What type of cable is this?

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Hi

I've been doing some work in my house and have come across some cable installed during a previous wiring of the property.

It is very flexible, bends easily and holds the position. The outer covering is shiny when scrapped and it contains 2-cores (red and black) with no CPC.

I've attached some pictures. I'm just curious, it's not in use and is being ripped out when encountered.



Thanks
 
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It is very flexible, bends easily and holds the position. The outer covering is shiny when scrapped and it contains 2-cores (red and black) with no CPC.
It's obviously Imperial 2-core cable. Particularly give that it "bends easily and holds its position", it sounds as if the outer covering which "is shiny when scraped" is lead (which was common in days of old) - does that sound credible?

I inherited a lot of that sort of lead-sheathed cable (not still in service!) in my house, and the scrap value of the lead was not trivial!

Kind Regards, John
 
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Yes, definitely looks like lead. The lead sheath was often used as a CPC but that relied on the correct clamps being used at junctions to maintain continuity.
 
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Don't throw it away! It's easy enough to strip the sheathing off by dragging one of the cables back so it splits the lead sheath. Collect all the lead sheathing in one pile and the copper cable in another. When it's all ripped out and sorted take to a local scrap metal merchant. Depending how much you have gathered you could get a nice tidy sum for it. You'd get much less if you just took it as it is.
 
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Don't throw it away! It's easy enough to strip the sheathing off by dragging one of the cables back so it splits the lead sheath. Collect all the lead sheathing in one pile and the copper cable in another. When it's all ripped out and sorted take to a local scrap metal merchant. Depending how much you have gathered you could get a nice tidy sum for it. You'd get much less if you just took it as it is.
Quite ... as I wrote of my personal experience ...
... I inherited a lot of that sort of lead-sheathed cable (not still in service!) in my house, and the scrap value of the lead was not trivial!

Kind Regards, John
 
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Is there not health risks handling lead though
No significant risk.

If you perpetually licked it, tried to chew it, or boiled it up and inhaled the vapour, that would different, but normal handling is not really an issue (but washing your hands afterwards would do no harm :) ).

Kind Regards, John
 
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No significant risk.

If you perpetually licked it, tried to chew it, or boiled it up and inhaled the vapour, that would different, but normal handling is not really an issue (but washing your hands afterwards would do no harm :) ).

Kind Regards, John
That was almost exactly what I was typing!

HSE guidance here if anyone's interested :)
https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg305.pdf

One of our student experiments includes a setup to find an approximate value for 'big G'.
The equipment includes two 1.5kg spherical lead masses; the student risk assessments invariably include the line... 'Don't lick the balls!' :rolleyes:
 
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My understanding is that heavy metals in their bulk solid form are generally not all that hazardous. Even if you do ingest them they will probably just pass out the other end with little harm done.

Organometallic compounds on the other hand can be seriously horrible things.
 
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My understanding is that heavy metals in their bulk solid form are generally not all that hazardous. Even if you do ingest them they will probably just pass out the other end with little harm done. ... Organometallic compounds on the other hand can be seriously horrible things.
That's essentially true - tetraethyl lead (as in 'leaded petrol') is/was particularly nasty, since it not only gets into the body easily, but also very easily gets into the brain.

However, I would not recommend ingesting metallic lead (or any other heavy metal), since I imagine that some of it will inevitably 'dissolve' in (be turned into water-soluble salts by) the very acidic environment of the stomach.

Kind Regards, John
 
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Washing hands after handling and before eating is the important part.
 

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