I have some old electrical wiring original to my 1946 house. In some cases it goes between my button board rock lath walls and was stapled there. Are there techniques for removing disconnected, unused electrical cable that has been stapled within or behind a wall? (without opening the walls)

The cable has black fabric on the outside and each wire has a kind of plastic insulation as well as its own fabric sheathing. It is difficult, if not impossible, to pull it out from beneath the staples even when I have direct access to it (e.g. in my attic).

I suppose I could just leave it there but I'd rather get it out if possible.

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    If it makes you feel better, there are probably a lot of other things you'd want to get out of the walls if you knew they were there. Sometimes you just have to forget what's back there and enjoy your home. – BMitch Jul 1 '11 at 11:28
  • :) I did drop a pretty good paint scraper back there once. Oh well. – Ryan Jul 3 '11 at 1:33
  • You dont ahve to remove the wires. There is nothing that will cause any damage to your home or health (eg like asbestos) Like @B Mitch said. Its all in your head- dont look for unnecessary work or you will never finish your home ;) – Piotr Kula Jul 4 '11 at 10:38

There's no problem, conceptually, with removing wiring that doesn't do anything. But your problem isn't the should I, it's the can I.

So to answer your question: Yes, feel free to remove it.

But you have to figure out how to squeeze your arms behind plaster walls and pull staples. :(

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