After uncovering the knob-and-tube wiring, I called my electrician friend, Tim. I don’t mind fishing new wire or pigtailing to add a plug, switching out a fixture or putting in a new switch. But when it comes to abandoning and replacing a wiring system that scares me and that I don’t understand, well…time to write a check.
And good thing. Once he got into it, Tim found out things are far more troublesome than he or I expected at first look. (OK…very bad thing…but good thing I didn’t try to tackle it.)
It turns out about 80 percent of the house is still on the knob and tube, and things are apparently double-dipped, double-wired, double-jointed, double-somethinged that I don’t begin to comprehend. I know the word “double” factored in. So when Tim dropped the one circuit that I thought powered three rooms on the second floor (about 30 percent of the house), 80 percent of the house went dead (which makes no sense; I must have missed something). And this is despite having plenty of empty slots in the two panels (it used to be a two family)…but more vexing, also having lots of circuits in use on said panels. So what they heck do they go to?! I dunno. Tim is figuring it out, running new wires and getting things in shape (and up to code) as much as possible for now. But it’s going to take at least another day of work.
So for tonight, I have full power (read, light) in only two rooms (my current computer room and one bathroom), along with random working receptacles in select and non-contiguous other rooms – and in said rooms, only some of the receptacles are working. (I guess that would explain the circuits that are in use…but the mapping is illogical, and I am part Vulcan.)
But Tim, bless him, is smart. He made sure my router, computer, coffee maker and refrigerator are all getting juice. The heat and hot water are gas. I think I’ll live.
I just hope that tomorrow he doesn’t uncover more crazy. And leave me completely in the dark.