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Nicked Electrical Outlet Wiring and Greasy Stuff


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Repair Nicked Electrical Wire and Cables: Damaged electrical wires or cable must be repaired to avoid further complications and dangerous conditions for the home.


Causes of Greasy Stuff and Repairing Nicked Cables

Electrical Question: While replacing sheet-rock in my kitchen I notice the wire coming from an outlet had blackish brown sorta greasy stuff running down the wire.

  • It has gotten on the insulation in the wall where the wire touches the paper. I does not appear to be burned or heated in any way. It runs as far down the wire as i can see.
  • There seems to be a very small nick in the wire where it seems to start. Nothing else looks wrong.
  • Can I splice the wire where the nick is to the plug and will it be safe or will I have to replace the entire wire. What could possibly cause the black oily, greasy stuff to be on the wire?

This electrical wiring question came from: Lisa, a Homeowner from Abilene, Texas.
Additional Comments: Thanks It has answered several questions for me.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical repair question Lisa.

How to Repair Nicked Electrical Wire and Cables

  • Damaged electrical wires or cable must be repaired to avoid further complications and dangerous conditions for the home.
  • If the outside wire sheath is nicked and the copper wire conductor is not showing then electrical tape can be wrapped around the outside of the cable. But if the copper wire is showing the the cable may need to be replaced or a splice box installed where a new length of cable can be installed.
  • The greasy stuff may be caused by humidity inside the wall due to a lack of insulation, or it may be coming from plumbing pipes in the wall that may be above the electrical wring.
  • The electrical cable may become warm when it is used and if the inside of the wall cavity is cool this can create a  certain amount of moisture or condensation to form.
  • This condition should be evaluated by a professional home insulator who can determine if the walls are properly insulated.

More about Home Electrical Wiring and Repairs:

Electrical outlet wiring
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  • Wiring Electrical Outlet for the Home
  • Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.

Splicing wires
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  • Electrical Junction Box Splice
  • Electrical junction box splices can be made safely when you understand the method. This example will show you how its done step by step and shows how to make a junction box splice and the related electrical codes.

electrical wire
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  • Electrical Wire for the Home
  • Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.

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