As your Local Electrician I come across within persons Homes the Green Goo regularly in the Staines, Ashford, Sunbury, Shepperton Area.
You may or may not be familiar with this phenomenon, however if your home was built or rewired between 1965 and 1971 then there is a likelihood that this will or is already affecting you. So what am I talking about?
Those who are suffering from the effects of Green Goo in your property will notice the dark green substance seeping out of switches and sockets, it looks somewhat like Fairy Liquid and is tacky to touch, in some cases it is not so obvious and will remain unnoticed until some electrical work is carried out, in the most severe cases you will find it dribbling down the wall beneath your electrical outlets.
Why does it occur?
The bottom line is it is a fault of the manufacturing practice that was employed in the making of early PVC cable. Without getting too technical and discussing the makeup of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) what you need to understand is that PVC requires a plasticiser to be added in order to make it pliable to use in cables, the early plasticisers reacted with the copper in the cable when it reached a given temperature.
The concerns about this phenomenon range from the problems it can cause to the safety of the electrical installation to how it can affect your health.
If we look at the electrical installation first, then it is fair to say that a lot depends on the loading and usage. The warmer the conductors (cables) get the more the plasticiser leaches, this can result in the cable becoming brittle and eventually breaking down.
The goo substance itself can also cause issues with the functionality of accessories. As for the health concerns contact with the Green Substance can cause ill effects such as dermatitis and or rashes. Therefore precautions should be taken to prevent skin contact.
What to do…
Unfortunately if an installation is seriously affected then the only real solution is to have the installation completely rewired. Simply replacing outlets/accessories will only serve as a temporary aesthetic solution, as the underlying problem still exists.
If you have concerns about your property then a simple insulation resistance test can be carried out by your Local Electrician this will tell you to what extent your cable has or has not deteriorated.