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Author Topic: danger Will Robinson... old red neck wiring.  (Read 5648 times)

John Roberts {JR}

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danger Will Robinson... old red neck wiring.
« on: December 13, 2017, 01:25:10 pm »

My 50 year old , or more wall oven has lost it's thermostat control, so I am in the market for a replacement (probably during january white sales). In anticipation I started to suss out my wiring, in case I need to do some prep. I haven't looked behind the oven yet, but I notice below it  in some cupboards, I see an old original fabric covered 240V drop spliced to some metal jacketed BX with black electrical tape.  ::) ::)  At a minimum I expect I need a junction box behind the oven, and high temperature twist-ons.   

Not a great picture but you can see the loose wires hanging out.

I may need to invest in a real electrician, if i can find one in nowhere MS, without making him drive for 50 miles..

JR
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: danger Will Robinson... old red neck wiring.
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 01:39:49 pm »

I might have shared this before but my stove wiring is no better, actually worse. A few years ago when one of the burners wasn't getting hot I found a loose connection in the wiring underneath. That could have been a fire waiting to happen, but didn't (yet).

Yesterday I noticed something new.... the stove wires were wedged behind a nail.  :o :o :o  Seriously, I didn't sleep well thinking about it last night so decided on a little self help today.  I slipped a short piece of clear tubing over the nail, but the wires were so stiff from decades of being wedged behind the nail I just left them hanging in free air as less dangerous than even the nail with plastic tubing .

If/when I hire an electrician he can clean up this drama too. There is a junction box down there, but open with wires hanging out, and more black tape... ::)  It looks like two 240V leads coming in/out but not sure where another one would go...unless this drop also feeds the wall oven on the other side of the room (very possible).

For now at least the nail potentially shorting the stove wires to each other is averted.

JR
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: danger Will Robinson... old red neck wiring.
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 03:30:50 pm »

The BX is probably just flex conduit from the ovens. That's my guess, anyway.

The best solution (but you probably know this) is to run new cable of the proper gauge all the way from the service panel. That could be difficult if you don't have a crawl space or decent attic access. But hey, anything is possible with enough time, money, and talent.

Keep in mind that the fixture wiring (the wires the manufacturer provides that you connect the premises wiring to) may be a smaller gauge than you'd expect for the required circuit. For example, you might see them use 10 AWG wire and say you need a 40A circuit. I seem to recall that a stovetop unit and a wall oven unit can share a circuit, but that was 20+ years ago and the code could have changed. For connecting anything larger than 10 AWG wire, I think you may have to use something other than a wire nut. Since these are "installed" appliances rather than "portable" appliances, they don't need a cord and plug. A typical freestanding slide-in range is considered portable, so is installed with cord and plug.

(Considering what pases for popular performing artists these days, the 'talent' part may be optional.)
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Rob Spence

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Re: danger Will Robinson... old red neck wiring.
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 03:46:38 pm »

Yikes!
A 4 square box just below the oven will provide a secure junction for the armored flex whip that will come from the new oven. Often the box is behind the oven but I find it a pain to have the oven propped up and reaching in to wire it.
My current one is set up with a hole in the bottom of the oven cabinet in the rear corner where I just threaded the whip down while sliding the unit in. I then hooked it up underneath. While still a stretch, at least the oven was installed while I did it.
I secured the slack with a couple of emt clips.



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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: danger Will Robinson... old red neck wiring.
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 03:55:03 pm »

The BX is probably just flex conduit from the ovens. That's my guess, anyway.
ding ding ding... yes BX is likely from a several decades old wall oven power cord. No other BX in my entire house.
Quote
The best solution (but you probably know this) is to run new cable of the proper gauge all the way from the service panel. That could be difficult if you don't have a crawl space or decent attic access. But hey, anything is possible with enough time, money, and talent.
I have attic access, but am not inclined to pay to run a new power drop.  The fabric covered 240v feeds are all over my attic (I have electric in-wall heaters, I no longer use).

The old cable appears to be in OK shape .... BUT will not likely have a ground conductor... ::)  I have run a few "after the fact" ground bonds around for dishwasher and washing machine and water heater, so maybe a separate ground for wall oven is next.
Quote


Keep in mind that the fixture wiring (the wires the manufacturer provides that you connect the premises wiring to) may be a smaller gauge than you'd expect for the required circuit. For example, you might see them use 10 AWG wire and say you need a 40A circuit. I seem to recall that a stovetop unit and a wall oven unit can share a circuit, but that was 20+ years ago and the code could have changed. For connecting anything larger than 10 AWG wire, I think you may have to use something other than a wire nut. Since these are "installed" appliances rather than "portable" appliances, they don't need a cord and plug. A typical freestanding slide-in range is considered portable, so is installed with cord and plug.

(Considering what pases for popular performing artists these days, the 'talent' part may be optional.)
I can probably do the wall oven install myself, but wouldn't mind having a real electrician do some clean up for obvious weak electrical wiring areas, using the proper junction boxes and terminations etc.   I'm sure I can find somebody to hook it up just like the old one,  ::) but I don't want that.

JR
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: danger Will Robinson... old red neck wiring.
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 03:58:19 pm »

Yikes!
A 4 square box just below the oven will provide a secure junction for the armored flex whip that will come from the new oven. Often the box is behind the oven but I find it a pain to have the oven propped up and reaching in to wire it.
My current one is set up with a hole in the bottom of the oven cabinet in the rear corner where I just threaded the whip down while sliding the unit in. I then hooked it up underneath. While still a stretch, at least the oven was installed while I did it.
I secured the slack with a couple of emt clips.



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Yup, the original 240V drop extends a few feet below oven level so plenty of room for a junction box down there, assuming the lead from the oven is long enough, and it probably will be. Probably worth waiting before mounting a box.

JR
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: danger Will Robinson... old red neck wiring.
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 04:54:26 pm »

I can probably do the wall oven install myself, but wouldn't mind having a real electrician do some clean up for obvious weak electrical wiring areas, using the proper junction boxes and terminations etc.   I'm sure I can find somebody to hook it up just like the old one,  ::) but I don't want that.

JR

If you want to strengthen your electrical wiring chops, I recommend the book Wiring Simplified by Richter, Schwan, Hartwell, et al. It's updated triannually along with the NEC -- 45th edition is based on 2017 code. I find it to be pretty comprehensive for residential wiring while fairly easy to understand. It goes into greater depth than most of the other "living dangerously for dummies" type books out there.

There's a companion book that also covers commercial wiring, Practical Electrical Wiring by the same authors. Latest edition appears to be #22, based on 2014 code. I couldn't find a 2017 version; it may come out in the next year.
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: danger Will Robinson... old red neck wiring.
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2017, 08:32:02 pm »

when I built my house I had preach been down the how do you plug in the stove when the outlet is behind the stove path.  I made a nice neat hole in the floor and installed the stove outlet in the basement near the hole.  Now I tie a rope to the stove plug and drop the other end down the hole and slide the stove in place.

The hot and cold water shut off is down there as well nice and easy to get to.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: danger Will Robinson... old red neck wiring.
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 09:03:49 pm »

Assuming the oven was hardwired, you could just install a receptacle and the use an oven pigtail.  If you use a j-box, use either a 2 1/8" deep 4 X 4 or a 4 11/16 square instead of the normal 1.5" deep 4X4-tecnically code requires it and it will save some frustration from using too small a box.

Rewiring is expensive-but (depending on access and distance)-$200-500 to rewire the stove vs $250,000 in fire damage?  Voice of experience-I had cloth covered wiring the same size as your stove does-put a 30 amp breaker on thinking I was safe.  At least no one got hurt-but I am much more paranoid about wiring.
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Steve Swaffer

Steve M Smith

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Re: danger Will Robinson... old red neck wiring.
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2017, 03:11:59 am »

I see an old original fabric covered 240V drop spliced to some metal jacketed BX with black electrical tape.

A few years ago, I moved house.  There was a shed in the garden with power.  It all worked fine for a few months, then the lights started to flicker and eventually, the power went out.

I decided to dig up the cable and replace it.  I found ordinary domestic cable with a join in the middle.  The conductors had been twisted together and covered up with insulating tape - then buried in earth!


Steve.
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