a query for the electrically minded folk.
i have discovered some of this type of wiring in the lighting
circuits for my house.the socket circuits are rewired with new cable
but the previous owner decided not to bother with removing it for the
lights . obviously it will have to be removed but im just interested
to know how old this cable would be and how urgently should i get it
replaced ( all electrics functioning ok but safety wise who knows?)
It old. In fact as far as electric installations go it's very old!
How old is the house?
Lead cable is probably circa late 1900's up to 30's. It was widely used.
Just imagine what it would cost these days!
From a safety angle it will be OK providing you don't overload it too much
as the inner current carrying cores may be fractured, especially if it's
been disturbed. The cores were usually steel and they can be brittle.
According to reg's though it needs to be replaced yesterday. I would make it
one of my priorities. It's awful stuff to remove too because it will
probably be clipped (with lead straps) to the joists every 1m or so. It's
also awful to joint into etc. I don't think it's as bad though as some of
the cloth wrapped stuff which is no doubt still in use in many old places.
That really is a fire waiting to happen.
On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 14:19:09 +0000, The Natural Philosopher wrote:
<snipped some real dangerous and ill-informed rubbish>
Lead sheathed cables used pbj (poly-butyl-jute) for insulation. The
stuff deriorates over time, and becomes brittle and liable to cracking.
Possible loose connections in switches or at ceiling roses, junction
boxes, etc, can generate localised heat spots, which in turn tend to
make the pbj turn powdery and crumbly, leading to a break-down of the
insulation. *Any* movement of the cables should be considered an
absolute no-no. I know of two or three house fires that were directly
attributed to old lead-sheathed wiring. It's a complete folly to rely on
modern protection devices to isolate any possible faults. That's too
late when your house is burning down coz a fire has started before the
The cables are well-past their life expectancy and should be replaced as
soon as posible.
With regard to the photos, he is confusing longevity with quality (clearly).
With regard to lead sheathed cable, the quality was always a bit suspect (if
moved about, and in the efficacy of the earth connections). It may be true
that lead sheathed cable will "last" 100 years but that doesn't make it good
quality in electrical/safety terms.
(anti-spam is as easy as 1-2-3 - not)
Not at all. Good things last. All the 100 year old crap has long since
decayed. By definition, if its been there 100 years and still works, its
probably pretty good.
Points about making sure the cable sheath is earthed, and making sure
its on a modern RCD system, are good. I've seen brand new PVC cable
eaten to a short by rodents.
Obviopusly if you are into a complete rewire, take out old stuff. But
its stupid to replace things that are working OK just because they are
made in a way you don't reognise. ESPECIALLY if they can be backed up by
a modern safety system.
Of course plastic MDPE would be much better. However, if the incoming is
lead and the house pipework copper, I wouldn't worry. I certainly wouldn't
fork out thousands to get it replaced. I'd get a little worried if the
internal pipework was all lead.
Yes. The building regs are rather good at lip pursing and preventing use
of something that is no longer the best practice, without going apeshit
and demanding it all be removed immediately...
Lead ahs been used less and less for everythuing, not so much because
its dangerous, as becauuse its expensive, and often not the best
material anyway. You can sill buy skads of teh stuff tho. For roofing.
GASP better not drink from the water butt then had we? We might de of
lead poisoning before the cholera got us...
On Fri, 21 Nov 2003 09:00:33 +0000, The Natural Philosopher wrote:
No it's not, you really are talking utter rubbish. If you bothered to
read my earlier post on the subject, you'll see *I* gave factual reasons
why it should be removed asap. You are just pushing some half-arsed
theory of your own that is without foundation in the real world.
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