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Old 09-15-2016, 04:16 AM   #1
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Was inside a neat old home with handcut beams and of course k&t.

Found this under an upstairs floor joist and curious what it is.
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:16 AM   #2
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That's an old-timey telephone lightning arrestor. You can tell it's LV phone wire instead of K&T because it's stapled directly to the joist.

If you take off the cylindrical cap there should be a couple pieces of graphite in there that make up a spark gap.

A lot of the old ones had replaceable graphite in them, and I'm not really sure what the purpose was. They must somehow become damaged during a surge?
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:20 AM   #3
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First photocell ever! Lol
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:23 AM   #4
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My first guess would be a doorbell transformer based on the terminals but I've never seen a transformer shaped like that.
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:20 AM   #5
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That is a old style phone surge or lightining arrestor device and two wires is for phone and third wire for ground useally ground rod or water pipe even can be found at old fusebox .
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:33 AM   #6
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I wonder if our plastic staples will look this good in 120yrs. Maybe because it's plastic but I somehow doubt it.
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:12 PM   #7
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As stated a telephone lightning arrestor. The bottom lighter colored screw is the ground. Many time you would see these paired up with a set of 5" long red fuses.
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