LESLIE: Frank in Rhode Island is on the line with a wiring question. What’s going on at your money pit?
FRANK: I live in a Colonial farmhouse – a Cape, really – and it’s the oldest house in Chepachet. Was built in 1753 by a Revolutionary War patriot. And I’m having a problem with radio interference.
Historically, there seems to be three overlays of wiring there. There is the old knob-and-tube, there’s some cable, there’s something recently that was put in and I know even more recent than that it was modified – the panel was modified so we can put an electric stove in here. And if it’s a wiring issue – I’m not sure it is. I have three radios and one of them is a battery-powered radio and it’s still getting this interference. It started about two months ago and it seems to be more on the AM dial but at certain times, it’s on both dials.
TOM: The first thing I would suspect is it has something to do with grounding that has gone bad. Perhaps the grounding for your main electric panel would be a place to start, because usually it’s grounding or shielding that when you get a bad ground, that it causes that kind of a static. But I think the first thing you need to do is make sure that it isn’t something, in fact, in the house and not something that’s caused by an outside source.
So I would pay attention to the quality of the signal. Maybe if you choose one station to compare to and you try that in the house and out of the house, in the car and see if it really is getting worse around the house. And then if that’s the case, I suspect it might have something to do with the grounding at your main electric panel.
FRANK: Makes a lot of sense and I thank you.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.