Saturday, March 01, 2014

The joys of home ownership- doubled

I could have saved $3000 on the land if I'd only looked up when we had our inspection walkaround.

That's how much I know my company would have charged to rewire the treehouse....
Does anyone know what that is?

Yeah, it's been illegal for at least 30 years, and I thought it stopped in the `40's.

AND it's still hooked up...
EDIT to add-
The only thing that has power now is the well.
....And I"ll have to shut that off so I can fix the supply problem the tweeker caused by cutting the pipe BELOW the shut-off valve....
(note to self)- bring air compressor tomorrow to re-pressure the tank........


  1. Is that some knob and tube? We had that in an old family house - my great-grandfather build it in the 30s. Replaced it ourselves but it took a long time.

  2. It is illegal to install, but legal to use as is.

    Knob and tube is actually very safe. No ground, but as long as the neutral is properly hooked up all is good.

  3. Kurt, not knowing the age of the property you just bought, I wouldn't trust the knob and tube wiring. I had to rewire a house I used to own because of that stuff, it was good 50 years ago but not now. Especially with the second picture you posted, that's a fire waiting to happen.

    1. Grog-
      I'm an electrician.
      It was supposedly built in the mid to late `50's.

  4. Well, that means it'll be easy for you to fix. I mis-understood your question up there, "does anyone know what that is?", which is understandable since I didn't know you were an electrician.

  5. We had a submersible with a pressure tank, a hand pump works but takes a while to get it up to pressure, what worked best for us was a cheap 12v automobile compressor and a cheap 3 amp battery charger, of course with no electricity.... hire a kid for $20 to use a hand pump, then again, without power why bother cause the pump isn't going to work anyways.

    And why is the tank depressurized? Did the last owner take the air out? Is the valve funky? Is the rubber bladder on the inside leaking? Is it ancient and has no bladder?

    1. It's ancient and has no bladder, but more to the point- the druggie that was living there cut the supply pipe to the house below the shut-off valve and put on a threaded 90 for a water hose.

      So I'm going to have to shut off the well and depressurize the tank either intentionally or when the line is open after I cut the 90 off.

    2. Ancient stuff works too.

      Here's a couple hints from my experience with a submersible.

      Keep a spare starter capacitor handy, if the control box is exactly rated for the pump, that's the first part that will die. We installed a box rated for a larger pump after replacing the capacitor a few times and it's lasted for decades and still going strong.

      If you use PVC pipe going down the well (if it's ancient too, it might have metal pipe, which is actually better than PVC but a bugger to pull the pump up) remember that it will torque when the pump starts, don't skimp on the spacers that keep the wires from abrading on the casing.

      Lastly, don't put the pump all the way to the bottom of the well, leaving a couple of feet will give you much cleaner water.

  6. Knob and tube. And incorrectly installed Romex.

    That's why I tell people that I don't do residential wiring. And I've seen stuff as egregious as this in industrial and commercial installations as well.

    Be careful!


    1. It's an easy fix- there's probably no insulation in the walls.
      I was going to stay there overnight while building the new house- but now I have to make this one safe before I can even get started on the new one....

      All the electric in both houses will be to commercial standards.