Monday, March 29, 2010

Adequate Wiring is an Essential Ingredient

Better Homes and Gardens of 1961 would like to share with us the following message:

I think everyone can agree the electrical needs of 1915 do not even compare to what we feel we need today! The person who built this house most likely did not have electricity when they were growing up and were very pleased to have it in their home, no matter how limited. I believe the original plugs consisted of one set per room. The master bedroom plug is under the sconce where the dresser was most likely placed so no alarm clocks, no fan, no bedside lamps, no ipod charger just a cute little lamp to help put on blush or write letters.

Fortunately, a few more plugs had been added throughout the years but I felt it would be a good idea to make sure everything is up to code both number of plugs wise and wire wise. The old plugs are easy to spot because they are still the original knob and tube wiring. They were in perfect condition so perfectly safe. The problem is we would like to insulate and knob and tube wiring is apparently not safe to insulate around. It makes sense in my mind though there is debate circulating around the web to whether this is true or not as no known reports of it causing a fire exist and many people have insulated around their old wiring. Anyways, I will go with the flow and feel safer with fresh wires anyways, especially with handy electricians in the family why even risk it!?

We are making sure to get at least one plug set per wall. Not perfectly to code (don't quote me on this, but I think it's one every 8 feet-ish??) but without doing a ridiculous amount of overhaul this will be sufficient and better than a lot of houses in the neighborhood! The new wire slides right down the side of the vent to the basement.

My dad took off one of the original plugs to discover there was no metal electrical box behind it. Yikes, well, I guess it survived this long without any protection but one was popped into place behind a new wire anyways.

My mom looking for the wire my dad is pushing down the wall from upstairs while I stand back and laugh at them, er, document the process with my camera.

Yay, the finished result.

New plugs on either side of the hutch. (ignore the plaster dust)

Ninety-Five year old plaster is crumbly so it will need some patching after this job.

HaHa, my mom vacuuming out the vent in her curlers! That vent was nasty, I wish I had taken before pictures though no one would want to see them! I took the small sweeper and rolled out the dog fur like it was cotton candy. Gross!

OK, Mark brought this home the other day and I totally thought it was toothpaste! I went from excited, to disgusted to the realization that it was just a roll of cookies in a toothpaste sized box.

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