Upgrading Home Electrical Wiring for Safety
By Dave Rongey - Summary:|
How Can I Fix a Voltage Problem in my Electrical Wiring? Don’t Take a Chance With Old Home Electrical Wiring, Bringing Old Home Wiring Up To Code.
Electrical Wiring Problem
I’m moving into a new apartment on the second story of a 3 story Victorian house that is approx 110 years old. The electrical supply box is relatively new which was installed when the landlord made the move to install 220v baseboard heaters. I haven’t been able to figure out how the original wiring is run in most of the apartment. I have a 100A main, two 20amp dual pole breakers, two 15a, a dual pole independent 20a breaker and a 30a breaker all located in the basement. There is also a fuse box with two 15a time delay fuses.
My Electrical Project
- I wanted to install a new GFCI outlet in the bathroom along with a switch for the light fixture. The fixture is above the sink with a black spinning switch about 6′ off the floor. I installed Wiremold tracks from the fixture to a new box where I installed a GFCI plug and a illuminated switch. The GFCI will not energize at all. The system is old aluminum wiring and I found there is ground in the boxes and I get 120v across hot and ground.
- I also noticed that in the switched outlets I still get a 20v charge when the power is off.
Thinking there may be some leaking current in the old switch, I replaced one of the switches with a new switch and still get this 20v charge in the off position. Most of the exposed wire I have seen in the boxes has insulation that is pretty badly eroded and very brittle. I can only assume the problem follows all through the conduit.
- Is there a fix for the leaky voltage and getting my GFCI to work?
I would even install a GFCI breaker in the panel if that would work. I just think that if there is a voltage leak in the branch the breaker would also stay tripped as well.
- Is this condition a hazard?
I’m sure that the wiring in the rest of the building is in the same state if it hasn’t been recently replaced. I have a few years of point to point wiring and wiring panels via schematics but I’m not an electrician. Is my land loard going to have to call in the pros to keep the place from meltdown?
This electrical question came from: Stosh, from North Wales, Pennsylvania.
Thanks for your electrical question Stosh.
Fix Voltage Problems by Upgrading the Electrical Wiring
Don’t Take a Chance With Old Home Electrical Wiring
- Updating the Electrical Wiring of an Older Home will make any home safer, and I would strongly suggest that the electrical system have a full safety evaluation starting with the grounding system at the main electrical service panel.
- Voltage Leaks and Electrical Hazards
If there is a problem with the grounding system then this can contribute to voltage leaks which can feed back through the electrical system causing dangerous conditions including the possibility of shack hazards.
Bringing Old Home Wiring Up To Code
- As a tenant, it would be in your best interest to advise the landlord about the voltage leaks that you are experiencing because this can be harmful to you and your family until the problem is identified and resolved.
- After an electrical safety evaluation has been made then the owner should take the information and obtain bids from local Licensed Electrical Contractors to have the electrical problems corrected and then proceed with any suggested upgrades and corrections.
- I would strongly advise having the basic electrical safety items installed that will help protect you and your family, such as GFCI protection and Smoke Detectors as required.
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