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Old 03-16-2010, 06:15 PM   #1
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Help with Light Fixture - Braided Romex, possible Arc, is wiring safe?


Hi...I was up working on a ceiling light fixture and noticed there was some fraying of the exposed wiring on the fixture (see photos, attached). Worth repairing that...I took the fixture down.

Looking at the wiring in the recepticle - I want to make sure it is in good condition to put a new or the repaired light back.

This is an older home (1923) - almost all of the wiring has been upgraded to the newer Romex, with the exception of one circuit for two rooms (in all, 3 ceiling lights and 4 wall outlets). For consistency...I would love to just replace this, but budget is a question.

Would love feedback on the attached photos of the ceiling wiring. I understand the extra wires that are spliced and go to the wall switch...but some questions...

1. Integrity of braided romex. There are some black marks on one of the wires.
2. In ATT....404 - In the center there is an aluminum wire - it comes out of the romex sheathing in the conduit - not sure what it does. It did not appear to be attached to anything on the fixture.
3. The orange wire nut with the white wire in it...out of there is a brown wire (that connected to one wire on the light) via another nut...any issue with that configuration? Why would they use an intermediate wire to go between the two nuts?

Any feedback in general or on the questions is appreciated. Thanks,

Nick
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:20 PM   #2
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Help with Light Fixture - Braided Romex, possible Arc, is wiring safe?


That wiring pre-dates non-metallic cable. It is either knob and tube or early BX cable.

Where the braid is bad looks like it is the actual fixture wiring and not from the ceiling. You could have the fixture rewired.

I would lose the short wires and just connect to the ceiling wires.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:44 AM   #3
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Help with Light Fixture - Braided Romex, possible Arc, is wiring safe?


Understood and agreed - thank you.

Question as to the middle photo - any thoughts on that aluminum wire in the middle of the photo?
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:59 AM   #4
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Help with Light Fixture - Braided Romex, possible Arc, is wiring safe?


Quote:
Originally Posted by cntnick View Post

Question as to the middle photo - any thoughts on that aluminum wire in the middle of the photo?
it looks like the bonding wire used in AC cable.

have you found any cable in this house that has a spiral wound metal sheath?
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:15 AM   #5
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Help with Light Fixture - Braided Romex, possible Arc, is wiring safe?


Not that I have seen - a lot of the wiring has been updated...this older cloth braided is largely enclosed in metal conduit (as far as I can tell).

I have seen the cloth braided wire when I replaced a light fixutre in a separate room - but it was more straight forward there and there was no spiral wound metal sheath or aluminum wire - as in the photo here.
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:22 AM   #6
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Help with Light Fixture - Braided Romex, possible Arc, is wiring safe?


if you notice, the fitting is unique also. It looks quite similar to an AC connector:



I suspect it is AC cable. If so, the aluminum wire would be a bond wire that is enclosed in the metal sheath so the sheath can be used as an equipment grounding conductor (EGC).

there is no required or specified method of terminating such a bonding wire. Currently, most folks bend the wire back over the sheath before putting the connector on the cable. I have known a few that would tie it into the EGC system that may be present from newer NM cable or such.
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