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#47741 - 01/25/05 05:16 PM old romex
heritage55 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/25/05
Posts: 1
Now and then, I come across electrical branch cables from about the 50's or early 60's that I have heard some electricians refer to as "ungrounded romex". It is cabling with only two wires (hot and neutral, no ground wire) encased with a cross-woven fabric material that is either green or tan in color. Basically, it was the transitional branch wiring that came after knob-and-tube wiring but before BX. The original wall switches are often of the old push-button type commonly associated with knob-and-tube wiring.

I wonder if this group can provide some learned input on this subject:

* What is the proper name for this stuff? There's gotta be something better to call it other than "ungrounded romex".

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#47742 - 01/25/05 06:12 PM Re: old romex
BigB Offline

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 725
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
Actually BX was around in the late 1800s. It was used to add receptacles to knob and tube systems before NM sheathed cable, or Romex, was around. I've seen many variations of the old romex, mostly cloth covered, some with a spiraled cardboard insulator inside the cloth followed by rubber on the wires. Some of the cloth type is impregnated with asphalt or tar. I've also seen lead sheathed romex. The latest cloth covered type has plastic insulation on the wires. All the folks I know just call it two wire romex.
Theres an excellent book called "Old Electrical Wiring" by David Shapiro which explains it all.

#47743 - 01/25/05 06:15 PM Re: old romex
hbiss Offline

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 893
Loc: Hawthorne, NY USA
Was way before the 60's and 50's, probably 30's and 40's. What else would you call it? It's old cloth covered Romex without a ground.


#47744 - 01/25/05 06:31 PM Re: old romex
Redsy Offline

Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
How about "ragwire".

#47745 - 01/25/05 06:34 PM Re: old romex
ga.sparky56 Offline

Registered: 11/24/02
Posts: 582
Loc: young harris georgia usa
I've heard it called "Snakeskin". If you strip a piece of jacket off a few ft. long,it kinda looks like where a snake shed it's skin.


#47746 - 01/25/05 07:03 PM Re: old romex
Bill Addiss Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Old 2-wire NM cable?


#47747 - 01/25/05 08:03 PM Re: old romex
detubbs Offline

Registered: 11/18/04
Posts: 52
Loc: PA
sparky 56 funny you mention that last summer my dad and i were rewiring this old farm house he was running new wire i was cutting out the old K-n-T and i bent over to pick up this piece that i cut out to throw it awaya nd guess what. a freakin 6 foot black snake!!!! you never saw a fat-boy run so fast i your life! i never realized till my hand was like 6 inches from picking it up! apparently it made it's way throughout the house we found skins in most of the walls all teh way up in the attic also! i triple checked every wire i grabbed from there on out!!

#47748 - 01/26/05 02:38 AM Re: old romex
Steve Miller Offline

Registered: 08/30/01
Posts: 322
Loc: Loudoun Cty, VA
Around here we're like Redsy, we always called it ragwire. We have houses built up thru the 60s that still used it (but by then most of it had a small ground, about a #18).


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