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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    2

    Default Was the negative side ever switched?

    The topic should be-Was the neutral ever switched.
    I have a old house which was built in 1906 and then renovated about 1930 or so. The house originally had knob and tube wiring which was all replaced. The area I am working on has a very old type of shielded cable(BX like cable) from the 30's or so.
    There is a wall sconce that I have removed and I would like to disable the hot wire to the sconce so I can plaster over the hole. When I opened up some light fixtures and swtiches to locate the source of the hot wire, I discovered that for both ceiling lights in the room, the hot wire comes into the light socket and then the neutral goes to a wall switch and then back to the neutral in the ceiling box. I understand that the switch should always be on the hot side but I was wondering if the neutral was ever switched in very old work? Thanks for your help.
    Last edited by Richp; 04-04-2010 at 07:59 AM. Reason: incorrect wording

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Re: Was the negative side ever switched?

    The correct terminology is hot, neutral, and ground. It's easier for everyone this way.

    The hot is the one that should be switched.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    2

    Default Re: Was the negative side ever switched?

    Thanks A, I fixed it. Rich

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

    Default Re: Was the negative side ever switched?

    I understand that the switch should always be on the hot side but I was wondering if the neutral was ever switched in very old work? Thanks for your help.
    The short of the long to your question --- yes.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Was the negative side ever switched?

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    The short of the long to your question --- yes.
    Is there not a term for that type of wiring? Besides a few commonly used expletives, of course.
    One can only wonder what it was like to actually wire a residence using K & T. Where is that "Way-Back" machine when you want it, anyway?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Was the negative side ever switched?

    Many, many, many moons back I remember my grandfather describing how K&T was installed ---- quite the process.

    A "mechanic" would go around and hand auger all the holes for the tubes ---- run the conductors and mount all the knobs.

    The "electrician" would then come after and polish the exposed conductors and twist ( Western Union --- I think ) or tap splice---- then dipped into a pot of molten solder and taped after they cooled.

    Lots of work and people --- always having someone heating a pot with a torch to melt bricks of solder. A bit hazardous as well with the open flame torches and dropping pots of molten solder ---

    Me thinks the costs of wiring that way wouldn't fly these days.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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