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Hi. Just bought a house built in 1955. Some of the electrical has been updated, but the house still has a lot of cloth wiring of various textures and colors. Some of it is fraying and it looks like it could have asbestos inside (see photo). I am considering having the house re-wired but if this stuff has asbestos in it then I don't want it haphazardly removed spreading fibers everywhere. Should it be professionally remediated? Can this stuff be encapsulated with electrical tape? Are there any other known methods of encapsulation?

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Hi. Just bought a house built in 1955. Some of the electrical has been updated, but the house still has a lot of cloth wiring of various textures and colors. Some of it is fraying and it looks like it could have asbestos inside (see photo). I am considering having the house re-wired but if this stuff has asbestos in it then I don't want it haphazardly removed spreading fibers everywhere. Should it be professionally remediated? Can this stuff be encapsulated with electrical tape? Are there any other known methods of encapsulation?

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That wiring probably doesn't have asbestos. It looks like more modern cloth sheathed NM. Check this out. From old NEC.


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Sure you could encapsulate it with electrical tape, but by doing so you will spread asbestos fibers into the air, which will be many times more dangerous than just leaving it alone would be.

Perhaps a heavy coat of Killz spray paint might be a better option if it's really bothering you.
 

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The asbestos was used in high temperature wiring insulation. I don't think this applies in your case.
 
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To relieve your mind I suggest the you take a small sample of the fibers concerned into the open air outside and (with an appropriate mask on your face) attempt to ignite them - using an accelerant, such as methylated spirit/denatured alcohol, if required.
If they burn away to nothing but ash they do not contain Asbestos.
If any solid fibers remain, they may be of Asbestos.
 

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Does the cable sheathing contain asbestos? If not, just remove sections of wire carefully.
 

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According to my required Asbestos class. As long as your not bothering it there is little to worry about. It is only dangerous when friable, producing dust/small particles.
I would not be concerned at all with what you pictures showed.

Fun fact, most of the domestic water systems use concrete asbestos pipe to deliver water.
A-OK to drink just do not breathe it.
 

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I doubt that it is asbestos containing. Small amounts of asbestos are not a death sentence. I would not be concerned about it but if I was concerned I would turn off the power, spray the wire with water and a couple of drops of dish soap, and remove it wet.
 
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