Braided NM

Home built in 1960, Buyer just called and said her dad is a contractor and he said that the cloth wiring was a fire hazard and needed to be replaced. The home was wired with Braided NM, buyer asked if I thought it all needed replacing. I told her it was not cloth wiring. I think they’re trying to get a reduction in price.

That was one of the early versions of today’s NM cable. The ground may be undersized compared to today’s , but the insulation is still a plastic. I would say to is no more of a hazard than any other wiring, unless it has been abused.

I agree, most likely not tinned copper, cloth wiring. Any photos?

It is not cloth wiring. Nylon or pvc based jacket.
If no ground wire is present, then general retrofit or repairs can be done to make it compliant.
Unless damaged, deteriorated, etc it should be serviceable wiring.


Yep…NM. Not a problem.

It could be a problem if the insulation is type TW which is only rated for 60° C. Almost all modern lighting fixtures require 90° C wiring. :slight_smile:

Even they can’t agree. Go figure…

Sean, at least one of those posters is clearly wrong, but apparently does not feel the need to follow the code.

Interesting. In all the years I did remodeling on pre-1980 homes, I never was questioned by AHJ about the new light fixtures on existing wiring. I guess now, I will have to kill a lot more deals.:mad:

Not necessarily. I guess I get to learn something new as well.
While it would be impossible to check each and every fixture in the home for compliance, from my understanding its mainly fixture connections.
Having 90C wire extensions added would be one remedy or ensuring only low watt CLF or Led bulbs were used can prevent issues.

A general comment noting the potential issue and advising trade professionals to install or verify fixtures would probably be a smart idea in the future.

Maybe Jim or Robert could elaborate on this one.

Now what about all those other homes we have looked at??:shock::shock:

Exactly. I wonder how many home inspectors call this out on a routine basis? Or have ever called it out?

Exactly. I wonder how many home inspectors call this out on a routine basis? Or have ever called it out?

The biggest chance for this to crop up is when a pre 1984 house is flipped and the flipper couldn’t care less about codes. A typical homeowner would probably not know enough to not install the new fixture they were going to update with.

Homes wired with NM-B already have the 90 degree insulation.

It wouldn’t be just the flippers. It’s a lot of electricians too. I would like to know if this is really a concern, because I know that this inspector (me) will not be looking at all the labels in the light fixtures when 60 degree wiring is present. Maybe Sean’s suggestion of a general comment/disclaimer will cover it.

This is definitely something that goes beyond general SOP’s. Any older fixture should be labeled for proper bulb size and any changes should be performed by electricians that know. Obviously this is not always the case, and trying to make the determination would be impossible without removing each fixture.

Here is what I came up with:

Non-metallic wiring installed prior to 1984 potentially has a lower temperature rating the wiring that is currently manufactured. If the wiring is in overall good condition, it should be serviceable. Temperature issues could be created when installing modern fixtures rated for higher temperatures.

For safety reasons, we advise any electrical fixture changes in the future be performed by a qualified electrician to ensure safe installation practices.

Using low watt or energy saving bulbs can also prevent potential overheating from incandescent bulbs in any current fixtures.

Indeed and the “-B” did not come into play until 1984 so I would say it is a GREAT chance it is 60 C insulation.

Sean… gonna’ “nit-pick” your narrative for a second (nothing personal)… but, when did copper and aluminum become non-metallic? I know what you mean, but I suggest you correct your statement by adding the word “sheathed”… so as to eliminate any confusion a non-tradesperson may have… i.e. your clients.


I guess because NM stands for non-metallic, maybe…:mrgreen: