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Old 02-03-2017, 02:16 PM   #1
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Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


We had a new wall built in front of our bed headboard. Behind the drywall (behind our heads) are power cables.

Due to our personal concerns about EMF coming from the cables whilst we sleep (see http://www.gustenviro.com/bedroom_emf.html ) we had a different building biologist come and install a solution.

The solution was to wrap the cables in aluminum tape and ground that tape to a grounding plate which was already in place for unrelated cell tower shielding using ceiling Y-Shield paint.

As you can see in the video at https://goo.gl/photos/fqJTfCVYjj7WGSRx6 the tape surrounds the cables, then is connected up to the ceiling plate, which is connected to a unique ground rod outside.

Our contractor saw this and became alarmed. He said it was unsafe. Some of his comments:

- If there is a short it could make a fire
- If lightning strikes the roof it could catch fire
- Aluminium conducts faster than copper so it could make a fire

My question to you fine folks is simply, who is right? The other building biologist or the contractor? In other words, is this unsafe?

Thanks!!
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:24 PM   #2
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


I am not going to weigh in on the EMF issue, but, any grounding systems installed all need to be bonded together. You cannot have two independent systems.
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:36 PM   #3
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


When you say "power cables", are referring to a run of say, 14/2 romex to feed some outlets and lights or are is it something bigger like a service entrance cable?
I am not a contractor and don't have a massive background in house construction but I would lean towards trusting the contractor who builds for living, and not a building biologist who has a fancy degree. And I'd be interested in learning more about this EMF threat that every homeowner is currently facing. I can't see a 120V circuit being surround by much of a field. Sounds like a bunch of BS to me.

I'm hoping somebody with an electrical background will chime in and give you a better answer. I'm interested in what they will have to say


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Old 02-03-2017, 02:36 PM   #4
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


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I am not going to weigh in on the EMF issue, but, any grounding systems installed all need to be bonded together. You cannot have two independent systems.
To clarify, the grounding for the ceiling paint and EMF tape are not related to electrical grounding, they're sort of chalk and cheese, so they are separated for that reason.

Thanks!!
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:37 PM   #5
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


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When you say "power cables", are referring to a run of say, 14/2 romex to feed some outlets and lights or are is it something bigger like a service entrance cable?
I am not a contractor and don't have a massive background in house construction but I would lean towards trusting the contractor who builds for living, and not a building biologist who has a fancy degree. And I'd be interested in learning more about this EMF threat that every homeowner is currently facing. I can't see a 120V circuit being surround by much of a field. Sounds like a bunch of BS to me.

I'm hoping somebody with an electrical background will chime in and give you a better answer. I'm interested in what they will have to say


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Thanks for your input. You are correct, the cables are just 3 outlets and 2 light switches.

My main concern is whether it's a fire risk in reality, rather than whether EMF is a threat. It may not be a threat, this is just a backup "in case" due to my own personal preference. But I don't want the backup to be more dangerous than the thing it is potentially shielding against.

Thanks!!
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:57 PM   #6
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


How much did you pay this "building biologist"? I would remove your tinfoil hat as well as the grounding paint(?). Silliness IMO


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Old 02-03-2017, 03:02 PM   #7
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


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How much did you pay this "building biologist"? I would remove your tinfoil hat as well as the grounding paint(?). Silliness IMO


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Not much and not the point 😉

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Old 02-03-2017, 03:15 PM   #8
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


Just what metal tape (mfg and model #) did they use ?
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:18 PM   #9
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


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Just what metal tape (mfg and model #) did they use ?
I'll have to find out when I'm home but it's very thin, from Home Depot, tears easily.

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Old 02-03-2017, 03:20 PM   #10
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


Honestly I think the extra fire risk - though it's not much - will cost you more potential life years than the EMF generated by those wires.
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:22 PM   #11
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


Metal duct tape , $6. Special tape installed by someone with a made up title $375.
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:24 PM   #12
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


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Metal duct tape , $6. Special tape installed by someone with a made up title $375.
I came in fully expecting these jokes 👍😂

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Old 02-03-2017, 03:28 PM   #13
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


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Originally Posted by Starglider View Post
To clarify, the grounding for the ceiling paint and EMF tape are not related to electrical grounding, they're sort of chalk and cheese, so they are separated for that reason.

Thanks!!
It can't be separated. The two systems must be bonded together. Not only is it explicitly required by the NEC to bond all grounding systems together, you would also be required to bond this installation anyways because it is conductive and likely to become energized by a fault. It is very problematic to have an independent, un-bonded grounding system in a building because any fault which energizes that system will NOT trip a circuit breaker, and will electrify all of the "grounded" parts. Bond your supplemental grounding system to your normal grounding system.

As far as your contractors other concerns though, I would say they are unwarranted. For the first point, short circuits should not cause fires if code compliant construction is used. I see no reason to think that aluminum tape could pose a fire risk. On the second point, if lightning strikes your roof the house will be on fire anyway and the aluminum tape is the least of your concerns. Third, aluminum does not "conduct faster than copper" - that isn't even a meaningful statement and has nothing to do with this situation anyway.
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:30 PM   #14
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


Metal duct tape as in HVAC tape ?
I would think that's a code violation.

I also think that in my state you could nail the "building biologist" for contracting without a license.
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Old 02-03-2017, 04:21 PM   #15
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Re: Is aluminum tape around power cables for EMF reduction unsafe?


My concern is heat. All wires get warm when current passes through them. That is basic physics. Cable is tested and rated to dissipate heat at a certain rate. You'll find the ratings, etc. stamped on the cable. You now have wrapped a thermal blanket around the cable with that metal insulating tape. The heat cannot get out. It is similar to the rule about not putting romex into conduit (except for short distances to protect the cable). If you are running high current loads through the cable (do you have any electric space heaters plugged into the circuits for example), the cable might get too warm. And if they are located in an exterior wall, it is already having to deal with the insulation in that wall. Just remember that cables like to "breathe"
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