Service entrance cable has paint on it.

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Old 04-21-08, 09:33 AM
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Service entrance cable has paint on it.

the previous home owner painted the service entrance cable the same color as the rest of the house from the point where it hooks to the house down to the meter box. Well I am painting my house a different color, how do I safely paint over the old color on the service cable?
 
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Old 04-21-08, 10:59 AM
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With a paint brush.

There is no electrical hazard here, simply paint it with any method you prefer.
 
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Old 04-21-08, 12:10 PM
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even though there is no insulation on the cable? My cable is the older type with the bare aluminum strands (neutral) wrapped around the 2 hots.
 
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Old 04-21-08, 01:37 PM
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As long as the wire is in good condition you should be fine. Look over the wire first to see if any of the inner insulation is cracked off or shows signs of significant wear. (all older cables will look like they have small cracks in them which really isn't a big deal).

If the wires look significantly cracked or frayed, you can either post a pic here to get some suggestions, or have an electrician come in and replace them. But likely, you're fine just painting over them.

One word of caution - be especially careful where the wires going up the side of the house connect to the overhead power company wires. Older connections have a tendency to be less insulated than newer connections. Just be careful when painting near them and moving aluminum ladders anywhere nearby.
 
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Old 04-21-08, 05:18 PM
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Just a quick add-on: Aluminum ladders should never be used anywhere near electrical wires, whether painting, trimming trees, or roofing & siding. Use wood or fiberglass ladders.
 
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Old 04-21-08, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by hawk1996 View Post
even though there is no insulation on the cable? My cable is the older type with the bare aluminum strands (neutral) wrapped around the 2 hots.

Are the bare aluminum strands exposed. If they are then you need that cable replaced. It should have a plastic sheath on the outside or and cloth and tar type sheath if older..
 
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Old 04-21-08, 06:01 PM
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I've painted a lot of the old cloth/tar type cable stapled to the side of the house and never had any problems - but don't throw out your specs or common sense! The only newer type wire I've ever painted has just been 110 volt to a porch light or such - again never had a problem.
 
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Old 04-21-08, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hawk1996 View Post
even though there is no insulation on the cable? My cable is the older type with the bare aluminum strands (neutral) wrapped around the 2 hots.
Guys doesn't this sound like triplex? Thought that was just exposed on drops. Shouldn't it be in conduit (or mast) on a wall?
 
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Old 04-21-08, 11:39 PM
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most older home have SE cables and as long it dont show the netural conductor or cracked pretty bad it should be ok

here it look like this


if that look like that on the exterior wall that is fine.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 04-21-08, 11:55 PM
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My neighbors in the mountains have the same type of exposed looking entrance cable. I always thought the outer wires were insulating wires.
 
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Old 04-22-08, 06:37 AM
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I have seen pictures of some of the cable that is very old and the insulatiaon has deteriorated over the years and fallen off leaving the bare neutral exposed.
 
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Old 04-22-08, 10:54 AM
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thanks for the reply's. This house was built in the '50s. So my cable does not have any insulation around the neutral, the neutral is spiraled around the 2 insulated hots., so I am still not sure if its safe to paint with a brush, I have a call in to the power company so I can ask them.
 
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Old 04-22-08, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by hawk1996 View Post
thanks for the reply's. This house was built in the '50s. So my cable does not have any insulation around the neutral, the neutral is spiraled around the 2 insulated hots., so I am still not sure if its safe to paint with a brush, I have a call in to the power company so I can ask them.
Not to belabor a point but he does say the neutral is spiraled and no outer jacket. Sure sounds like triplex not SE.
 
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Old 04-22-08, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Not to belabor a point but he does say the neutral is spiraled and no outer jacket. Sure sounds like triplex not SE.
The neutral on SE cable spirals around the 2 insulated conductors. It is comprised of individual strands.

If there is no outer jacket the cable has out lived it's lifespan and should be replaced.
 
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