Braided Romex/NM Wiring

Hello everyone,

I recently conducted a four point inspection for a client that had braided romex electrical wiring. The underwriter has reached out to ask some questions regarding the wiring. They believe it to be cloth wiring. So is braided romex essentially cloth wiring? Also, moving forward, should this just be reported as NM (non metallic) as opposed to braided romex or cloth wiring?

Are there any common deficiencies with braided romex vs cloth wiring?

I know cloth wiring sometimes does not contain a ground wire and can be undersized.

Any direction would be greatly appreciated.

Justin

I could be wrong based upon local jargon, but I would think the term “cloth wiring” would refer to knob and tube.

Original NMSC was not really cloth, more of a woven paper material with a bitumen binder.

Hope this helps

Cheers

I would not consider it cloth, it was in use when I was starting in the trade in the 1970s (although the plastic covering was also coming into use). There was an earlier two conductor (with no ground) which I would consider or call cloth wiring (was actually cotton).

https://www.dli.mn.gov/ccld/PDF/eli_GFCI_history.pdf

Braided NM used in the 50’s and 60’s is not cloth wiring.

Agree with above statements stating it is not cloth wiring. I avoid those inquiries from the insurer by simply stating “NM sheathed” wiring used.

Bert

Thanks for the feedback guys. I will definitely use this information moving forward. Honestly this is the first time I’ve ever had an issue when listing braided romex as a wiring type.

Just to let everyone know what the final outcome was. The underwriter would not budge. He insisted it was cloth wiring even after I sent the agent plenty of information regarding braided romex vs cloth wiring. I even offered to re-visit the job site to take a additional photos.

Ultimately the homeowner was unable to obtain insurance from that particular carrier.

Thanks again for the info though. You guys are a wealth of knowledge.

Remember… “Romex” is a brand name, NOT a wire type.

Cloth/braided/woven NM…whatever name you would like to give it, it was never rated for use temperature wise for Florida installations…the plastic insulation for the conductors would deteriorate after about 10-15 years due to heat exposure in the attic. It wasn’t until the mid 80’s that products rated for use in these environments were introduced to our market.
This makes any form of cloth/braided/woven NM wiring used in Florida, especially south Florida, obsolete as it was never intended for use at those temperatures. This dates back to about the 1940’s…

:wink:

Good info. mahalo

Do you have a source? Thanks.

The very early NM cables had conductors which also had cloth braided insulation, the easy way to know if you are working with this conductor type of romex is to see if the wire is tinned, if so you are correct these are the type of cables which break down. Prior to thermoplastic coated conductors (TW), the insulation applied to the tinned conductors were manufactured with a sulfur compound which is highly corrosive to bare copper, that is what necessitated tinning the conductors.

So to me, if you don’t have tinned conductors you most likely don’t have an issue. As far as the cloth romex with thermoplastic coated copper conductors (TW) they were all rated at 60 degrees and should be good to go no?

:-k

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Yes.

A little help…As mentioned above, the use in attics is what’s in question. The maximum allowable temperature was 60c, or 131 degrees F, which required derating of the conductors at 41% even at those temps.

For reference, any conductor installed in an attic rated for 90C derates to 71%…

Got it thanks.

I did a lot of electrical work in New Jersey where it was common to see braided cloth conductors in an armored cable assembly (BX). The insulation covering the conductors were notoriously degraded in areas of high heat like light fixture boxes. Was that happening in Florida with TW due to increased ambient temperature in the attics?

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Can Anyone tell me if this inspection is correct

I’m more looking to the part about “cloth”

It appears to be “cloth sheathed” wiring…

This link may help: Is all cloth wiring a concern?

And this link: http://flstatewideinsurance.com/is-cloth-wiring-insurable-for-homeowners-insurance/

And, welcome to our forum Luiza!..Enjoy! :smile:

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This inspection broke the deal on purchase of my condo ! Is this a fire hazard?

I believe this home inspection was not done by a licensed electrician

I cannot see from Northern Michigan but, under the right circumstances, any wiring can be a fire hazard, Luiza.

Florida inspectors are more familiar with the insurance underwriting in that state.

Best to you.

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