (or maybe just a few workers) cut corners to save time/money/effort. NO BASIS FOR THIS!!!

Slight update on the breaker: this morning I flipped one #9 breaker and checked every outlet, all were still powered. I turned that breaker back on and turned off the other, all outlets were still powered. I then turned off both #9 breakers and all the outlets lost power plus all the lights went out. There are 8-10 outlets and 3 overhead lights between the two ckts.

What I've learned from this thread is:

The outlets shouldn't have been switched to normal three prong outlets.NO EVIDENCE FOR THIS! They should be grounded if there is a ground in the box (the ground screws in the outlets should be attached to the box) FALSE!!! I and others explains the BX armour itself is a code compliant ground or should be GFIs and marked "not grounded" (or switched back to 2-prong). If this was done by the contractors it was not "to code" but it is in a grey area of sorts if someone else did it. NO SUCH THINGS AS GRAY AREA! CODE IS CODE!

Secondly: the breaker is clearly not wired correctly. YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO MAKE THIS JUDGEMENT

You (and others) are right, I am not an expert by any means.FIRST TRUE STATEMENT YOU MADE IN THE WHOLE THREAD I'm going to call the complex manager to send an electrician out and see what they say. If its really just as simple as grounding the outlets or putting in GFIs, and correcting the panel, then no big deal. If they try to tell me "no, everything's right there's nothing to worry about" then I'll call the city and report them. DO YOU WANT! YOU ARE A NUTTY NOSY BUSY BODY!I certainly don't think it was done on purpose by the people who run the complex on a day-to-day basis.

Thanks to everyone who pitched in with info! Its been very informative to say the least.
The sorts of things that you've done, taking outlets / switch out of the wall, messing around with breakers, poking around behind the wiring CAN GET YOU KILLED. WHAT IS THE GOAL?
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eightbitguy View Post
Slight update on the breaker: this morning I flipped one #9 breaker and checked every outlet, all were still powered. I turned that breaker back on and turned off the other, all outlets were still powered. I then turned off both #9 breakers and all the outlets lost power plus all the lights went out. There are 8-10 outlets and 3 overhead lights between the two ckts.
Again, without pulling the panel cover off and tracing wired, it's hard to understand what the case is here.

I'm gonna guess that each breaker is feeding the same circuit through some wiring mistake. But again, without seeing it in person, this is only a guess and you shouldn't act on it.
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