How old is this wire? - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum
CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY, IT'S FREE!
Go Back   Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum > Electrical Forum > General Electrical Discussion


Like Tree3Likes
  • 1 Post By Islander
  • 1 Post By Flyingsod
  • 1 Post By Signal1
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-09-2016, 07:49 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Islander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 315
Rewards Points: 630
Default How old is this wire?

Sorry, no pics, but I came across some old 12 / 2 wire today, and I haven't seen anything quite like it. The hot and neutral conductors had some form of plastic insulation (similar to NMD). Those, along with a stranded bond conductor, were wrapped with strands of thin paper or cloth. All of that was contained within a dark coloured heavier cloth that seemed rather sticky.

I'm guessing it is from the 50's or 60's, but I am not sure.

Oh, this is in western Canada, should that make a difference.
Wattson likes this.

Last edited by Islander; 11-09-2016 at 09:16 PM.
Islander is offline   Reply With Quote
Join Contractor Talk

Join the #1 Electrician Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

ElectricianTalk.com - Are you a Professional Electrical Contractor? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's the leading place for electricians to meet online. No homeowners asking DIY questions. Just fellow tradesmen who enjoy talking about their business, their trade, and anything else that comes up. No matter what your specialty is you'll find that ElectricianTalk.com is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally free!

Join ElectricianTalk.com - Click Here JOIN FOR FREE


Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ElectricianTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-09-2016, 08:01 PM   #2
Petulant Amateur
 
99cents's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Perky Nipples, Canada
Posts: 20,654
Rewards Points: 11,673
Default

I have seen it before but not often. I'm thinking 60's because it does have a bond wire.
99cents is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2016, 08:17 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 660
Rewards Points: 114
Default

Sounds like it might be MI mineral insulated. That stuff is great. Rodents don't like it the way they like Romex.

Sent from my C6725 using Tapatalk
MechanicalDVR likes this.
Flyingsod is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-10-2016, 11:50 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Alberta
Posts: 1,003
Rewards Points: 416
Default

Late sixties, early seventies had a braided outer cover that seemed impregnated with tar and paper inner.
some green, orange, grey
mitch65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2016, 01:17 PM   #5
Gold Pliers Champion
 
Signal1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Boston Area
Posts: 2,280
Rewards Points: 2,130
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingsod View Post
Sounds like it might be MI mineral insulated. That stuff is great. Rodents don't like it the way they like Romex.

Sent from my C6725 using Tapatalk
MI Cable looks like copper tubing (photo from Mike Holt)

What the OP has sounds like an earlier version of NM before they started using a thermoplastic sheath. It was a woven/braided cloth coated with a waxy substance to make it moisture resistant.

50's or 60's sounds about right.
Attached Thumbnails
How old is this wire?-micable01.jpg  

Flyingsod likes this.
Signal1 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Signal1 For This Useful Post:
Flyingsod (11-11-2016)
Old 11-10-2016, 01:31 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Islander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 315
Rewards Points: 630
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Signal1 View Post
MI Cable looks like copper tubing (photo from Mike Holt)

What the OP has sounds like an earlier version of NM before they started using a thermoplastic sheath. It was a woven/braided cloth coated with a waxy substance to make it moisture resistant.

50's or 60's sounds about right.
It was the stranded bond wire that had me wondering. I've seen other variations of cloth covered NM, but every one of them had solid bond wires.

Thanks, everyone!
Islander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2016, 01:55 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
canbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Just North of Calgary
Posts: 786
Rewards Points: 1,544
Default

I'm guessing 40s to 50s, maybe a bit earlier. I've seen and worked with it quit a bit. Reno's in older homes. Your hands end up pretty dirty and you need a sharp knife to cut that outer jacket.

Tim
canbug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2016, 02:09 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
MikeFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 5,387
Rewards Points: 2,872
Default

My house was built in '46 and was full of it until I gutted the whole building. It's good stuff. If it weren't for that federal pacific panel on fire it'd probably still be in there.
__________________
Michael Gookin, President
GPS Timers

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

(833) GPS-TIME
MikeFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2016, 04:37 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Alberta
Posts: 1,003
Rewards Points: 416
Default

missed the stranded bond wire part
mitch65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2016, 10:17 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 683
Rewards Points: 52
Default

That pic is called MI cable. Mineral Insulated. I've never worked with it. Never even seen it.
TRurak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2016, 10:23 AM   #11
Petulant Amateur
 
99cents's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Perky Nipples, Canada
Posts: 20,654
Rewards Points: 11,673
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRurak View Post
That pic is called MI cable. Mineral Insulated. I've never worked with it. Never even seen it.
Used as heat tracing, primarily industrial temperature maintenance. Also used as wiring in plenums but rarely.
99cents is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2016, 01:55 PM   #12
Gold Pliers Champion
 
Signal1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Boston Area
Posts: 2,280
Rewards Points: 2,130
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRurak View Post
That pic is called MI cable. Mineral Insulated. I've never worked with it. Never even seen it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 99cents View Post
Used as heat tracing, primarily industrial temperature maintenance. Also used as wiring in plenums but rarely.
It is used when a very high fire rating and survivability to attack by fire is required.
Some examples of where I have used it is to feed elevator machine rooms in several skyscrapers, generator feeds to the transfer switch at Boston's Children's Hospital, fire pumps etc.

What you see in that pic is three 3-phase 4w feeders, probably from an emergency distribution panel.

It is not too hard to work with if you invest in the right tools, mainly the sheath removal tool. Kind of works like a can opener.

Last edited by Signal1; 11-11-2016 at 02:00 PM.
Signal1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2016, 10:00 PM   #13
Electrical Contractor
 
wcord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 3,812
Rewards Points: 1,580
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Signal1 View Post
It is used when a very high fire rating and survivability to attack by fire is required.
Some examples of where I have used it is to feed elevator machine rooms in several skyscrapers, generator feeds to the transfer switch at Boston's Children's Hospital, fire pumps etc.

What you see in that pic is three 3-phase 4w feeders, probably from an emergency distribution panel.

It is not too hard to work with if you invest in the right tools, mainly the sheath removal tool. Kind of works like a can opener.
And you have to make sure absolutely no moisture gets into the magnesium oxide
__________________
Nothing is to be gained by arguing with fools.
Nothing can be gained by reasoning with ignorant people.
wcord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2016, 10:04 PM   #14
Electrical Contractor
 
wcord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 3,812
Rewards Points: 1,580
Default

The tar and paper stranded ground started to show up in Manitoba around 55 or so.
And since grounded receptacles were not common, most electricians would bond the ground and cut off the tail ( some just cut the ground right where it came into the box, forget bonding it)
__________________
Nothing is to be gained by arguing with fools.
Nothing can be gained by reasoning with ignorant people.
wcord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2016, 10:38 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
CADPoint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Temp in SC
Posts: 2,164
Rewards Points: 1,838
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by canbug View Post
I'm guessing 40s to 50s, maybe a bit earlier. I've seen and worked with it quit a bit.
Tim
I'm in a house built in 44', that's all the house was wired with, neutral and hot
in rubber with tar paper. But the copper was brazed/ dipped over aluminum.
never had any electrical problems just had no three prong plugs in the house...

Guess I should fix the rest of the situations to pass a home inspection...
__________________
If you are even thirsty, you are two quarts low.
CADPoint is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2016, 08:29 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Service Call's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Daytona Beach
Posts: 1,872
Rewards Points: 28
Default

We used MI on launch towers, where as said before, has a high heat/flame tolerance.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Service Call is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2016, 12:40 PM   #17
Old Grumpy Bastard
 
MechanicalDVR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Old Dominion"
Posts: 59,296
Rewards Points: 1,008
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CADPoint View Post
I'm in a house built in 44', that's all the house was wired with, neutral and hot
in rubber with tar paper. But the copper was brazed/ dipped over aluminum.
never had any electrical problems just had no three prong plugs in the house...

Guess I should fix the rest of the situations to pass a home inspection...
I recall using that type cable as a kid. It would stick together from the tar in the jacket when you tried to reel it out. Left your hands black and sticky as well. Never realized it went back into the 1940s.
__________________
I'm as Christian as possible in the times we live in.

Always just a stallion in a china shop
MechanicalDVR is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2016, 02:52 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
JRaef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Posts: 5,085
Rewards Points: 2,054
Default

Some of that old cloth looking stuff had asbestos in it, so be careful.

This is a decent guide to knowing what you are working with when you come across old wiring.

http://inspectapedia.com/electric/Ol...#Asbestos_Wire
__________________
"If you don't know where you're going, then any direction will do." -- Lewis Carroll
JRaef is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
16 AWG wire ampacity at higher temperatures Paul Kraemer General Electrical Discussion 5 10-13-2016 05:41 PM
is it OK to use the wire connector to connect the ground wire inside the drop ceiling mike883 General Electrical Discussion 29 07-20-2016 12:37 PM
Branch circuit wire for a 12v dc off grid solar cabin Off Grid Alternative Energy Forum 14 05-12-2016 08:13 AM
Wire Strippers for #18 stranded 2 conductor !Tom Tools, Equipment and New Products 22 05-04-2016 08:22 PM
8ga Aluminum Oven Wire vs 8ga Copper Wire? savatreatabvr General Electrical Discussion 17 01-13-2016 07:57 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | PlumbingZone.com | RoofingTalk.com