Low Voltage Wires Fire/Electrical Hazard?

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Old 08-05-15, 10:57 AM
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Low Voltage Wires Fire/Electrical Hazard?

Can low voltage wiring be a potential fire hazard if the wires were touching each other? Notice in the picture below that the thermostat wires coming out of the wall are losing some of their insulation. Could that be a problem if the bare wires happened to touch each other? Should I put a bit of liquid rubber on that? Liquid rubber directions say to wait 4 hours before energizing the wires. Being that the wires are low voltage, do I really need to wait that long? Name:  20150731_115220.jpg
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Old 08-05-15, 11:07 AM
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I suppose there is no slack in the conductors to pull out from the wall,the liquid tape should be fine,I doubt the voltage has anything to do with the waiting period,more likely to give it time to setup.
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Old 08-05-15, 12:15 PM
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Probably not a fire hazard but it definitely could cause problems with the operation of your heating/cooling system.

If there is no slack in the wall I would suggest removing the outer jacket entirely from the damaged portion to the end of the wires and then using heat shrink tubing on the damaged portions of the individual conductors. Stuff it back into the wall, reconnect the thermostat and then seal the hole in the wall with some non-hardening substance such as duct seal or modeling clay. This last step is necessary to prevent any air currents in the wall cavity from adversely affecting the thermostat operation.
 
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Old 08-05-15, 02:19 PM
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Actually there is plenty of slack to pull it out and use shrink tubing. I was going to use expansive foam for the hole but duct seal would be better.

Thanks guys.
 
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Old 08-05-15, 06:34 PM
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I think what everyone was getting at was if there is "plenty of slack" you can pull them out and cut them at the bare section and connect that to the thermostat. No need for tape or heat shrink.
 
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Old 08-05-15, 06:58 PM
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If there is enough extra cable in the wall to pull out and cut off the damaged section with enough wire left to easily make the connections to the thermostat, then that is the best option.
 
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Old 08-06-15, 05:10 AM
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Can low voltage wiring be a potential fire hazard if the wires were touching each other?
It sure can. People don't take low voltage seriously, and they should. You can connect a welding electrode to a car battery and weld 3/8 inch steel plate with it.

Although low voltage is not fully covered under NEC, it can do the same kind of damage. It just needs more amperage is all, and there lies the difference. Usually low voltage wiring in a house is connected to a transformer which isn't putting out more than a couple of amps. Now it is possible to overheat wiring with only a few volts/amps at the same time though that wiring would have to be a pretty thin gauge, which isn't likely.

Sooo... the chances are that there isn't enough amperage in that wiring to cause concern, but it's always best to err on the side of caution... tape them off. Better yet, find the other end and disconnect.
 
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Old 08-06-15, 05:14 AM
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I had it in my mind that cutting and splicing was going to be a bigger chore. After giving it some thought tape, heat shrink and cutting a bigger hole would be more more work.
 
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