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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

Cloth Wiring Hazards

Cloth wiring is a common type of older electrical wire that was used in residential wiring.

If you have an older home, there may be an older version of wiring present which is much more dangerous than the new types of electrical wiring that are being used in homes today.

This type of wiring is found in homes built before 1960. With cloth-insulted wiring there is copper that is covered in cotton or rayon with either asbestos paper or rubberized insulation. One of the major reasons cloth covered wiring isn’t safe is due to the fact the cloth becomes brittle over time and falls off the wiring.

Today, home electrical wiring is always treated to make it both flame-resistant and moisture-repellient.

The dangers of this type of wiring are listed below.


  • Older electrical wiring were sheathed in cloth or asbestos. Asbestos sheathed cable could pose a health risk as asbestos is directly linked to cancer.
  • Cloth sheathed cable may not contain heat properly, and may pose a threat by exposing surrounding areas to excessive heat.
  • Cloth sheathed cable can become brittle over time and crack. This would expose the bare wire and could become a fire risk in your home.
  • Unfortunately older home wiring were seldom properly grounded. Ungrounded systems can be dangerous. Grounding a system allows excess electrical charges to be sent into the ground instead of the wiring in your home.

Do you have this type of wiring in your home?

If you believe that you may have cloth cable wiring installed in your home, please call Kilowatt for a licensed electrician for a safety inspection. Rewiring cloth wiring is recommended. You and your family may be at risk of shock, fire and/or electrocution. Kilowatt will be happy to review all of your residential wiring issues and give you a firm proposal for needed repairs.

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