Cloth-Covered Wiring – How To Identify

Cloth Insulated WringA common topic among homeowners is regarding the residential electrical panel. This component houses the circuit breakers and/or fuses and electrical wiring. The wiring runs from the electrical panel to every outlet, light switch, light fixture, HVAC thermostat, and other electrical-powered devices.

Residential and commercial electrical systems have improved over the years, thanks to state-of-the-art technologies. First, there was knob-and-tube wiring, which was replaced by cloth-covered wiring and then the modern electrical wiring.

Cloth-Covered Electrical Wiring – How To Identify It?

In the 50s, most electricians opted to utilize electrical wiring that was insulated with some type of fabric. During this era, it was believed that cloth-covered wiring was safer than knob-and-tube electrical wiring. While this theory was true at the time, today, it is believed both types of electrical wiring pose a fire risk.

Cloth-covered wiring was affordable, accessible, and easier to install compared to knob-and-tube wiring.

Cloth-covered wiring stuck around for nearly 20 years, at which time, it was replaced by the modern-day plastic-covered electrical wiring.

To identify the type of wiring installed in your home, you will need to access your crawlspace, basement, attic, or electrical panel. Knob-and-tube wiring is very obvious since it is wrapped around tubes constructed from high-quality ceramic. Cloth-covered electrical wiring, on the other hand, has a cloth covering, which, in many cases, will be peeling and flaking off.

Why Has Cloth-Covered Electrical Wiring Been Declared A ‘Fire Risk”

As previously mentioned, the cloth utilized to covered electrical wiring in the 50s deteriorates and breaks off. When this occurs, the tiny fragments of cloth has the tendency to come into contact with exposed wiring, resulting in an electrical fire.

Rodents are also known to gnaw on the cloth, which can also result in breakage. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to prevent the deterioration of cloth-covered wiring. Even though rodent extermination is a great idea, it will do nothing to prevent the cloth-covered wiring from deteriorating.

Know What To Look For

The most commonly utilized electrical wiring has changed over the decades. However, some older homes built in the late 1800s and early 1900s may very well have either knob-and-tube wiring or cloth-covered wiring, both of which need to be replaced.

  • Knob-And-Tube Wiring – The electrical wiring is exposed to the elements. The setup is very unusual, with the wiring wrapped inside of rubber insulation. Since knob-and-tube wiring is exposed, it is very easy to identify.
  • Cloth-Covered Wiring – The electrical wiring is wrapped in cloth that becomes deteriorated over time. It is very easy to spot this type of wiring because the clothing covering should be visible.
  • Verify The Manufacturer – Manufacturers generally leave their logo on the exterior of their wiring products. Examine the electrical wiring, looking for a logo or brand name.
  • Hire An Electrician If you find it impossible to identify your electrical wiring, it is recommended to contact Queens Electrician. A licensed electrician will be dispatched to your home for an in-home electrical inspection.

Electrical Wiring Manufacturers

The companies responsible for electrical wiring include:

  • Essex
  • Narax
  • Triangle PWC
  • Southwire
  • Hatflex
  • Ammcoflex
  • Dutrax
  • Cirtrex
  • Cres-Flex

Cloth-Covered Electrical Rewiring

It is recommended to have knob-and-tube and cloth-covered electrical wiring replaced with plastic-covered electrical wiring. This is quite a task that requires a lot of manpower, electrical wiring installation skills, and special equipment. All of the things most homeowners do not possess.

Queens Electrician has a full team of licensed electricians, all of which are bonded, covered under a reputable insurance policy, and licensed with the State of New York.

Call for a free electrical inspection and quote. Our prices are competitive and affordable.

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