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Discuss Old Junction box - How old? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Gavin John Hyde

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At a house today to install a new electric shower,
When in the loft by the hatch I come across a metal box with wires coming and going, open it up and find this.
Has a mix of very old wiring which surprisingly tests out okay on IR testing all >60 Mohms on the old metal braided sheathed cables. Tested some out of curiosity.
How old do you think it might be? House was built in 1970s so my guess is its the original stuff.
Will be rewiring the place next year but for now ran a new circuit and small CU for a shower.
Its quite neat the dressing of cables inside so somebody took time to do it. Looks like somebody has added to it in recent years.
@Pete999 Having lived down these parts its on the Cranmore Estate up off Upper Bloomfield by the Red Lion Pub. Not your handy work was it?
 

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Taylortwocities

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Just about every lighting circuit used to be wired like that. You really need to get out more.
Date wise. Probably 1960s. Phase colours changed in the 14th IIRC. About 1970.

Not sure if the metal box is the original. At the time of that cable we were in Bakeliteland.

Note. The RBW wires didn’t have an earth, so check that metal enclosure is earthed [edit: looking at the pic, it isn’t. Check those new cables CPCs are earthed and you must earth the enclosure] and use only plastic/ class II light fittings and switches.
 

Gavin John Hyde

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Just about every lighting circuit used to be wired like that. You really need to get out more.
Date wise. Probably 1960s. Phase colours changed in the 14th IIRC. About 1970.

Not sure if the metal box is the original. At the time of that cable we were in Bakeliteland.

Note. The RBW wires didn’t have an earth, so check that metal enclosure is earthed [edit: looking at the pic, it isn’t. Check those new cables CPCs are earthed and you must earth the enclosure] and use only plastic/ class II light fittings and switches.
I havent touched the lighting circuits or the enclosure other than have a nose. Somebody has been there before me and done bits. Not sure what exactly.
Hence why a rewire is on the cards. I wouldnt add to that given its age.
Im in my early 30s so way before my time is that, not come across one before but could be fun trying to work out which cable does what.
 

Pete999

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At a house today to install a new electric shower,
When in the loft by the hatch I come across a metal box with wires coming and going, open it up and find this.
Has a mix of very old wiring which surprisingly tests out okay on IR testing all >60 Mohms on the old metal braided sheathed cables. Tested some out of curiosity.
How old do you think it might be? House was built in 1970s so my guess is its the original stuff.
Will be rewiring the place next year but for now ran a new circuit and small CU for a shower.
Its quite neat the dressing of cables inside so somebody took time to do it. Looks like somebody has added to it in recent years.
@Pete999 Having lived down these parts its on the Cranmore Estate up off Upper Bloomfield by the Red Lion Pub. Not your handy work was it?
No Mate not my work, could be lead sheathed into metal JBs, or perhaps VIR any chance of a Picture of the JB, if it's lead then late 50s early 60s
 

Gavin John Hyde

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No Mate not my work, could be lead sheathed into metal JBs, or perhaps VIR any chance of a Picture of the JB, if it's lead then late 50s early 60s
Hi Pete, Not got a picture of the outside other than what you see. figured the good interesting stuff is inside. Its all lead sheathed cables no VIR coming or going into this JB all the metal sheathes are terminated and clamped on entry albeit no earths to be seen!. House was built in 70s so thinking original stuff.
 

Pete999

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Hi Pete, Not got a picture of the outside other than what you see. figured the good interesting stuff is inside. Its all lead sheathed cables no VIR coming or going into this JB all the metal sheathes are terminated and clamped on entry albeit no earths to be seen!. House was built in 70s so thinking original stuff.
Ii stopped using lead in the late 50s Gavin, you sure it was built in the 70s can't believe lead in those days, you sure they ain't telling you Porkies Mate? must of been some lead sheathed stuff the Sparky had left over, mind you the owner could have said 1870s.
 

Lucien Nunes

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No, it's not lead. It's PVC with wire-braided oversheath which serves as the CPC, connected by clamping bars at entry to the boxes. 'Octopus' system by Hartley Automotive as Multimick says. Looks like imperial sizes so more like 1960s than 70s. May be fine for decades yet.

The whole cable set and JB was factory-made to the designer's dimensions. The octopus box was put in place and the cables unrolled to the points. No cutting or stripping done on site and half the termination already done and tested.
 

Lucien Nunes

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Provided the clamps aren't too corroded. It was certainly designed to be, the braid took the CPC everywhere. Not sure what is going on with that later addition, looks like they've picked up an earth from somewhere else so there might be a problem, but then you would expect them to have used it to earth the box as well, which they don't seem to have done. I've seen Octopus systems where the DB has been changed and the installer hasn't bothered or didn't realise the braid of the main feed needed to be earthed.
 

Gavin John Hyde

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Ii stopped using lead in the late 50s Gavin, you sure it was built in the 70s can't believe lead in those days, you sure they ain't telling you Porkies Mate? must of been some lead sheathed stuff the Sparky had left over, mind you the owner could have said 1870s.
my mistake most likely not lead, has feel and weighs enough. some are braided in a metal sheath otherr cables in attic are lead sheathed. either way the house missed out on VIR cables. seems to skip a generation!
 

mattg4321

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Wow I've been working in all kinds of domestic properties almost every day for getting on 20 years now and not seen that cable before!

Maybe it never made it down here to Sussex.
 

Dave OCD

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No, it's not lead. It's PVC with wire-braided oversheath which serves as the CPC, connected by clamping bars at entry to the boxes. 'Octopus' system by Hartley Automotive as Multimick says. Looks like imperial sizes so more like 1960s than 70s. May be fine for decades yet.

The whole cable set and JB was factory-made to the designer's dimensions. The octopus box was put in place and the cables unrolled to the points. No cutting or stripping done on site and half the termination already done and tested.
Lucien, in the Council house that I grew up in I remember a sticker on the wooden backed Wylex [The type that had an independent fuse way to the right of the main switch usually for the cooker] that said 'Octoflex wiring systems'. Do you have any info on this ?
 

Gavin John Hyde

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Lucien, in the Council house that I grew up in I remember a sticker on the wooden backed Wylex [The type that had an independent fuse way to the right of the main switch usually for the cooker] that said 'Octoflex wiring systems'. Do you have any info on this ?
Coincentally this house has 2 boards the old one supplying lights has 3036 fuses and then has a green fuse holder sayinf 1361 type 2.40 amp fuse to right of main switch. I installed my shower circuit in a new small metal cu and didnt touch it.
 

Dave OCD

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That's the type Gavin, always a green 40amp cartridge - and the cooker wiring was the old imperial closer to 10mm than 6mm, possibly 7/.052.
 
T

Toneyz

I think that I came across one of those junction boxes a few years ago and posted it on here we went to have a look as it needed rewiring the junction box was recessed into the ceiling upstairs I think the wiring was VIR and was crumbling.
 

Lucien Nunes

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'Octoflex wiring systems'. Do you have any info on this ?
I don't know, will have to have a trawl. I wouldn't be surprised to find it was also a trademark of Hartley's.

came across one of those junction boxes a few years ago.... I think the wiring was VIR
I'm not sure when the system first came on the market but yes, it was VIR to begin with.
 
We always used shortbread tins here in Scotland. The lid fitted just right.
Plus, if you came upon one there was just the chance that a spare finger of shortbread was left inside, so there was an incentive to check it.
 

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