First post - just found this forum. Looks like a great place to get advice.
The previous owner of my house did a lot of DIY wiring, some of it pretty scary. I was cleaning up part of my attic yesterday and realized something very disturbing. There is a junction box thing between rafters(? sloping roof 2x12's ?) with a simple ceramic pull-string light. It doesn't seem too bad in itself ... but there's another light at the end of the attic that it is looking really unsafe. The second light is actually part of an old lamp. It's powered by super thin lamp cord plugged into the ceramic pull-string light's base (which has an outlet) and then stapled along a main top beam (running the length of the house) down to the end of the attic, where part of an old lamp is hanging from the same beam.
I'm quite sure using thin lamp cord as a permanent power solution over a 10-15' run is a terrible idea. I am planning to replace this but i'm curious if it's ok to run 14ga romex along this top beam in the attic. I'd secure it with some nail-and-plastic-staple things and run it into a another junction box which would get another ceramic pull-string fixture. I don't know if you can/should staple any power wire to the upper beams in an attic - I suppose that is my main question.
Both lights are currently using compact flourecent... which i believe is good for fire-prevention. But i'm open to comments on that too.
Another oddity in the house is one of my light-switch boxes. It controls the main ceiling fan/light in a bedroom. The single unit has 1 switch and 2 regular AC outlets. Looks pretty old. I've never seen anything like it before and i'm wondering if it's the kind of thing that "isn't done anymore". I considered replacing it but found it useful to occassionally plug stuff in (ie. rechargable flashlight sitting on table near room entrance). Anyone have opinions on if it's safe?
Thanks a lot,