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Old 08-29-2007, 11:09 PM   #1
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Energized pink insulation

Hope someone has an answer to this strange situation....

First off im remodeling my washroom, gutted it and i also found out i have to fix my flooring. To the point, the wiring is all wrong and i was going to work on it. Tonight i was using a reciprocal saw to cut a 2x6 against the wall, i got a little jolt in my arms and legs. At this point i couldnt see any wires at all, so i grabed my little tester, its the one that beeps and blinks red when your close to a wire, and to my suprise, all my insulation is energized.

At first i though i must of breathed in too much dust or something, so i tried my meter on top of the vapor against the insulation and nothing, then once i go under the vapor plastic, it beeps.

At this point i pull out 3/4 strip from the wall and to my suprise, the insulation that is abotu 4 feet from the wall but still have a foot in the wall is still giving me voltage reading. Now i know those little meters arent always acurate, but after i touched the insulation on the floor and a ground, i got a shock again.

What is going on here, can pink insulation cary a little charge? maybe it has a little humidity in it?

The wires in the wall are 14-2 but none of the grounds arent connected and there is no junction boxs, they just twisted, caped, then tapped. I know this is wrong and that was my next step after i fix the floor.

Any ideas?


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Old 08-30-2007, 01:02 AM   #2
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weird, glass does not conduct/ binder is phenolic resin/ then asphalt mastic to adhere to kraft paper jacket for standard Batt insul ... Pink is OC not sure how they get the pink. Maybe RED DYE #5. might cause cancer ... support conduction? Plastic? poor conductor.

Never cut what you can not see.

Just like your momma told you... if you play with it to much, it will fall off.

let us know how this solves.


Last edited by Big Bob; 08-30-2007 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:48 AM   #3
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Today after work im going to dive in to the wiring. I think there is a short somewhere and its giving the insulation a little current, this is the reason the current tester doesnt work on top of the vapor plastic only under when its touching insulation directly.

The main 14-2 wire comes up in the wall and like i said, it doesnt have a proper junction box, the wires are just tied, caped, then taped, with the ground wires just wrapped around its own 14-2. Im going to unplg everything and just cap my live wire, turning the breaker off first, then testing the insulation again. At this point im hoping that i dont have the problem, since i took all the wires off.

From this point on im going to add 1 wire at a time to determine which one is causing this weird problem. Then once i find it i can address it and also seewhere is the problem with it. I dont want just to fix this problem, id like to actually find where its causing the insulation to energize.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:54 PM   #4
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Pink insulation can not carry any current unless it is wet or has a foil vapour barrier.
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:27 PM   #5
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This is a new one on me. I have laid in insulation 1000s of time and worked with hot wires without a shock. If it is blown-in insulation, there is nothing that can conduct the current. If it is from a roll with foil barrier, the foil could conduct.

The tester you are using probably work by means of capacitance and as such can give false readings. I have one that will chirp when I wave it through the air. My guess, you hit a wire with your sawzall or a wire is pinched by a staple.

Let us know how you make out.
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