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Thread: Cool find..... I think around 1915

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFine View Post
    99% sure it was AC.

    It's amazing how rare shorts occurred in K&T-wired homes, because the wires are a foot or more apart in most places.

    Overloads, yes, especially with the invention of these, as the first wired homes had only pendant lighting in each room:

    Attachment 21796 Attachment 21797
    My last house was built in the late '20's, and that is the only way I had electricity for any purpose other than lighting in the upstairs area.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFletcher View Post
    Also very cool to learn. I have never worked with knob and tube, about the oldest I see is the old armored BX cable, maybe remnants of an old k&t system... Old porcelain insulators in the attic.

    The other thing that I noticed about the panel is its utter lack of anything resembling a safety feature, save for the insulated disconnects. Closing the disconnect, or installing with fuse, on a bolted fault with the dead front off and absolutely nothing in the way of you and the ensuing arc...yikes! No PPE, I guess it would have been more prudent than ever to check the circuit integrity before you closed the circuit in the panel.

    Could that panel have also been used with a DC circuit? It is not labeled AC or DC, though I presume from the voltage it would have been AC.
    But also consider that available fault current levels back then were probably nothing like they may be today. Still some hazard but incident energy level was overall lower than it will often be today.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  3. #13
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    The other thing that strikes me is the large number of circuits and the low current rating. 30 amps, ten circuits?
    Then again, I have encountered 16 AWG lighting circuits in buildings of that same era.

    Quote Originally Posted by JFletcher View Post
    ... The other thing that I noticed about the panel is its utter lack of anything resembling a safety feature, save for the insulated disconnects. Closing the disconnect, or installing with fuse, on a bolted fault with the dead front off and absolutely nothing in the way of you and the ensuing arc...yikes! No PPE, I guess it would have been more prudent than ever to check the circuit integrity before you closed the circuit in the panel.

    Could that panel have also been used with a DC circuit? It is not labeled AC or DC, though I presume from the voltage it would have been AC.
    Even a fuse not labeled "current limiting" will provide some current limiting into a bolted fault.
    I thought "dead front" referred to design elements that enable you to turn a circuit on & off, change fuses or reset breakers without any risk of touching anything energized?

    It doesn't say "AC only", so installing it in a DC system wouldn't have been a listing violation. (if there even were "listing violations" in 1915) I'm not sure when we began to understand that equipment wasn't generally suitable for the same DC and AC voltage.

    This device also contributed to a lot of overloads and fires:
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