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drtngirl 10-06-2013 06:32 AM

Old wiring
My house was built in the late '40s/early '50s, I've got a few areas that have the original wiring in it. It is still in good condition inside the house from the looks where I took down a wall and is being contained. Under the house in the crawl space do I need to do anything there since it's asbestos?

oh'mike 10-06-2013 07:03 AM

What you need to know is this----is the old wiring grounded? Many houses of that age only had two wire cables---power and neutral--no ground---

Is the wire heavy enough for your use? 14 gauge is for 15 amps--12 G. is for 20 amps.

If your knowledge of wiring is lacking---hiring an electrician to check what you have and possibly up grade it would be a good investment.

Post a picture of what you have----one of the electricians here can help you assess the wiring.

drtngirl 10-06-2013 02:09 PM

The wires have been grounded and the plugs they go to are up to date grounded 3 prong sockets. Dishwasher and stove run on newer wiring. I guess I'm more concerned about the asbestos factor since I'll have to do some insulation work under the house.

RoyalAcresRod 10-06-2013 02:31 PM

"Under the house in the crawl space do I need to do anything there since it's asbestos"

What material is asbestos?

Oso954 10-06-2013 02:38 PM

Who identified it as containing asbestos ?
Did you have it examined by a laboratory to confirm the visual suspicion ?

drtngirl 10-06-2013 02:39 PM

The original wires are asbestos coating.

RoyalAcresRod 10-06-2013 02:41 PM

How did you determine the wires have an asbestos coating?

drtngirl 10-06-2013 03:30 PM

My dad said they were and it was a popular item back in that time frame.

RoyalAcresRod 10-06-2013 03:40 PM

Asbestos certainly was used a lot in that era ... But I really think you ought to somehow take a small piece to be tested. I'll bet you'll find it is not asbestos.

Oso954 10-06-2013 03:59 PM

While asbestos was used in that era, it would be fairly uncommon is house wiring. You would be far more likely to find it in the internal wires of an electric range, toaster, motor, etc. A high temperature application.

My guess is it is cloth covered NM.

I would say that the wall you opened up, if it was plaster or drywall, would be far more likely to have had asbestos in it.

Still the only way to be sure is to test it.
I would consider having the whole house inspected by a pro, and tests run on all suspect items found.

mpoulton 10-06-2013 05:37 PM


Originally Posted by drtngirl (Post 1250217)
The original wires are asbestos coating.

Almost certainly not, unless someone used a bunch of leftover wire from an industrial facility. They are most likely cotton cloth covered. Asbestos was only used for unusual types of high temperature wire.

Know A Little 10-06-2013 05:45 PM

The house insulation if any might be asbestos, the cable I doubt it.

You say you have ground (3-prong receptacles) how are they grounded, is the existing cable is 2-wire or is it 3 wire?

If you are concerned about the quality of the existing cables you could have an electrician meg them (megger-insulation resistance tester)

dmxtothemax 10-06-2013 05:47 PM

I dont remember asbestos used in domestic type electrical cables !
There was however a fibreglass over rubber coated style wire that would look like asbestos,
But it is not !

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