Asbestos in Wires

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Asbestos-Appliance-WireWires are very important to construction because they carry the electrical currents that bring the structure to life. It is what makes a lamp come on, keeps the refrigerator running, keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Some prefer to install the wires in a construction project on their own and others choose to employ the services of an electrician. But there are just so many wires. Some are red, while others are blue, green, black or white.

Each one does something different and there are tons of questions to be answered. There are wiring diagrams and different tools that can be used in the process. Wiring diagrams outline how certain things such as a light fixture should be wired and the tools are necessary to make sure the job is done right. We all know that if we have a screw that takes a Phillips head then we can’t use a straight screwdriver on it. The same goes for wiring electrical items. But before you delve into any do it yourself wiring projects, know this: older wiring may contain asbestos, which is a known toxin.

There are certain tasks that must be done to wires such as stripping them. Wire strippers are used for the task. It is very important to not nick the wire when stripping off the insulation around it. When attaching a wire to a screw terminal, a nicked wire will break. That requires snipping off the damaged end and starting all over again.

There are also safety precautions that must be taken. It is important to look for warm wires and cords. If the plastic parts feel hot or they are soft, then that means a connection is failing somewhere or the wire is bad. It is also important to note the material from which the wiring insulation is made. If it is fibrous, leave it alone! It may very well be asbestos, which can fray when damaged. When these fibers are sent into the air, they can be inhaled. When asbestos is inhaled, it can lodge in the lungs and cause all sorts of terrible conditions, including various forms of cancer.

Wiring is such an important part of construction, and there are so many wires in a single structure that they would go for miles if placed end-to-end. It is important to exercise safety. Use the right tools to avoid electrocution, be cautious of smells, the way things feel, and wires that are sticking out or not placed properly. All of these can be fire hazards. No one wants to build a structure and have it catch fire due to bad wires or a wiring job that has not been done well. Pay attention to the different types of wires and their purposes to make sure that the right wires are used. In the end, everything will work great and safely.

Be careful around the wiring in your home. If your home is older, it may contain asbestos, which is all the more reason for you to be careful. If you’re in doubt, contact a professional to thoroughly evaluate your asbestos situation.