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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Default Is this Aluminum wire?

    Is the upper conductor in this pic aluminum ? The house was built in 1954.

    Thank you.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Is this Aluminum wire?

    Based on the fabric covered insulation I would say it is tinned copper.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Is this Aluminum wire?

    If you have pics from a different angle you may be able to see copper on the cut end.
    Looks like tin coated copper to me, too.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is this Aluminum wire?

    Thank you for the quick replies....unfortunately, the end of the conductor was inserted so far into the fuse holder that I couldn't see the end and take that picture...


  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Is this Aluminum wire?

    I'm going with tinned copper. You can sometimes get a better look at the neutrals.


  6. #6
    Robert Meier's Avatar
    Robert Meier Guest

    Default Re: Is this Aluminum wire?

    It's not aluminum.


  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Is this Aluminum wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    ...You can sometimes get a better look at the neutrals.
    Excellent point.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  8. #8
    Stephen G's Avatar
    Stephen G Guest

    Default Re: Is this Aluminum wire?

    They appear to be the same size, aluminum would be a larger wire for same service...

    but why tin only one wire...did some older wires come pre-tinned


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Is this Aluminum wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen G View Post
    They appear to be the same size, aluminum would be a larger wire for same service...

    but why tin only one wire...did some older wires come pre-tinned
    Copper reacts with the compounds in the rubber, so the entire length of the conductors in the rubber insulation are tinned.

    The conductor which is not tinned is likely a newer conductor with thermoplastic insulation, no tinning required.

    When you see tinned copper (and thus rubber insulation) it is time to re-wire because the rubber dries out and becomes brittle and cracks, effectively cracking micro-cracks along the wire, and each of those cracks is a leakage point for the voltage and current on that wire to try to find any other path back to the source.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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