Peter McCarthy Electric Co., Inc. - Specializing in Older Buildings in Chicago
Adventures in Old House Wiring....

Rewiring is was what the doctor ordered.

We just finished rewiring the front stairwell at a building in West Hyde Park. In this case, when the developer converted it to condos, he did not update the wiring. I should not have a knee jerk reaction against developers. They have tight margins and have to make a living too. But the cloth-covered wire was in very bad shape. I don't think it would have broke the bank to replace it at the time they were remodeling and painting. Cei le vie.

Our clients had originally called us out there because an exit sign had been damaged and knocked down from its junction box somehow. It was hanging by the wires. We were originally called to re-install it. But upon inspection, it was clear that the cloth-covered wire was so bad, the insulation was falling off and the copper conductor was just bare in the box. I told the clients they would have to re-pull the wire in order to make it safe enough to re-assemble. I was simply unable to take on the liability of rehanging the fixture and hoping for the best, or throwing a little tape on there and pretending it would be fine. There is a school of thought out there that says "old cloth-covered wire is ok if you just don't touch it."  Aside from the fact that it had been "touched" pretty strenuously when the exit sign was knocked down,I think that way of looking at things is dangerously penny wise and pound foolish. I liken it to someone dropping a lit cigar six inches from a can of gasoline on the ground. Some guys just seem to say."Naw, you really don't have to worry about it 'till it's two inches away..."  All of my clients are my friends, and I will not put any of them at risk due to negligence on my part. Sometimes they really don't know any better, but I do. There is a time for tape and a time for rewiring, and this was the time for rewiring. I feel much better knowing they have all new THHN thermoplastic copper wire that can take high temperature and has the pliability and flexibility to be bent over on itself and tucked safely away in the junction box without damage. Good choice
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