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electric wire questions

1573 Views 48 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  fishhead
Last December a tree fell on my powerline ripping a yard light wire out of the attic. Previously the yard light wire was just cut and the end wrapped in electrical tape. The other end was just 2 wires that look like they were connected to a switch. There was only 2 wires with no bare ground wire. The ripping loose of the wires also disconnected my bedroom light.

There are 3 wires in the attic and each wire has two wires. They look identical to me so I'm wondering how do I know which one is the ground and which is hot? The wiring is old and has the wire covered with a twisted cloth layer and a paper layer on top of that. One of the wires seems to have a slight silver color on the twisted cloth covering but I can't say for sure.

I checked the wires with one of those pens today and they are all hot. When I first looked at the wires after the storm there was a connection within a metal box. It was just a few wires left. My guess is that the box is where the now disconnected yard light connection was made. If I can't figure out the wiring I'm going to have to start cutting holes in the sheet rock.

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Flip the breaker, use your best guess on how to fix it, turn the breaker back on and watch for smoke and for the breaker to trip.

Then, if you see no smoke and no tripped breaker, try the light switch.

Repeat until it works.
Would a knob and tube house have breakers or fuses?
I know. It just seems odd to me that someone would go the expense to put in a breaker panel with knob and tube.

Or even how that would work.
LOL I remember my father doing that penny trick. Of course I was a kid and had no understanding that what he was doing could have killed us all.
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