One of the most controversial issues in the field of cable technology involves trying to determine the status of used cable. There is no consensus within the industry or even among the so-called ”experts” as to how this decision should be made. This paper identifies methods and limitations of techniques used by different organizations. These range from recommended practices to company guidelines. A model for insulation is presented. The results of the model are compared with common criteria used to evaluate power cable status. Criteria for any installation are addressed. Simply for convenience, detailed analysis will be applied specifically to electric submersible pump (ESP) cable.