Another 4 point cloth wiring question....

4 point for a 1949 home in jacksonville florida.

There is one circuit of multistrand aluminum wire with the hot and neutrals covered in cloth. Could not actually see if the insulation was cracked and therefore rubber or not.

Marked it as possibly cloth wiring, get confirmation from electrician.

Insurance agent just called me to ask me to remove that from the 4 point because an electrician said it is not cloth wiring. I asked her to send me that in writing. My email reply to her is in the images attached to this post.

Looks like he confirmed it was cloth wiring, what you think?

Additionally, do you check “improper grounding” if there are any old 2 wire, ungrounded circuits in the house?


Looks like cloth wiring to me (one conductor). But you should be aware that cloth wiring does NOT have aluminum conductors, it’s tinned copper. I do not list ungrounded circuits as “improper grounding” as long as the receptacles are 2-prong or GFI protected.

Thanks Brad.

Where did you get the info that all rubber coated cloth wiring has tinned copper?

I’ve seen some multistrand aluminum with cloth that was deteriorated and you could see the cracked insulation which was definately not thermoplastic, so I assumed it was rubber, since that is the only other option right?

If you read the highlighted portion of the electricians report in the email image, he says it is rubber and cloth. Rubber insulation and cloth is the definition of “cloth wiring” is it not?


According to DBPR, Mr. John Cowan is NOT a state licensed electrician.
Where is his statement in writing including the license number…
Uh oh!
Also, your 4 point is to be submitted without question by the insurance agent.

You won’t find AL wiring with rubber insulation. The copper conductors are tinned (looks like aluminum) to control reactions with the rubber insulation. It’s basically the same type of conductors used in a Knob-n-Tube system.

LOL Marc! You’re tough!

Could he be working under the head electrician, Douglas Derousie?

Oh no, wait, he’s not licensed either!

Brad, I read that post you linked to earlier today.

Problem for me is there is no credible source of the information, or at least that is what my lawyer would tell me as we prepared for court… “Your honor, I read it on the internet, on a forum”

I have thought about contacting Citizens, but I don’t have 2 days to waste being shunted from person to person only to find out no-one will answer my question…

Here’s a pretty good article on wire insulation

Regardless of what the wire is inside. …that is the cloth wiring the insurance companies are looking for. Now, to be clear. …in that time frame tin covered copper is what was used. I would write it up that way and let someone else fight about it. Not a big deal to run a new circuit and be done with it. You have probably already spent more time researching and talking about it than it would have taken to fix it.

Good call Mike. Let them sort it out. Not my problem.

Ok so here is the final answer to this question. I have done so many inspections in the Tampa Bay Area in the past year and came across this type of wiring question very often.

4 Point is important in Florida because that’s the inspection form your insurance of choice looks at. I have seen wiring dating back to the late 1800’s and today. I am not an electrician and I have unlimited respect to ones that break it down to a science backed up with experience and I know a few. I agree that the Citizens 4 Point form is a mess but hey what government form isn’t ? It always has to have 2 to 100 different meanings and that’s why it’s government. When you can’t figure things out you just protect yourself by playing with words…riiiiiigh?

After numerous consultations with experienced electricians, insurance agents, underwriters the answer is the wire itself is covered in pvc rubber, and is actually “cloth jacketed wire”. In the truest sense of the word it is technically cloth covered, but the hazard of the older wiring is that the older rubber became brittle, whereas this wiring has more covering around it, which, to date, GENERALLY has not shown the degradation issues as with its predecessor.

So the answer is NO it is not cloth wiring that the form asks for. Now, here is the flip side. If this same wiring is not grounded in the panel and at the receptacle, switch or light or if it is damaged by rodents, deterioration, unstable voltage well then it’s an issue. A licensed electrician with a good standing reputation in business, will be able to determine this really easily. My good friend who is an insurance agent in Florida has shared a screenshot of the Citizens explanation of “Cloth” wiring that I attached here for everybody to see. Why should it be a secret, to make more money for the insurance companies and let them monopolize a market? If you need us to check for something you want to write the rules for then have your underwrites educate the ones checking for it. That’s why I say ASK, LEARN, SHARE it’s the only way.

To conclude, being a certified, state licensed home inspector is not just passing the tests and getting a license guarded by an insurance policy. It is about experience, not being afraid to ask around, building your network and most importantly SHARING YOUR KNOWLEDGE with others. Not everybody can pass for this career and the ones that are not willing to learn, ask and share will just end up with unsatisfied customers and lawsuits.