Wiring on a house from the 1950s should never be expected to be top notch, however this outlet really blew my mind…
There have been several electrical revolutions since the 1950s. This house is a testament to each era in wiring style, and overall safety. I have been tracing wires through the unfinished basement and think I may have a permanent bruise from slapping my forehead in amazement and disgust. Being able to see and trace all the wires is a blessing and curse. I wish I could be happily ignorant of the fire and safety hazards the wiring this house has, but now that I know I have to fix it. Electrical loads in the 1950s were much less than they are today. The current electrical system cannot pretend to keep up with modern demands.
Take this outlet for example, everything seems ok from the outside. It is a two prong outlet. I wanted to see if there was a ground wire, since a few other outlets have them. As I pulled it open a sinking feeling spread over me. Something in here did not look right. A power outlet should not have a bundle of wires twisted together in its box.
When I disconnected the wires to see what else was on the circuit I almost fell over. Not from electrical shock, but dumbfounded shock! That outlet was powering:
- entry light
- hall light
- bathroom light ( 2 bulbs )
- bathroom outlet
- bathroom fan
- kitchen light ( 2 bulbs )
- two kitchen outlets
- dining room light ( 4 bulbs )
- two back room lights
- stairway light ( 2 bulbs )
That is quite the list on one circuit! Literally covers the entire house. The breaker may as well be a secondary main.
Don’t be this outlet…