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Old 10-23-2010, 05:54 AM   #1
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


What does the date printed on romex wires mean?
Is it the date they were manufactured?

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Old 10-23-2010, 07:06 AM   #2
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


No thats the expiry date, if has not been installed by that date you have to throw it out and buy new stuff, same idea as a jug of milk.

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Old 10-23-2010, 08:48 AM   #3
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


Like my Grandpappy used to say: Always better to be a smart@$$ than a dumb@$$......

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Old 10-23-2010, 09:08 AM   #4
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


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No thats the expiry date, if has not been installed by that date you have to throw it out and buy new stuff, same idea as a jug of milk.
Don't ya hate it when the electrons leak out, it loses all it's fizz, and starts to smell funky??
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:32 AM   #5
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


Yup, and it's next to impossible to scrub those damn electrons out of the carpet......

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Old 10-23-2010, 11:01 AM   #6
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


Just like when the smoke escapes from electronic devices, you can spend hours putting the smoke back in but it still never works the same.

By the way the date is probably the manufactuering date.
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:31 AM   #7
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


It's called the "date code" same as the serial number for tracking and recalls if required.
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Old 10-23-2010, 01:07 PM   #8
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


Thanks guys.

And per the analogy, yes, something definitely "stinks" up in the attic with respect to the wiring.

THe reason I asked about the date code is because I'm trying to figure out when certain work was done.

I just bought a duplex and like many foreclosed properties, the electrical is a mess. A hodgepodge of very old original wiring combined with updates through the years, and then new work from the previous owner that tried to remodel and then ran out of money and was foreclosed upon.

Before attempting to debug any of the mess, the 1st thing I had done was have the 2 panels updated from the faulty Federal ones in the closet to up to date ones out of the closet.

Now the real fun begins.

However, I'm seeing a lot of improper work that I suspect may be the result of the electrician I had update the panels cutting corners.

For example, I'm seeing older 10 gauge wires junctioned to newer 12 guage wires and then routed to the panel on a 20A breaker.
While this is OK safety wise, it means the circuit no longer supports 30A, and I'm trying to figure out if it already was that way, or if my electrician saved a few bucks by using higher guage wire.

Since I didn't examine any of the wiring prior to having the panel changed, I have no real way to tell, other than the fact that there's a date code on the romex.

So, if the date is as Darren 1st suggested, an expiry date, then there is no evidence that these wires were installed by my electrician.
But if the date is a manufacturing date, then that says it all because the date is from around May 2010, and the property has been in foreclosure for
over 6 months.
So the only work performed since Hune was my guy, and thus, the gunis smoking.

THere are other issues with stuff I had him do that doesn't meet code and am going ot have ripped out (for example, he installed a 220V dryer line for me using 3 wire (White/Black and Ground) with no neutral (for 4 prong), or at the very least, a neutral instead of ground for 3 prong.
Obviously, he thought he could save money on the wire and that no one would inspect, and he lost his poker hand. I'm just deciding if a) just don't pay for faulty work, or b) pursue with the board of licensing.
None the less, none of that's important now, I just mention to give more perspective.
All I care about at this instant is knowing exactly what the wire date means so that I can do my own "forensics" in tracking exactly what he did vs. what other incompetent people did before I bought the property.

Thanks again guys...
-Lee
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Old 10-23-2010, 01:13 PM   #9
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


About the "uses" of the manufacturing code...

I wonder if unusually thorough building code inspectors might look at the wire date codes and then see who owned the property when the work was done, and if recent work, might use that as legal recourse to go after licenses (or lack of) to pursue things like lack of permit or improper work and who did it.

If so, it almost seems like there might be a commodity market for "older" wire with an older date code for use by "joe handyman" that does electrical work with out a license and doesn't want it tracked to him. lol

--Just liek unlicensed AC people that buy freon on the "black market".

It would be funny (well not really) if 3 year old wire is being sold on ebay for 3X the original cost. haha
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:29 AM   #10
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


Just an update you guys might find "interesting".

Last, I mentioned the incorrect 2-wire WG dryer circuit he wired.

Today, I went up to the attic and pulled it out since it needs to be 3 WG.
In doing so, I found that he had spliced it together int he attic with out a junction box, and hidden wedged under the floor boards stuffed between very dry old wood.

THis is a pretty severe code violation, isn't it?

Not only is is the splice done w/out a protective junction box, but it's totally hidden and worse, hidden wedged in dry flamable wood.

THis electrician I realized is only a Journeyman.
I think it's time for a master since at this point, I'de be better off doign the work myself...

THanks for the ear...
-Lee
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:43 AM   #11
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


Quote:
Originally Posted by leebirnbaum View Post
About the "uses" of the manufacturing code...

I wonder if unusually thorough building code inspectors might look at the wire date codes and then see who owned the property when the work was done, and if recent work, might use that as legal recourse to go after licenses (or lack of) to pursue things like lack of permit or improper work and who did it.

If so, it almost seems like there might be a commodity market for "older" wire with an older date code for use by "joe handyman" that does electrical work with out a license and doesn't want it tracked to him. lol

--Just liek unlicensed AC people that buy freon on the "black market".

It would be funny (well not really) if 3 year old wire is being sold on ebay for 3X the original cost. haha
I bought quite a few rolls of wire a few years ago
It was when 12-2 was $29 a roll
I used that stuff for years
Quite the price shock when I went back & saw the price was @$99
I bought 3 rolls back in 08 when I started my addition
Just using the last of it up now

I've never had my Inspector look at any date codes
I've heard - urban legend ? - that insurance companies may check date codes to see when work was completed if damage/fire was caused by electric work
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:06 AM   #12
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


BEWARE of installations that have 12-2 spliced to "older" 10-2 wires. Those 10-2 wires may be aluminum ... I'd check that aspect out!
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:22 AM   #13
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


Quote:
Originally Posted by leebirnbaum View Post
Since I didn't examine any of the wiring prior to having the panel changed, I have no real way to tell, other than the fact that there's a date code on the romex.

So, if the date is as Darren 1st suggested, an expiry date, then there is no evidence that these wires were installed by my electrician.
But if the date is a manufacturing date, then that says it all because the date is from around May 2010, and the property has been in foreclosure for
over 6 months.
So the only work performed since Hune was my guy, and thus, the gunis smoking.

Thanks again guys...
-Lee
There is no such thing as an expiration date on wire
That was meant as a joke..........
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:07 PM   #14
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


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BEWARE of installations that have 12-2 spliced to "older" 10-2 wires. Those 10-2 wires may be aluminum ... I'd check that aspect out!
Fortunately, no aluminum wiring.
When I see that, I just have it all updated (or even better, stay away from buying the property).
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:09 PM   #15
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What does the date printed on romex wires mean?


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
There is no such thing as an expiration date on wire
That was meant as a joke..........
I figured as much.

I would think the outside plastic wrap would deteriate (and thus the date not be ledgable) long before the copper or insulation on the wire...

Meaning, that if you can't read the date, it's "expired".

Kind of like the bumper stickers that say, "If you can read this, you're too close". (only the opposite in analogy).

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