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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. Short version: Can you please tell me what kind of wire this is, and if this section with frayed outside can be repaired safely? Photo attached..

More details: I'm remodeling a house I just bought in Phoenix, AZ. The house was built in 1969 but some of the wiring has been updated, so I'm not sure how old this wire is. The wire runs through the attic horizontally, then about 4' of slack loops around and it runs up to the HVAC unit on the roof. All the wire before and after this spot appear to be fine. I'm guessing this section used to be rubbing on something, but there is nothing near it now to rub on and strip back the sheathing like this. Thanks much
 

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That looks like the varnished fabric covered wire that was used briefly after knob & tube and before NM.. I'd say late 50's and into the 60's. It would have been old stock if used in a house built in '69.

Likely doesn't have a ground conductor.
 

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Yeah my moms old farm house built in '49 had that stuff in the attic, we ripped it all out and put in new Romex.
 

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Looks like old SE cable. It need to be replaced.

The outer conductor is used as the ground on straight 240 volt circuits.
 
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Yes, SE cable. The bare wrap around conductor is the neutral when used to feed a panel. No ground so not legal to use to feed a sub panel or 120/240 volt circuits. It used to be commonly used to feed a range when 3 wire service was legal. Not any more.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, Jim. Another guy below thinks it's fine to wrap/repair. I honestly have no idea. If you have time, can you please elaborate on why you wouldn't suggest wrapping it as a repair?


Looks like old SE cable. It need to be replaced.

The outer conductor is used as the ground on straight 240 volt circuits.
 

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There is no recognized method for repairing the sheath. It would be different if it were just a small snag.
 

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And why would you want to repair it? The damage is to the fiber sheath that is there to protect it from abrasion and the elements. It won't be seeing either of those while resting in the attic. From the looks of how it's slipped back, it may have gotten that damage 70 years ago when it was pulled in. If you want to do something worthwhile, replace it with an approved run to the rooftop AC and if there's no disconnect for the unit, provide one.

If it were me, I'd replace the entire run with EMT and THHN/THWN wires. If getting to the panel was a huge problem, then I'd cut the old cable and set a j-box to run EMT on up to the roof. I'm not sure you'll be able to find a code legal way to connect that to a j-box so the entire run replacement may be the only way. You'll have to do all this some day when some inspector see it so why not now at your own pace.
 

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A large junction box and a couple of Polaris connectors and a lug would be all that would be needed if spliced.
 
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