Original Wiring Explained

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Old 10-04-16, 03:19 PM
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Original Wiring Explained

Recently bought a 1968 house with original wiring, outlets and switches. Wanted to swap out the switch and outlets in wife's new converted bedroom into a giant walk-in closet. This is what I was presented with when I took them out of the metal boxes.

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I've never seen wiring done like this before, and I have several more rooms to work on. Two blacks into the single-switch, one red into the switch, two whites wired together. At the outlet, it has two whites and a red into the outlet, and two blacks wired together.

How do I bring it up, safely, to at least a 90s wiring configuration? It is a switched outlet that I am going to unswitch, make full-time hot, and run wire up to a new ceiling light, but don't know what to make of the red wire and no ground wire at the switch. The outlet is grounded to the metal box.

Not a big fan of this wiring technique or lack of green-ground.

Thanks for any help
 
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Old 10-04-16, 04:27 PM
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Are we sure that's not a three way switch ?

I don't see the provision for doubling wires on that switch.
I can't remember the last time I saw push-in wiring only devices.

Good move to replace them.

Those look like composition boxes which means the wiring should be NM w/ground.
 
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Old 10-04-16, 05:51 PM
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Pete, I intended to delete my post after rewriting it three times because I wasn't sure and kept changing my mind. Must have hit the wrong button. It's now deleted.

Tony the picture for the switch needs to be for the other side of the switch so we can see the connections.
 
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Old 10-04-16, 06:35 PM
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FWIW I doubt if the switch is a 3-way. I've always seen the terminals further separated on a 3-way.

OP, I would recommend you run your cable up to the lights from the receptacle box.
Test the wires, but it looks like you can feed the lights like this:
- Red wire will be removed from receptacle and connected to black to light.
- Remove white wires from receptacle, bundle those two wires with the neutral going to light and a pigtail. Connect the neutral pigtail to the receptacle.
- The receptacle now has no hot wire. Constant hot should be the black bundle in the box, take a pigtail from that.

As I said, test all wires first to confirm.
 
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Old 10-04-16, 07:01 PM
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The top picture is a receptacle. The whites are both connected to the receptacle instead of pig tailing. I suspect this is a multi-wire circuit and the blacks are another circuit. I would then recommend pigtail the whites so as not to rely on the device for the neutral connection. You can only ground to the metal box IF the wiring method is a grounded one. (EMT, MC/AC, NM with a bare ground)

The bottom picture looks like a three way switch to me. The black and red wires that are in the same cable are likley the travelers.
 
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Old 10-05-16, 09:10 AM
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Thanks for your input.

The switch is a single, not a three-way, it's in a bedroom. The other side of the switch looks identical to the side in the picture, just a plastic box with push-ins, fully enclosed.

Only two wires come into the switch box, black and white; three wires go out, black, white and red.

I'm suspecting that all the receptacles in the room are run in series, so I will have to chase that down.

The one good thing is it is copper wire and not aluminum.

I'm thinking about upgrading to a 200 amp service panel, only one outlet in the garage (unacceptable) and need to install a 30 amp RV hookup, and the old 150 panel is full. Should I rewire at the same time just to be safe? Thoughts, ideas?

Thanks again for the help
 
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Old 10-05-16, 07:03 PM
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Just because you are out of spaces does not mean you need a larger service. Most homes are fine with a 100 amp service. You should do a load calculation to find what service you really need.
 
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Old 10-05-16, 07:04 PM
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I'm thinking about upgrading to a 200 amp service panel, only one outlet in the garage (unacceptable) and need to install a 30 amp RV hookup, and the old 150 panel is full. Should I rewire at the same time just to be safe? Thoughts, ideas?
Unless you are thinking of adding significant new loads I doubt you need to increase the size of the service. Since the house is now 38 years old though the condition of the overall service and panel should be evaluated, it is really close to it's end of life. If the service needs to be replaced anyway I would without a doubt increase to 200 amps. Rewire the house? I wouldn't as long as it is all copper wiring.
 
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