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Thread: cloth covered wiring

  1. #1
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    cloth covered wiring

    .I thought you would be interested in what i have stumbled into.
    I work in the Savannah GA area , Ive to work on several homes with BX cable with cloth wiring.The insulation fails ,shorts out,burns into.I have replaced bad sections with romex and explained how important it is to rewire home.
    I have one customer who was getting shocked in the shower , found shorted section oF BX and replaced with romex.Another customer had a circuit that was tripping 5 minutes after turning on breaker, so turn on breaker and here something humming in the attic ,I thought it was a fan motor .I look in the attic for this "bad motor" and see a few "orange lights " thru out the attic. Closer look I realized that those were not lights but glowing BX cable..cable was not bonded and of course it had no EGC.
    I found and repaired the fault ,bounded all the exposed BX I could to the EGC on the new feeds ( the panel had been upgraded and bonded ,replaced first 10' of circiuts)
    I was thinking of replacing all the breakers with arcfault breakers and if any trip ,then rewire that circuit ...instead of rewiring whole house.
    What do you think?

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    Depending on your code cycle, you may already be required to use one. I have more faith in GFCI than AFCI so would most likely use a dual function vs an AFCI that omits a ground fault function entirely.
    Tom
    TBLO

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    I would write it up with a recommendation to rewire the whole house.
    What the owners choose to do with this information is up to them. Some people can't afford a rewire. What people need to understand is if the Fire Department comes out they will condemn the house after a fire (even a small one ).

    Edit: after a fire I have gotten the insurance company to pay for a rewire.
    The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shawelectric View Post
    .I thought it was a fan motor .I look in the attic for this "bad motor" and see a few "orange lights " thru out the attic. Closer look I realized that those were not lights but glowing BX cable..cable was not bonded and of course it had no EGC.
    If there were glowing BX cables there should have been a lot of smoke. You don't need a blaze to have an electrical fire. If they had called the Fire Department they would have come out and opened up the walls for you ( with axes ) and you would have had an electrical fire to report to the insurance company.
    The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shawelectric View Post
    I was thinking of replacing all the breakers with arcfault breakers and if any trip ,then rewire that circuit ...instead of rewiring whole house.
    What do you think?
    See what not being informed about arcfault breakers does? A false sense of security that they will protect against something that you have been led to believe that they will. Here we have an example of how believing in AFCIs put lives at risk. Instead of doing a complete rewire, let's save money and let AFCI breakers find the problems and shut down the circuits.

    Very bad idea that puts your customer's lives at risk as well as your business and future. If it's as bad as you say, I would only recommend rewiring and walk away. I wouldn't touch ANYTHING because if you do you are responsible for everything that happens after that.

    I don't think you would be happy about being brought up on charges or being sued for wrongful death if someone dies.

    -Hal

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    Remember that Arc Fault detection does not even make a pretense of detecting glowing connections (ohmic faults rather than arcs.) And parallel arcs will not be detected if under 75A peak.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

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    If I looked in the attic and saw glowing cable sheath, I'm turning off everything I feel comfortable with turning off to make it stop, maybe even disconnecting circuit from breaker/fuse and if customer wants nothing more from me, that is fine. Most the time they want you to fix it, or disable it to make it safer to be in the house. Should they choose to reconnect it, that should be on them if it burns the house down. A little documentation of details may help out down the road should you get blamed for anything.

    If this were something hazardous with a gas line or gas appliance, gas companies just shut of the gas service and refuse to reconnect until problem is resolved. They may or may not be hired to make repairs, but will not turn on gas to anything they deem unsafe, including ventilation of exhaust gases.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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    If I saw that in the attic I would wonder where else it was happening that I couldn't see.

    -Hal

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    Quote Originally Posted by growler View Post
    If there were glowing BX cables there should have been a lot of smoke. You don't need a blaze to have an electrical fire. If they had called the Fire Department they would have come out and opened up the walls for you ( with axes ) and you would have had an electrical fire to report to the insurance company.
    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    If I looked in the attic and saw glowing cable sheath, I'm turning off everything I feel comfortable with turning off to make it stop, maybe even disconnecting circuit from breaker/fuse and if customer wants nothing more from me, that is fine. Most the time they want you to fix it, or disable it to make it safer to be in the house. Should they choose to reconnect it, that should be on them if it burns the house down. A little documentation of details may help out down the road should you get blamed for anything.

    If this were something hazardous with a gas line or gas appliance, gas companies just shut of the gas service and refuse to reconnect until problem is resolved. They may or may not be hired to make repairs, but will not turn on gas to anything they deem unsafe, including ventilation of exhaust gases.
    Quote Originally Posted by hbiss View Post
    If I saw that in the attic I would wonder where else it was happening that I couldn't see.

    -Hal
    Agreed


    If I saw glowing in the attic and found issue with BX , I would assume it to be that way elsewhere. I would cut the power, fully document and make recommendations.
    I would not be just fixing sections unless I knew absolutely that the fixed section were the only involved.


    Sorry I aint gonna risk me or my boss's license or mine or be responsible for safety of the family living there.

    Those folks would be staying in a hotel until fully fixed !

  10. #10
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    Agreed on documenting, w/further consideration

    I'm the last spark in a 9 unit K&T disaster in my town

    Condemned by the (then) state AHJ ,who wrote it up as 'having 6 months to come up to code'

    That was 6-7 years ,and two AHJ's ago....~RJ~

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