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Need new wiring?

I just moved into a condo built in 1971.
It has a Federal panel (which several people have told me is BAD)

I have several outlets that spark or buzz when something is plugged in.

I had a new electric baseboard heater installed and a new wall thermostat to go with it and when the electrician took out the old switch he said the wires were "melted" (no he didn't show me even though I was in the next room). He said he "taped them up" and to fix the problem he would have to cut another hole in the wall above the thermostat, install a new box and run new wire from there. When I asked about the panel he said he would have to cut a hole in the kitchen ceiling.

None of what he said sounded logical to me.

1 Do I need a new panel immediately?

2 Do I just need all new wiring? (remember this was cheap wiring from 1971 - not the best built condo...)

3 Can I just pull new wiring for the thermostat? Or should that whole wire run be replaced?

4 Can I just replace the outlets with new? What type/brand is best?

5 How can I tell if other wires are "melted"?

6 Do they really have to cut holes in all the walls?

Thanks in advance for all your help!

PS. How do I find out if I have aluminium wiring?

Re: Need new wiring?

The recommendation from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Council is that Federal Pacific Panels should be replaced.

The time frame you provided concerns me that you may have Aluminum wiring. While aluminum wiring in itself is not dangerous special caution in choosing devices and connectors used is necessary. The fact that you had burnt wiring suggest it would be best to have it checked out. If it is aluminum wiring you should have it checked by a electrician familiar with aluminum wiring and procedures.

If you do go with rewiring it may be necessary to make holes in the walls and ceilings to pull new wiring. These holes are generally not large and easily patched.

A. Spruce
Re: Need new wiring?
suzami wrote:

None of what he said sounded logical to me.

Go with your gut on this.

In addition to what Jack said, call in several other electricians for quotes on what needs to be done INCLUDING the type and size holes required and who's in charge of repairing those holes back to original finish.

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