Clarification on wiring type

Good evening guys,

My question is pretty simple. Are both of these wiring types “cloth wiring”? I have been labeling them as such but there seems to be a distinct difference between the two. Any info would be greatly appreciated.Cloth%20Conductors Cloth%20wiring%205

Looks like cloth jacketed vs. cloth
Can’t tell for sure.

In both cases the insulation is actually rubber. The “cloth” is a covering over the rubber.

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The wire is called “braided wire”. My mother and grandfather ran the “braders” at Essex Wire in Marion, In. Also if you look at the strands, they are “tinned copper”. “Tinned copper” was widely used in the wire industry. Scource Paranite Wire and Cable Copreration Jonesboro, Indiana sales catalog 1937, Division of Essex Wire Corperation Detroit, Michigan


Cloth wire…aluminum ? It will be brittle to the touch… Needs oxidizer? Planning to re insulate?

have seen some in the older houses in L.A…

“Cloth wire” is not aluminum it’s copper with a tin coating to keep from reacting with the rubber insulation.


Hi Justin,

We know it as VIR wire - Vulcanised Indian Rubber. In South Africa, this wire was used extensively in “the old days”. Due to the heat and weather, over time the insulation becomes very brittle, leaving the braided wire exposed and naturally a hazard. Even as far back as 45 years ago - when I was an apprenticed Lift Technician - it was being done away with and replaced wherever possible. It is replaced with the conventional wires available now, especially in roof and other spaces. It is particularly hazardous where used in roofs with pressed steel ceilings - I know of serious “accidents” as a result of these wires.

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What did you write as your recommendation on this? I was actually reading on this the other day I seen this in a 1950’s mock home inspection. I read that overtime this braided wiring can become very brittle and break open in some areas exposing bare wire.

There is nothing to write about.

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I agree with Roy. These is nothing in the photo regarding the rubber insulated conductors that would be a concern worth reporting.

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I write these up and recommend to have a licensed electrician evaluate due to age and ad in some fluff about how the materials can degrade with age etc…

To my understanding there is nothing inherently wrong them.

Thanks for the info everyone. In Florida cloth wiring can be an issue when obtaining homeowners insurance. I just want make sure I am correctly identifying the type of wiring. I’ve been calling this “insulated cloth wiring” and leaving it up to the underwriter to determine if they will insure the risk or not.