Why is this electrical cable discolored?


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Old 07-04-18, 07:48 AM
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Why is this electrical cable discolored?

New member here, glad to find this place. While I am 57 and been a DIY guy from my early teens I am sure this place will come in handy. I fled the state of California to Virginia in 2010, dry climate to 50 inches of rain and high humidity require having a lot to learn about home remodeling. I am into my first home remodel or rehab project in a little over a dozen years.

Look at the pictures of these wires? A lot of them are discolored brown, they were all buried in an interior wall and never exposed to sunlight in this house. The house was built in 1981 and is full of building code violations and extremely poor workmanship. The current project is moving the load center and remodeling the laundry room, the water heater was within a foot of this electrical panel. My guess on these wires is they were reclaimed from somewhere else where they were exposed to sunlight. That is the only thing I can think of, I have never seen anything like it inside a house, even in an attic with light shining through gable vents.

Also there wasn't any insulation around the wires, so it didn't come from sticky insulation backing.
 
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Old 07-04-18, 09:25 AM
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You'd be surprised how much dirt air infiltration will being into a wall. Have you ever seen fiberglass insulation in a wall turn black in spots where there were air leaks. I think the outer cover on the wire has turned dark in spots and an overall dingy color due to age and dirt. Look at the color of the drywall paper backing, it used to be a light grey color.
 
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Old 07-04-18, 09:47 AM
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Welcome to the forums,

That looks like the residue from smoking. It leaves a distinctive yellowish-brownish coating on everything. As mentioned air is drawn up thru the wall. Air is also drawn up thru the panel.
 
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Old 07-04-18, 10:01 AM
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The black mold in the wall insulation was from the leaky pipes up above, ha,ha.
 
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Old 07-04-18, 10:09 AM
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Interesting, I would have never thought of that one about smoking. Since your a mod how do I set my location? I put Caroline County Virginia on my "about me" info, but that didn't do it.
 
 

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