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Old 01-29-14, 10:14 AM   #1
monogodo
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Home Ownership Surprises

As I'm sure y'all remember, I bought a house this past August. At the time, we discovered that some of the 3-prong outlets were not grounded. We figured that we'd have to re-wire most of the house to correct that issue.

Also as I'm sure y'all remember, my brother, the electrician, is currently staying with us.

He was fixing one of the outlets (a standard outlet was wired as a plug that plugged into an ungrounded outlet in another room) and discovered something. All the wires leading to the breaker panel are grounded. The ungrounded outlet that the extension outlet was plugged into had a ground wire, it just wasn't connected to the outlets. He checked an ungrounded outlet in another room, and discovered that it did have a ground wire connected to the outlets, which means that the ground wire was disconnected somewhere between the outlet and the panel. So now all we have to do is get up in the attic and trace the wires and connect the ground wires, or connect the ground wires to the various plugs. Either way, it'll be much cheaper than rewiring the whole house.
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Old 01-29-14, 10:19 AM   #2
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I live in an old house and work at an old facility. It amazes me what people do to the electrical systems over the years.
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Old 01-29-14, 10:30 AM   #3
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I've seen similar weird things with unconnected ground wires. The people doing it seem to think that either grounding is not that important, or that if the outlet is screwed into the wall it's automatically gounded and doesn't need a separate wire.
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Old 01-29-14, 10:34 AM   #4
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I once Lived in an old house that we discovered had walls stuffed with old newspapers. Talk about fire hazard
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Old 01-29-14, 10:53 AM   #5
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When we moved into our current house, we were VERY surprised to find that the bathroom sink drain was not connected to... ANYTHING!!! LOL
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Old 01-29-14, 12:19 PM   #6
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My brother inlaw lived in a house that had live knob and tube wiring exposed in the attic. There are many, many house that have exhuast fans that vent into joist spaces, not outside. When they where built the code was that a bathroom had to have a window or a fan. It didn't say the fan had to vent outside the house.
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Old 01-29-14, 12:28 PM   #7
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my house is kinda new but we're not the first owners, we found that the dryer vent was never connected to the roof exit vent, thus we had a large lint ball in the attic.
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Old 01-29-14, 12:30 PM   #8
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my house is kinda new but we're not the first owners, we found that the dryer vent was never connected to the roof exit vent, thus we had a large lint ball in the attic.
Doubled as insulation.
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Old 01-29-14, 01:25 PM   #9
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When I was young, back when they taught Morse Code in High School, there were receptacles built into medicine cabinets for disposing double edged razors.

I wonder what it's like to demo an old bathroom and find a gazillion razor blades hiding in the wall?
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Old 01-29-14, 01:29 PM   #10
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When I was young, back when they taught Morse Code in High School, there were receptacles built into medicine cabinets for disposing double edged razors.

I wonder what it's like to demo an old bathroom and find a gazillion razor blades hiding in the wall?
Really? That was the solution decided on for disposing of razors? Just drop it into the wall!
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Old 01-29-14, 01:32 PM   #11
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yep, I've seen it also
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Old 01-29-14, 01:34 PM   #12
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Really? That was the solution decided on for disposing of razors? Just drop it into the wall!


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Old 01-29-14, 01:49 PM   #13
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The razor blade thing was brought up on another forum I frequent...

The thing that surprised me was the dead body buried in the back yard.
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Old 01-29-14, 02:02 PM   #14
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I have a riding buddy who has had various electrical problems with appliances and such for years. He's owned the home since the 1970s. One day I was down in his basement garage talking bikes, when I noticed that his circuit breaker panel was grounded to a water pipe; a PLASTIC water pipe....
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Old 01-29-14, 02:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by monogodo View Post
As I'm sure y'all remember, I bought a house this past August. At the time, we discovered that some of the 3-prong outlets were not grounded. We figured that we'd have to re-wire most of the house to correct that issue.

Also as I'm sure y'all remember, my brother, the electrician, is currently staying with us.

He was fixing one of the outlets (a standard outlet was wired as a plug that plugged into an ungrounded outlet in another room) and discovered something. All the wires leading to the breaker panel are grounded. The ungrounded outlet that the extension outlet was plugged into had a ground wire, it just wasn't connected to the outlets. He checked an ungrounded outlet in another room, and discovered that it did have a ground wire connected to the outlets, which means that the ground wire was disconnected somewhere between the outlet and the panel. So now all we have to do is get up in the attic and trace the wires and connect the ground wires, or connect the ground wires to the various plugs. Either way, it'll be much cheaper than rewiring the whole house.
I bought a house with an off record converted sun room... none of the outlets in the room were grounded... hey no problem, the whole house was 2 wire 60 AMP service from the '50s. Well we did a remodel and rewired most of the house. (brought it up to 200 AMP service with breakers) Turned out the sunroom had the right wire in the wall, but the previous owner didn't know what to do with the ground wire and just clipped it at each outlet. I replaced each outlet with proper 3 wire outlets and used a pigtail to connect the ground... then tied the whole thing to a stake outside the room until the rewire of the house was done... then tied it all back to the main box with a proper 3 wire cable. We lived in the sunroom while the remodel was being done, so we needed some form of electric... and it had to be grounded somehow, at least temporarily.

Beat the heck out of the knob and post wired house we lived in just before that. Built in 1920 something.
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Old 01-29-14, 02:14 PM   #16
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When we moved into our current house, we were VERY surprised to find that the bathroom sink drain was not connected to... ANYTHING!!! LOL
Where did it go?
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Old 01-29-14, 02:23 PM   #17
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I once Lived in an old house that we discovered had walls stuffed with old newspapers. Talk about fire hazard
My house was so insulated. And the drain in the kitchen just dumped the grey water on the ground. The old outhouse still stands in the backyard.
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Old 01-29-14, 02:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
When I was young, back when they taught Morse Code in High School, there were receptacles built into medicine cabinets for disposing double edged razors.

I wonder what it's like to demo an old bathroom and find a gazillion razor blades hiding in the wall?
I show that on an episode of a tv show where they demo buildings and homes. They opened up the wall and found a ton of razor blades.
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Old 01-29-14, 04:03 PM   #19
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Either way, it'll be much cheaper than rewiring the whole house.
That's a pleasant surprise.

The last house I lived in, the landlord fancied himself quite the handyman. He didn't need those fancy metal tubes and expensive wires. He'd just get a section of lamp cord, lay it down and then tile the floor on top of it. Some of the connections were baffling, roundabout and scary. One of my hobbies was taking things he had done and redoing them right.
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Old 01-29-14, 05:01 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
My brother inlaw lived in a house that had live knob and tube wiring exposed in the attic. There are many, many house that have exhuast fans that vent into joist spaces, not outside. When they where built the code was that a bathroom had to have a window or a fan. It didn't say the fan had to vent outside the house.
This happened in my house.

also, one of the tree branches broke the septic tube going out so it ended backing up into my whole basement after plenty of flushes.
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Old 01-29-14, 06:58 PM   #21
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My entire lower living level had an awful carpet hiding pressure sensitive floor alarm, and must have been a thousand tough little wire staples, each needing to be pulled with a needle nose plier. That sucked. Don't know what the original owner was protecting, but it certainly gave the hardwood floor some character. Even worse, the slobs installing the carpet cut into said floor when trimming the carpet pad and carpet. And of course, they also left plenty of dull carpet razors for me to discover. Then there was the commercial grade vinyl wallpaper that ruined the wall boards when removed... Phone jacks and RG6 in every room too, and all doors hard wired with exit alarms. Ah, the joys of home ownership. Take my house, please!!
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Old 01-29-14, 08:38 PM   #22
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My entire lower living level had an awful carpet hiding pressure sensitive floor alarm, and must have been a thousand tough little wire staples, each needing to be pulled with a needle nose plier. That sucked. Don't know what the original owner was protecting, but it certainly gave the hardwood floor some character. Even worse, the slobs installing the carpet cut into said floor when trimming the carpet pad and carpet. And of course, they also left plenty of dull carpet razors for me to discover. Then there was the commercial grade vinyl wallpaper that ruined the wall boards when removed... Phone jacks and RG6 in every room too, and all doors hard wired with exit alarms. Ah, the joys of home ownership. Take my house, please!!
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Old 01-29-14, 08:55 PM   #23
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Nothing that interesting in our house, just minor adventures- my wife and i moved a few months ago, into a 12 year old house. The house was in very good condition, except we had a total of 4 fluorescent light fixtures that barely worked. I put new electronic ballasts in each one and found that one of them had a ballast for T8 bulbs but had T12 bulbs in it. The new energy-efficient bulbs in the kitchen and a couple of bathrooms are really strange- you turn them on and they are very dim but in a couple of minutes they are up to full brightness. The can fixtures above the patio had no bulbs in them. There are 2 switches by the front door that don't seem to control anything. I don't know what their problem with lighting was.

Even though it was an almost new house, one bathroom drain leaked, one toilet would not drain at all, the washing machine drain overflowed, there were gas leaks at the meter, the water heater and the furnace.

There were 3 TV wall mounts left. I took out a lot of coax and HDMI cables from the walls. The Verizon FIOS boxes and wiring are still on the outside of the house but we could not find any outlets in the house to plug a telephone into. In a closet there is a small router and patch panel with at least 10 network cables plugged into it, but again no outlets anywhere in the house. We use wireless internet and I ran a temporary cable from outside the house into the garage to plug our cordless phone base unit into.

The previous owners left a big screen TV in the house, and we discovered they probably left it because it barely worked. It turned out to be a DLP projection TV. I put a new bulb in it for $100 and now it works like new.
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Old 01-29-14, 11:30 PM   #24
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The razor blade thing was brought up on another forum I frequent...

The thing that surprised me was the dead body buried in the back yard.
This one too.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post13270226
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Old 01-29-14, 11:49 PM   #25
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my house is kinda new but we're not the first owners, we found that the dryer vent was never connected to the roof exit vent, thus we had a large lint ball in the attic.

I think I saw that on "Holmes Inspection". That's the show that taught me to never trust a Canadian contractor.

The house I grew up in was built in two phases, in the 1920's and 1930's. It had knob-and-tube wiring and two different fuse panels.
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