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  1. #1

    Default Wadsworth panel?

    Did a walk-and-talk this morning for a flipper looking to buy a 1951 home to rehab. Original electric, but with tons of homeowner "modifications" (lots of extension cords, plug multipliers, etc...). Didn't open the panel but I'd never seen one of these before and hoped someone could clue me in about it.
    The buyer is already planning on completely upgrading the electric (SE cables were scary frayed) and doing a heavy-up, but was curious whether the existing panel would be safe enough during the renovation work.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wadsworth panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    It's safe to say that any electrical equipment from 1951 has exceeded it's useful lifespan. Will it make it through a renovation is anyone's guess. Maybe a physical evaluation by an electrician can provide some further insight.
    Actually the circuit breakers are most likely still good. Outdated but useful. UL has been doing a "survey" of older electrical equipment. They have taken items from houses of various ages and from a wide spectrum across the country. They took the electrical items back to their labs and tested it to see if age makes a difference. It was surprising to see that age did not make any difference for circuit breakers and panels. They passed the tests for the time period they were made AND they passed todays standards as well.. They tested circuit breakers, NM Cable, MC Cable, receptacles , switches, light fixtures and such items. I would not suggest leaving the older panels , but to automatically say it's old so it's no good is wrong. I will look to see if I have a link to the tests in my notes from the IAEI meeting that had UL discuss this.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wadsworth panel?

    The flipper should realize he will be working sans equipment grounding. Bad idea.

    The other worry I'd have is not so much the panel but the condition of the service conductors, cloth-wrapped rubber insulation in an old pipe, or exposed somewhere.

    He'd be better off borrowing juice from the neighbor with a high quality extension cord until he can get a new service installed.

    Also, if he gets away with using that panel to work his magic, some poor sucker is going to buy it as is with new receptacles installed for show.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  4. #4
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    Oct 2010
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    Dayton,Tn
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    Lightbulb Re: Wadsworth panel?

    Has this house been in use? If it has been for 60 years? I don't know - just like any other house I buy - has somebody or something made the electric unsafe? - No matter it's age. Who knows? Without a thorough and complete check-out. But, if it has been operating safely for a long time -- I'm going to gamble it will make it another day or two if I need it to. But#2 - The grounding maybe/likely absent. Electric has gotta be ( or should be ) one of the first things to do in a rehab anyway. Running wires through an existing house can be a little challenging and damaging, especially when adding outlets,switches, and fixtures. Which needs to be done to avoid extension cords and multioutlet devices. Good luck.


  5. #5
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    Dec 2009
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    Florida
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    Default Re: Wadsworth panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tabb Jensen View Post
    ...... Electric has gotta be ( or should be ) one of the first things to do in a rehab anyway. Running wires through an existing house can be a little challenging and damaging, especially when adding outlets,switches, and fixtures. Which needs to be done to avoid extension cords and multioutlet devices. Good luck.
    As the existing electrical panel has been in service and is functional, rushing to change it as the FIRST item should be discouraged. If there is concern about grounding, a new temporary "project" outlet could be installed on a backboard at he panel, and would eliminate that issue. A lot of hand tools are insulated and do not require a ground.

    Structural changes should be done first, inspected and approved, and then the other trade work should be done, e.g., electrical, plumbing, HVAC. After all, if you did the wiring first, and then pulled down the wall--where would you be?


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wadsworth panel?

    The "flipper" ought to be installing GFCI receptacles for construction use.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Wadsworth panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by jack davenport View Post
    Actually the circuit breakers are most likely still good. Outdated but useful. UL has been doing a "survey" of older electrical equipment. They have taken items from houses of various ages and from a wide spectrum across the country. They took the electrical items back to their labs and tested it to see if age makes a difference. It was surprising to see that age did not make any difference for circuit breakers and panels. They passed the tests for the time period they were made AND they passed todays standards as well.. They tested circuit breakers, NM Cable, MC Cable, receptacles , switches, light fixtures and such items. I would not suggest leaving the older panels , but to automatically say it's old so it's no good is wrong. I will look to see if I have a link to the tests in my notes from the IAEI meeting that had UL discuss this.
    I'd be very interesting in reading that.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago
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    164

    Default Re: Wadsworth panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    The "flipper" ought to be installing GFCI receptacles for construction use.
    The odds of that happening are pretty slim.

    Corey


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