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Dealing with a New or Used Home with Questionable Electrical Wiring


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Home Electrical Wiring Problems and How to Fix Them: Dealing with Questionable Electrical Wiring in a New or Older Home that May Cause Concerns.

How to Deal with Questionable Electrical Wiring

Electrical Question: I just moved in to this trailer and the wires for the stove are not hooked up to the breaker.

Thanks,
Chris

This home electrical wiring question came from: Chris, from new Austin, Texas.
See more about Home Wiring for Texas

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your home electrical question Chris.

Home Electrical Wiring Problems and How to Fix Them

electrical wiring

Application: Upgrading Electrical Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
Electrical Tools Required: Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools for Rough-In Wiring, Electric Drill and Auger Bits,  Extension Cords, and Ladders.
Construction Safety: All personal safety measures must be taken when performing remodel projects where you may come into contact with hazardous materials and environmental contaminants  such as fiberglass insulation, vermiculite and asbestos, molds or mildew, as well as dust.
Estimated Time: Depends on the extent of the project, the type of wall coverings and structural construction and available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing wiring in the immediate area that may interfere with the installation should be identified and turned OFF and Tagged.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring or upgrading existing electrical circuits and wiring should always be well thought out, done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

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Includes:
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

4 Responses to “Dealing with a New or Used Home with Questionable Electrical Wiring”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Bernie,
    When dealing with older home wiring where the wires are not identified with color insulation but you do know which wire is the ground wire, a voltage tester will be helpful to identify which wire is the hot or black wire with 120 volts, and which is the neutral wire.
    Dave

  2. Bernie says:

    I have Old Wiring coming out of my ceiling. There are 2 black wires twisted together and 1 single black wire by it self.
    My new ceiling fan /light has 1 black wire, 1 white wire, 1 blue wire, and 1 green wire. The green is no problem.
    What wire do I connect to the 2 black twisted wires?

  3. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Marty,
    When a hot and neutral of a 120 volt circuit are connected together it will cause the circuit to experience a rush of power that will flow through the ground path which will trip off the circuit breaker or blow the circuit fuse. It should be noted that especially with older homes that white wires were used with light switch circuit wiring of the controlling switch. This is also know as the switched leg, the switch wiring is basically a loop of the hot wire running through the light switch. Some homes that are much older may still have switched neutrals which was a common practice back then, however the method of switching the hot wire has been adopted several years ago.
    Dave

  4. Marty Van Stan says:

    What happens if a hot and a neutral wire are connected? I found this in my ceiling light fixture where there used to be a fan. There is also another set of wires (hot and neutral) properly connected.