A common issue found on older homes is frayed service wires. The service cables are the wires that provide electricity to the house. A common question is, does it create a risk? what will happen if they aren’t fixed? Can I fix it myself, and how?
What causes the wires to fray? The most direct answer is weather. The rain, snow, sunlight and so on. It works to break down the outer jacket. If you take a good look at the wires and see aluminum, then your wires are frayed. The service wire for residential properties are made up of 2 large wires, wrapped with multiple smaller wires. Refer to the lower image of this page for an idea on what frayed wires look like.
Lets start with the problems with frayed cables. If the outer jacket of your service cable is frayed, it will allow water to enter. The jacket will act as a tunnel with a direct path into your Electrical panel or meter. This can cause corrosion on the breakers and the service connections. Eventual electrical failure can occur.
I have seen electrical tape wrapped around the wires as a quick fix. If your wires are frayed, It is time to replace them. Electrical or duct tape is not considered an approved repair.
The Photo below was of a meter located 3 feet from the patio. As you could probably assume, this is a huge safety issue for small children. Not to mention the birds and rodents that could have climbed in there and created a short.
When it comes to electricity, call the experts! Homeowners, myself included, like to save a few dollars here or there. Some jobs such as drywall or cleaning a drain trap can be taught by sitting down with a bucket of popcorn and watching some youtube. This is NOT one of those jobs. Code requirements, licenses and safety hazards put this on the list of jobs needing an expert.
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