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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3

    Exclamation Old Wiring Needs a Fix

    First things first, I know this wiring needs to be removed ASAP but at the moment it is not an option.

    I have a old old house that, apparently has a mixture of old and new wiring. The old wiring in question appears to be aluminum with a rubber and braided string wrapping.

    I set out to replace the old, switched light outlet in my new sons room with a better fixture that went better with the new decor in the room. When I removed this outlet I found the old wiring, six wires in total in the box and they were bundled in a certain pattern.

    MISTAKE One: I failed to take note of the wiring setup.

    After I cut those wires free (not sure why I separated them) I had six separate wires, three dark brown three light brown coming into the box in light-dark pairs. One pair to the left two pairs to the right.

    At this point I stopped, wasn't sure how to go forward. We have an electrician who owes us work so I called him but he is fairly booked at the moment. The wires were left bare and no one used the room. Problem was when the wires in that box were cut it killed power to the switched light in the bathroom.

    Today I tried to connect those wire with wire nuts to close out the loop and restore power to the bathroom lights.

    MISTAKE Two: Do NOT connect positive to positive

    So I got my electronic courses information jumbles and I goofed. I connected all three positives together and all three negatives together.

    QUESTION One: Why would both light and dark (assuming positive and negative) register a current when not connected to each other?

    We cut the power back on an everything seemed to be fine. The bathroom light worked now anyway. Just to be certain there were no problems I tried the switch in the bedroom, there was a spark and the end of the wires caught light (I'm still checking the attic to ensure the insulation didn't catch too).

    I now have the switch taped down, and the wires separated with a wire nut on the end of each.

    QUESTION Two: I'm assuming now that I need to connect positive wires to negative wires. That still doesn't seem right to me but I've demonstrated a good reason to not trust my rusty knowledge.

    Does anyone know the proper configuration from the explanation of the rooms below, or is there not enough information.

    Room One: Wall Switch to Single outlet (6 Wires)
    Room Two: Same

    My current guess is one Pos to one Neg but I'm not touching anything until I know for sure.

    Can anyone help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Old Wiring Needs a Fix

    My advice would be to get a competent electrician in there to sort things out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Old Wiring Needs a Fix

    I have to agree with ****hiller.


    Side note ... ****hiller thanks for the support.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Old Wiring Needs a Fix

    You're more than welcome.

    Everyone should get what they've earned and deserve.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: Old Wiring Needs a Fix

    I would also agree. As to what happened ,it sounds like two of the wires were a power and return to and from the switch when you wired it up you wired it up across the line and caused a dead short. Thus sparks, heat, and fire.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Old Wiring Needs a Fix

    [QUOTE=GuineaHouse;3905]
    I have a old old house that, apparently has a mixture of old and new wiring. The old wiring in question appears to be aluminum with a rubber and braided string wrapping.

    [QUOTE]

    With the type of insulation you describe I doubt that you have aluminum wiring. Maybe plated copper but not aluminum.

    Oh, and yup I agree, an electrician should be able to quickly sort out the wiring issues.

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