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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    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
    8,068

    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.
    Come to Hidden Content for all your DIY needs

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    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
    Posts
    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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