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Residential Electrical Systems Aging Research Proj

Brandon Whitmore

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I see in section "8.0 Luminaires", they pulled off a few old light fixtures and found the crumbling insulation / bare wires!

And then you get that in a bathroom along with a combo metal medicine cabinet / light fixture, and not good to say the least.

(The heat from the bulbs wrecks the old wiring insulation. Even with a wall mounted light fixture.)

And if you leave the fixture in place, I assume the insulation mostly stays in place?

But unscrew the fixture and pull it out, then all the insulation crumbles off of the wires.

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That is a pretty scary report isn't it ?

As far as the luminaires and the insulation on the wiring, Thats why the manufactures install a label listing the maximum wattage bulb. Yes a 100 watt bulb will work in a fixture rated for 60, but in the long run it is damageing the wiring behind that fixture. Fixtures with the box above it are the worst as Heat rises.

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I had a question a while back in which I asked whether old BX (AC) cable could be used as a ground when updating from 2 to 3 prong receptacle outlets. This report answered my question. To be safe, I'll continue to recommend GFCI protection in older homes.

It's a bummer there's no report such as this where older breakers and panels have been tested by an authoritative source. Heck, they wouldn't even name manufacturers in this report.

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