Type SJ Cable In Wall


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Old 01-31-16, 07:20 AM
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Type SJ Cable In Wall

Hoping to get some advice on the following. My home was built in 1976, the originally unfinished basement was finished at some unknown point, guessing prior to 1991. I moved in 4 years ago. Replacing a light fixture in the basement restroom, I have opened up a can of worms, found cable labeled "Type SJ 300 volts". Looks like this is basically heavy duty extension cord, not approved for in-wall use. It's also non-grounded (two-wire). I began pulling down some drywall to fix, but looks like other light fixtures in the basement are also wired with this, and replacing will be an extensive job.

Does anyone have any insight or thoughts on how dangerous this may or may not be? Would type SJ cable ever have been approved by code for in wall use (guessing no, and this was just poorly done). If I confirm the junctions are good, and this is only supplying light fixtures, should I just leave it alone (leave it as it has been for 20 or more years), or is this a potential ticking time bomb?
 
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Old 01-31-16, 10:38 AM
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SJ was never approved as house wiring. It may not have the needed fire rating for that purpose either. Full replacement is best.
 
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Old 01-31-16, 11:19 AM
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Removal of something like this was a mandate I made after the inspection on the house I bought last year. Sucks, but you need to replace this all.
 
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Old 01-31-16, 06:36 PM
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You should remove this cable. It was never approved for in wall use. It lacks the safety ground and it could dry rot.
 
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Old 02-01-16, 05:33 AM
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Remove the cable!it maybe possible to use the old cord to pull in the new cable between the fixtures if it was not stapled in place.
 
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Old 02-01-16, 08:15 AM
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I have opened up a can of worms, found cable labeled "Type SJ 300 volts". Looks like this is basically heavy duty extension cord, not approved for in-wall use. It's also non-grounded (two-wire).
This is sometimes what happens when an inexperienced DIYer does a project without a permit/inspection. Your home was built in '76, please tell me your wiring is copper and not aluminum.
 
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Old 02-01-16, 08:38 AM
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You think that is bad. I had a customer wanted to put a small point of use water heater in the kitchen of his beach house. Ask if he could just plug it in. I start looking and see the whole place is surface wired with lamp cord on a 30 amp fuse.
 
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Old 02-02-16, 05:26 PM
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I start looking and see the whole place is surface wired with lamp cord on a 30 amp fuse.
At least there was a fuse. LOL

I have seen a half finished basement (has finished wall, but no ceiling) wired with 2 individual wires without conduit. No ground, no junction box. It was done by father of the owner of the home in 80s.
Color of the wire was also all red, so probably didn't even care hot or neutral.
Also, switches were screwed straight on to the wall without junction box. The other side of the wall was utility room with unfinished wall and switch terminals were exposed in there.
Also, there were no outlets. He just cut end of the power strip and wire nut on to the wire on the ceiling.

My company was asked to finish ceiling in that basement with drywall without fixing all that crazy wiring. Refused to do it unless they were corrected. Home owner was unhappy, but finally agreed.
 
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Old 02-02-16, 06:05 PM
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I thought I was the only one... I was working on a kitchen once and did some minor wiring, just "happened" to notice one of the receptacles was feeding an entire addition with lamp cord!!!
Not just feeding, but entirely wired as if it matters. I didn't bother to check if they had the hots and neutrals reversed, I just guessed there was a good chance

It all came out soon after and the homeowner wasn't even aware the wiring was like that.
 
 

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