Found the reason why the lights weren't working right

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jeb101
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Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:13 am

Found the reason why the lights weren't working right

Post by jeb101 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:57 pm

We were painting the ceilings this weekend, and pulled down all the lights to get a better cut. We noticed a few lights were acting funny, upon closer inspection, I think I found the issue...
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nBJyNLa.jpg (138.53 KiB) Viewed 183 times
I did fix it properly, added the proper wire ties, removing all his old hockey tape, and in one of them, painters tape...

Thankfully he put a ton of tape for it to hold OK, but I'm glad I caught that early from our purchase. Every fixture, every outlet, everything that has power going through it, even the basement junction boxes are all getting a do-over. 75% of it is fine, but it's the other 25% that worried me, just glad nothing burnt down!


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emtnut
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Re: Found the reason why the lights weren't working right

Post by emtnut » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:52 pm

Hockey tape .... Must be a Canadian Job :lol:

Good to go through all the devices, replace recepts as req'd ... Keep an eye out for backstabbed receptacles too !!
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Aaron
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Re: Found the reason why the lights weren't working right

Post by Aaron » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:46 pm

Ha ha ha, the old-fashioned electrical tape probably IS hockey tape, I never thought of that. That's funny!

Those tape splices are actually okay because that was the basic splice back in the day about 70-80 years ago, particularly with old knob-and-tube wiring. You'll find this in a lot of older homes, mine is/was full of these taped splices.

I honestly would leave them undisturbed if they are working because I would worry about breaking a splice and not having enough slack in wire to make a new splice. Also the old rubber insulation can crack or separate on that old wire. When then happens you gotta put heat-shrink tubing on it, and it just gets to be a big P.I.T.A.

Like Wayne said above, though, you should change out any back-stabbed receptacle with a receptacle where the wires are terminated under the screw terminals. Also replace any receptacles that no longer have good friction with the plug. If the plug falls out of the receptacle or can be pulled out with really light force, it should be replaced.

No replacing two-prong receptacles with grounded three-prong ones unless you know you have a solid ground! Otherwise you must use a new two-prong one. New ones are still available, at least in the ivory color.

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Shannon
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Re: Found the reason why the lights weren't working right

Post by Shannon » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:08 am

Ya I would be hesitant to mess with the old taped splices as well as long as they are working and done safe . The wires are always so short and if you break a wire off just by flexing them in and out its a real PITA to work with...trust me I know first hand :cry:
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jeb101
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:13 am

Re: Found the reason why the lights weren't working right

Post by jeb101 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:58 am

Thank you all for the info! I really appreciate it!

The splice was done around 4 years ago I would imagine, the wires you see there were an old light socket that was moved to the closet as the bedroom was torn down to make one large master, and a walk in closet. So he just spliced from there, and likely loads of wire going from box to box, but not much original wiring (but I do plan on going up in the attic this spring to do a bit of wiring upgrades and HRV install along side R upgrade). I only noticed the issue when I let the light hang from it's support wire and the bathroom light cut out, so I took a look at the bedroom one (pictured) and when I pulled it out, the closet light no longer worked, testing the theory, I took pliers to the hot and neutral to squeeze them, and it worked, so I killed the light until I can do it properly. I got some 3 way marrettes, and plan on replacing the hockey tape mess, then twisting the wires a bit like it should, instead of stuffed in and hope it works.

As for back-stabbed plugs, that is very good to know, I will pull all of them and confirm, but I would be willing to bed they are all standard plugs, as they are all pretty new, and I've tested every outlet in the house and they are all grounded (3 prong outlet).

The guy doing the renovations was the old owners dad, he is a self proclaimed jack of all trades / contractor, the guy who gives real contractors a bad name. The kind of guy who's motto is very apparent, after seeing all his handy work tearing down stuff or poking around behind stuff.

"If they don't see it, and it works, it doesn't matter how it was done"

I've seen outlets installed in the basement with drywall screws, he moved an outlet by stripping away 3 feet of drywall, used tape, not a wire nut to splice, then just ran a long ass wire to the cabinet he mounted in front of the hole, of course never cleaning up the cement (cement board house), the wood from the hole in the floor he did, and he even ran a coax cable THROUGH a water baseboard heater cover, leaving the metal flakes there.

On the bright side, the stuff he does is not loose or hung only in drywall, they all go in studs (he put up new cabinets, so I made 200% sure it was all in studs), but anything he did with electrical included hockey tape, and if I'm lucky, it's electrical tape + hockey tape as a support.

jeb101
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:13 am

Re: Found the reason why the lights weren't working right

Post by jeb101 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:59 am

emtnut wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:52 pm
Hockey tape .... Must be a Canadian Job :lol:
Eastern Canada! :lol:

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