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What are the advantages and disadvantages of the electrical wiring in an old home?

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2009-07-22 10:23:01
2009-07-22 10:23:01

There are no advantages. In fact, old wiring like this has insufficient power capacity to handle today's normal loads. Most of the old 60 amp fuse panels have only four circuits to power EVERYTHING in the house. Overload city. My dad's house came with such a service. Fortunately we have a gas stove, furnace, and water heater, so we don't have to worry about those loads. We had the 60 amp panel replaced with a new 200 amp service. If you're buying a house like that, best to have it completely rewired. Also the wiring may be the old rubber/cloth insulated kind that is known for shorting out and causing a fire. More advice: * First and most significant, wiring of old homes does not include the grounding features that have made life so much more safe around electricity. Second, modern wiring is far more "engineered" for the application. Breakers are far safer because people can't replace a blown fuse with a penny. If a fuse or breaker shuts down a circuit it is for a reason but many people are not able to grasp the concept and that failure has resulted in countless house fires. Third, modern wiring is far easier since modular components work together to make the process faster and safer. * While old wiring may have been done "to code" standards of the past (or not), the codes have changed many times over the years in pursuit of increased safety. It is best not to mix new wiring with old, and some codes prohibit attaching anything new to old wiring, partly because old wiring could be fragile enough that just touching it could cause problems. <><><>

As always, if you are in doubt about what to do, the best advice anyone should give you is to call a licensed electrician to advise what work is needed.

Before you do any work yourself,

on electrical circuits, equipment or appliances,

always use a test meter to ensure the circuit is, in fact, de-energized.

IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY SURE YOU CAN DO THIS JOB

SAFELY AND COMPETENTLY

REFER THIS WORK TO QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS.

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