09:32AM | 09/14/08
Member Since: 07/13/04
10 lifetime posts
We live an 80 some year old house and the wiring was recently brought more up to date. Our basement is currently a giant storage/ laundry area and there are wires of all kinds dangling from the ceiling. There is old knob and tube stuff that is supposedly not live any more, and then the newer wiring is that yellow plastic encased stuff. when i move around, I am constantly lifting these yellow wires in order to get to my laundry area or to get to things that are stored there- they are just dangling all over the place along with cables for the satellite and what not, and some are touching the floor and others just hanging down a foot or 2 from the ceiling. I've been asking my husband to do something about getting these things out of the way- and instead they just get worse and worse and more and more are in the way. He would like to fix it, but other things/ issues keep coming up and the wires are still there. What I need to know is how dangerous is this? I am getting ready to have our second child in 2 weeks and so I KNOW that this isn't getting done any time soon. I don't know anything about electrical wiring- and so I need help from you. Do I just tell him that I've given him a year to do something and time is up- I am calling an electrician to fix it all? Can this wait 6 months?


12:48PM | 09/15/08
Member Since: 01/09/07
198 lifetime posts
First, this is fairly safe, unless you pull on a cable or trip & fall into one, or a child or pet chews through one. The copper wire is inside 3 layers of plastic & paper, and it's only if that all gets torn and the wire is exposed and you touch the wire that you are in danger of a shock.

Still, it should be fixed. This is not up to code, the requirements are that the wires be securely attached every few feet. Dangling loosely like this is NOT proper.

All it takes to fix it is getting a package of insulated electrical cable staples 'sheathed electrical cable staples' (see electrical cable-staples-102824.aspx) that are available at any hardware store, and then pulling the cable tight and using a hammer to put in a staple to keep it tight and up out of the way.

Really, there's nothing that needs an electrician to do this. It's just a matter of attaching the wires to the ceiling so they are out of your way. You could pretty easily do this yourself. Or offer to help your husband do this -- two people, one to hold the wires tight while the other nails in the staples, makes this go faster. Promise your husband a reward when the two of you finish this, and you should be able to get it done.
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