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Topic Title: [Historic] Help identifying this wire type
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Created On: 16 January 2016 07:01 PM
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 16 January 2016 07:01 PM
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TimJWatts

Posts: 401
Joined: 07 August 2013

Fabric wire

Can anyone help identify what's left of this wire (top of shot).

It's fabric covered, seems to have 2 layers of fabric on each core, and maybe some sort of sheath (black) - but that could also be fabric tape of some sort.

The weird things that don't add up are:

1) The house is 1955 ish vintage and the most historic wiring I found when stripping out was some rubber T+E (or just "T"!)

2) The cores are wound spirally and go into separate ports on the historic Ashley JB.

I would date the cable attached to the bottom side as later than 80s-90s - black+red T+E in excellent condition.

I am wondering if this was a flex feed to a device bodged in rather than "proper fixed wiring" - maybe a bell transformer? (It is near the front door and there is some "speaker cable" aka bell wire nearby...

Any ideas would be very interesting

Ta Tim

Edited: 16 January 2016 at 07:24 PM by TimJWatts
 16 January 2016 07:10 PM
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weirdbeard

Posts: 3116
Joined: 26 September 2011

http://www.flickr.com/photos/t...um-72157663471434611/

Where did you get it?

-------------------------
:beer)
 16 January 2016 07:22 PM
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TimJWatts

Posts: 401
Joined: 07 August 2013

I found it under the floor upstairs whilst laying new boards - it was disconnected as I cut off all the old wiring and started from scratch

PS broken link fixed!
 16 January 2016 07:33 PM
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weirdbeard

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Well done, what did you disconnect it from?

-------------------------
:beer)
 16 January 2016 07:37 PM
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mikejumper

Posts: 2416
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Originally posted by: TimJWatts
I am wondering if this was a flex feed to a device bodged in rather than "proper fixed wiring" - maybe a bell transformer? (It is near the front door and there is some "speaker cable" aka bell wire nearby...
Ta Tim

That would be my guess.
Although the house isn't that old items from an earlier era could have been installed when it was first occupied.
 16 January 2016 07:55 PM
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sparkingchip

Posts: 9957
Joined: 18 January 2003

The junction box has a handwritten price label stating 35P.

So the junction box was purchased probably from a DIY shop after the 15th February 1971.

That looks well after the cable you are asking about was made.

So possibly a DIY alteration using second hand cable, alternatively the reconnection of of an existing piece of equipment.

DIY door bell installation using a piece of second hand cable seems a strong possibility.

Having said that I was told of one hardware and ironmongers store that was still selling cut lengths of cable in the 1950's off rolls purchased as stock prewar already being well over ten years old. I sure they were not the only ones.

Andy
 16 January 2016 08:03 PM
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GLMelectrical

Posts: 71
Joined: 05 January 2016

Originally posted by: TimJWatts

Fabric wire



Can anyone help identify what's left of this wire (top of shot).



It's fabric covered, seems to have 2 layers of fabric on each core, and maybe some sort of sheath (black) - but that could also be fabric tape of some sort.



The weird things that don't add up are:



1) The house is 1955 ish vintage and the most historic wiring I found when stripping out was some rubber T+E (or just "T"!)



2) The cores are wound spirally and go into separate ports on the historic Ashley JB.



I would date the cable attached to the bottom side as later than 80s-90s - black+red T+E in excellent condition.



I am wondering if this was a flex feed to a device bodged in rather than "proper fixed wiring" - maybe a bell transformer? (It is near the front door and there is some "speaker cable" aka bell wire nearby...



Any ideas would be very interesting



Ta Tim
maybe VIR
 16 January 2016 09:52 PM
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potential

Posts: 1632
Joined: 01 February 2007

Probably double cotton covered wire, very common at one time.
I've seen it mostly used for house bell wire under floorboards.
I've found it used for mains cables run in wooden conduit dating about 1890.
It is still made but used for other things now.


double cotton
 16 January 2016 10:04 PM
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TimJWatts

Posts: 401
Joined: 07 August 2013

Originally posted by: potential

Probably double cotton covered wire, very common at one time.

I've seen it mostly used for house bell wire under floorboards.

I've found it used for mains cables run in wooden conduit dating about 1890.

It is still made but used for other things now.


(And thanks to the other posters too):

It does certainly seem to have 2 layers on the conductors - inner layers looks like longitudinal fibres and the other is more like a woven sleeve. Lot of rot - hard to be sure.

If this house was Victorian, I would have half expected this - it's the fact it's a 50s build that made me wonder "why"?

And I must admit I have never seen all fabric cable, except maybe inside a valve TV. Seen lead T+E, VIR and modern.

To answer another question - I looked at the state of the wiring some years ago (another bit I pulled out was gnawed to the copper clearly by a rodent) I made the decision to cut the lot out and start again!

Glad I did - means it's taken a while to get here and I still have half the lights missing (due this spring), but at least I know all this junk is dead!

Tim
 16 January 2016 10:34 PM
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mapj1

Posts: 9371
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There are a great many variations on cotton covered wire - some with tight spiral wound cotton, some woven braided. Then there are also silk insulated variants. There are also superficially similar cables with rubber on the wire with cotton overbraid.
DCC like this lasts better than rubber, but the electricity leaks out if it gets wet ! It might have been on the reel intended for ceiling rose drops, and an off-cut pressed in for a doorbell or porch light, but that was more commonly the twin braid over rubber kind, blue, purple or black used from drop cord. Best to remove it from service, but its not from that long ago.
My grandparents had Christmas fairy lights that were wired as a loop in cotton covered singles, like the cores of this stuff, but dyed Christmassy colours of green and gold. Despite being pre-war, and a few issues therefore getting the MES lamps it used at the odd voltage, it was still going strong 70 odd years later, being energised for a couple of weeks a year . (yet another thing to plug into the bayonet lamp sockets).

Beware the asbestos variant on the theme sometimes seen on very old heaters. Modern stuff is woven glass, but if it looks very fluffy, it may not be, so take care not to breathe too near.

-------------------------
regards Mike
 16 January 2016 11:17 PM
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impvan

Posts: 922
Joined: 07 September 2005

Could be wiring from an old butler-bell system? I see a fair bit of it from the mid-30s. Cores usually red-white, sometimes red-yellow.
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