The modern home’s electrical system is impressive and complicated. This is why it’s important to hire a professional to address necessary upgrades, from electrical panel replacements to lighting adjustments to generator installations. One upgrade you may not know you need to make, however, is getting rid of cloth wiring.
If your home was built roughly any time before 1970, there is a good chance cloth wiring was used in the construction. Cloth wiring has a cloth covering that is generally less safe and durable than the thermoplastic covering on most modern electrical wires. Keep reading to learn more about what to do if you have cloth wiring in your home and remember that for all your essential electrical services, you can always count on Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar.
The Top Reasons to Replace Cloth Wiring
- Cloth Wiring Wears Down Easier: over the years, it is extremely likely that the cloth covering on your wiring will become brittle, eventually cracking and breaking. This type of wiring is also more susceptible to damage from insects and rodents. Cloth wiring is also more likely to catch fire if your system overheats, making it a greater hazard than plastic wiring.
- Cloth Wiring Provides Poor Insulation: one of the reasons thermoplastic has become the norm for modern wiring is that it contains heat very well. Cloth wiring, on the other hand, heats up extremely easily, which makes it more likely to cause house fires.
- Cloth Wiring Often Comes with Knob-and-Tube Wiring: knob-and-tube wiring, also known as K&T wiring, uses ceramic knobs and tubes to run wires and tie them together. While K&T wiring used to be fairly common, it has been restricted in recent years by building permits across the United States. This is largely because K&T wiring is not compatible with ground conductors or GFCI outlets, which help protect your system from power surges and electrical arcing - when an unexpected electrical discharge occurs. It’s essential to get rid of K&T wiring and to top it off, most insurance companies won’t cover a home that has knob-and-tube wiring.
- Cloth Wiring May Contain Asbestos: because cloth wiring was installed before modern building codes, it was often put in homes that used asbestos during construction. As a result, even if the asbestos itself has been removed from a home, there may be some lingering material left around the home’s wiring. Asbestos-containing paper acts as a kind of insulation, so as the outer cloth around your wiring deteriorates, the carcinogenic particles from asbestos may remain. That’s why even if you are not going to have your cloth wiring replaced right away, it is important to have it inspected to ensure it does not contain asbestos.
How to Locate Cloth Wiring
Just because you live in a home that is more than 50 years old does not mean your house contains cloth wiring. After all, with the changes and renovations that are made to the average house over the years, it is fairly likely that your wiring was already upgraded before you even moved in. That said, it is still a good idea to hire an electrician to inspect your wiring if you do not know for sure. Even wiring that appears to have an outer rubberized layer may contain an inner layer of cloth insulation, so only a professional can really tell the difference.
While it may be difficult to afford the cost of rewiring your entire home, keep in mind that with the potential hazards you are avoiding, upgrading now could save you a lot of money in the long run. Plus, with our experts at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar, you will always get the best prices and the most efficient workmanship on the market. Call now for information about specials and financing and do not hesitate to hire our skilled electricians for a free estimate today.