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Mar 13, 2023

Do You Need to Replace Cloth Wiring?

If your home was built in the 1960s or earlier, there is a good chance cloth wiring was used in the electrical system. As the name implies, cloth wiring is an older type of wiring that is insulated with cloth. Cloth wiring was used in the 1960s or earlier before thermoplastic wiring became commonplace. This type of wiring is not only a fire hazard, but it also comes with many downsides. That’s why it’s advisable to replace cloth wiring if it’s used in your home.

Let’s look at some of the compelling reasons to replace cloth wiring.


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  • Outdated: As we’ve already mentioned, cloth wiring was used in the 1960s or earlier. That means if you have cloth wiring in your home, the wiring is more than 60 years old. The life expectancy of electrical wiring in ideal conditions is 50 to 70 years. Therefore, any cloth wiring used in your electrical system is more likely to have deteriorated. Outdated wiring is one of the leading causes of electrical fires. If your wiring has reached the end of its life expectancy, call a reliable electrician to help you with rewiring your property.
  • Fire hazard: Unlike thermoplastic wiring, cloth wiring frays at the ends and exposes the wire underneath because of its brittleness. This can lead to potential heat exposure and fire hazards. Furthermore, cloth wiring heats up easily, which makes it a serious fire hazard.
  • Lack of grounding: Old wiring, including cloth wiring, tends to lack proper grounding, which is necessary to provide a safe place for excess electrical charges to go. Ungrounded wiring drastically increases personal and property risks.
  • Insect or rodent damage: Cloth insulation has a tendency to become brittle, so it’s susceptible to insect and rodent damage. The insulator can easily be bitten through and expose the wire underneath. This increased the risk of electrical arcing, electric shock, and electrical fires.
  • May contain asbestos: Asbestos was the preferred insulation material from the mid-1860s through the late 1970s. Some old types of wiring were insulated with asbestos paper and cotton material. That means there’s a good chance some cloth wiring may contain asbestos, which is an extremely dangerous carcinogenic material.

How Do You Know If Your Home Has Cloth Wiring?

If your home was built in the 1960s or earlier, there’s a very good chance that you have cloth wiring. To be sure, it’s advisable to call a nearby electrician to inspect your electrical wiring to determine if cloth wiring is used.

Contact Mr. Electric for Electrical Rewiring and All of Your Residential and Commercial Electrical Needs

Rewiring your house comes with an upfront cost, but it’s a worthwhile investment. By rewiring your electrical system, you’ll make your home safer and more energy-efficient, and of course, increase its value. If you’re looking for professional electricians to undertake electrical rewiring in your home or business, reach out to Mr. Electric. In addition to electrical rewiring, we provide electrical repair services, lighting installation, electrical safety inspections, and electrical installations such as circuits, EV chargers, generators, ceiling fans, and electrical outlets.


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