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  1. #1
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    Default Tin coated copper.

    Is this tin coated copper, if you look at the end of the wire all yo see is a little round area of copper in the middle of wire. I would assume that the copper would be very evident, especially after scratching it with a knife. House circa 1940. Sorry pics arent that good.

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    Paul Kondzich
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tin coated copper.

    I think your on the right track, hard to tell from the pictures, let Jerry P. see it on his super sized monitors.
    You did call out the Federal Pacific panel, right?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tin coated copper.

    Yep, last 4 inspections 4 Federal Pacifics.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tin coated copper.

    Yep, looks like tinned copper, but another thing to remember is the reason for tinning the copper ...

    ... the rubber insulation.

    What age is that house? I'm going to guess that that rubber insulation is dried out and lost its electrical insulating properties, and in some areas (or many areas) may be quite brittle too, meaning the insulation is cracked and there is no "insulation value" other than 'spacing to hold the conductor away from something else'.

    By now, in 2008, and with rubber insulation being a thing of the 1940s and older, dying out in the late 1940 or early 1950s, those circuits *most likely* are in need of being re-wired.

    Being as they are also likely not grounded, re-wiring solved two problems at the same time.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tin coated copper.

    Thanks Jerry, 1940 house. Probably half the house was grounded and half wasnt. Yes I am going suggest to have it evaluated by an electrician etc.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tin coated copper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kondzich View Post
    Yes I am going suggest to have it evaluated by an electrician etc.
    I would not recommend "evaluated" by an electrician as the electrician will "evaluate it" by 'looking at it', the electricians needs to 'test the insulation properties' and 'remove selected devices (i.e., switches and receptacles) and check the physical condition of the insulation as well as checking the physical condition at the panel where they can already get to it (might save having to check any further if the physical condition is bad right there).

    I.e., they will need to put a megger on it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tin coated copper.

    I originally took this picture to definitely identify this wiring as tinned copper, which I believe is (house was built 1946 - too early for aluminum - you can see what I think is an exposed section of copper just to the right of the screw terminal on the lower breaker).

    While taking a close look, I noticed what appears to be evidence of arcing on the upper screw terminal, and was just curious what could cause that pattern - my guess would be that somebody had tried to install or tighten down the terminal for the wire of the breaker was hot, but perhaps someone here can positively identify the cause.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tin coated copper.

    Here we go again with Jerry assuming that asking for a professional evaluation isn't going to get the job done right. Looks like control freak issues to me.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tin coated copper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Here we go again with Jerry assuming that asking for a professional evaluation isn't going to get the job done right. Looks like control freak issues to me.
    Here we go again with with ... Bill trying to establish his control freak issues.

    Bill, I really, really, really bug you don't I?

    Hot dang! Talk about control, I can now control what Bill thinks and does! Who woulda thunk I had so much control?

    Little old me being able to control Bill and give him hot flashes so that he posts his anger issues for all to see, wow ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Tin coated copper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    While taking a close look, I noticed what appears to be evidence of arcing on the upper screw terminal, and was just curious what could cause that pattern - my guess would be that somebody had tried to install or tighten down the terminal for the wire of the breaker was hot, but perhaps someone here can positively identify the cause.
    Looks to me that you are correct.

    I can imagine the screw being somewhat loose (the slot rotated 90 degrees, give or take), someone bumping the conductor during the installation of the newer circuits, the wire comes out and arcs to the screw head and the person doing the new circuit tries to reinsert the conductor and arcs to the screw head, then tightens the screw, rotating the arcs like they are.

    I doubt anyone can "positively identify" that cause from the photo, or even on site, but it sure makes a lot of common sense.

    Don't forget, tinned copper means rubber insulation which means deteriorated insulation which means rewiring (most cases and most likely - that rubber is now 60+ years old and it does not last that long).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tin coated copper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I would not recommend "evaluated" by an electrician as the electrician will "evaluate it" by 'looking at it', the electricians needs to 'test the insulation properties' and 'remove selected devices (i.e., switches and receptacles) and check the physical condition of the insulation as well as checking the physical condition at the panel where they can already get to it (might save having to check any further if the physical condition is bad right there).

    I.e., they will need to put a megger on it.
    I know this is an old post, but do you really suggest this in reports Jerry?

    I have never ever seen, nor heard of this, nor have I done this myself. Nor have I heard of a H-I suggesting this.
    I can see checking the physical condition of wiring, devices and panels, but meggering circuits I think is a bit over the top.

    I think it can be assumed that if someone is buying a 60-70 year old house with original wiring that some upgrades will be required in the near future, no?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Tin coated copper.

    Jerry, you don't bother me in the least. My purposes for posting here have two objectives. The first is providing hopefully helpful information to some folks. The other, which is by the way something I never intended to start with but I feel has become necessary, is defusing Peckisms. I'm not only not ticked at you, don't dislike you, or feel like I'm being controlled by you but actually look foreward to the banter. Call it a new hobby. Hopefully by the time I'm tired of it somebody else will jump in and make sure you don't lead these poor folks around by the nose. Honest up-front answers and tolerence for other's point of view would do wonders for my responses to your posts. Just get it through your head the rest of the world doesn't do everything the way Peck wants it done and that doesn't necessarily make it wrong or bad.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tin coated copper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    I know this is an old post, but do you really suggest this in reports Jerry?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I would not recommend "evaluated" by an electrician as the electrician will "evaluate it" by 'looking at it',
    Peter,

    I believe you got stuck on the descriptive part of that post and did not stop at the above part of what I would not do.

    The descriptive part was describing "how" it should be evaluated if it were to be evaluated.

    I can see checking the physical condition of wiring, devices and panels, but meggering circuits I think is a bit over the top.
    If you have tinned copper with rubber insulated conductors, which is what we are discussing, there is only one way to determine that the insulation is still functioning as the rubber insulation dries out, deteriorates, becomes brittle and cracks - I have seen it many times. Many times you will simply see the long stripped back section of bare tinned copper and wonder why the installer stripped it back that far ... when the installer did not strip it back that far, the rubber insulation became brittle, cracked, and fell off. I have seen that many times too.

    When you see that you *KNOW* the rubber insulation is deteriorated and no longer effective as it was made to be. There are then two solutions to it: 1) re-wire; 2) prove the integrity of the insulation.

    The HI does not recommend or tell the electrician "how" to verify the integrity of the insulation, the HI tells their client that the rubber insulation is deteriorated, dried out, brittle, cracked, and likely of little insulative value and to re-wire. It is then up to the electrician to either re-wire, or for the agent(s) or seller to say we don't have to re-wire, we only need to verify the integrity of the insulation.

    That is when the electrician needs to make their decision. Do they re-wire or try to verify the integrity of the insulation. The electrician can look at the insulation like the HI did and determine that it is cracked, brittle, and falling apart, and if they want to go ahead and prove the insulation is no longer doing its job, go for it.

    That is their call, not the HIs call.

    I think it can be assumed that if someone is buying a 60-70 year old house with original wiring that some upgrades will be required in the near future, no?
    No.

    The contracts state that the systems are in working order, i.e., working as intended. Electrical insulation was never intended to dry out, become brittle, crack, and fall off like that, so that wiring is not "functioning as intended" (or whatever wording you would use to say that).

    The HI does not make the electrical system deteriorate, the HI only reports that it is deteriorated and needs to be replaced.

    The HI does not tell the electrician to meg it out, that is a choice a electrician makes ... or does not make.

    When you re-read my post I believe you will see that is what I was saying:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I would not recommend "evaluated" by an electrician as the electrician will "evaluate it" by 'looking at it',


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Tin coated copper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    The first is providing hopefully helpful information to some folks.
    Far less than you first started doing as you seem to be so intent on the second. It's okay with me, but you did start to offer some good information and it is a shame you are no longer doing that.

    The other, which is by the way something I never intended to start with but I feel has become necessary, is defusing Peckisms. I'm not only not ticked at you, don't dislike you, or feel like I'm being controlled by you but actually look foreward to the banter. Call it a new hobby.
    Good, I wanted you to get a new hobby, so you are in my control.

    All I have to do is say something you dislike and you will go on a rant - makes you like kinda silly, but you make it easy to get you to look that way.

    Go for it.

    Just get it through your head the rest of the world doesn't do everything the way Peck wants it done and that doesn't necessarily make it wrong or bad.
    I am fully aware of that and I don't want the world to do everything my way, I only point out the correct way for some things. Seems you do not like that, which is your prerogative. By the way, the world will not change and do everything Kriegh's way, so you can let go of that goal now as your Krieghisms are only foolishness from the start.

    I will be here to help you get your kicks, keep your new hobby going, and in fact it will be entertaining to watch you go silly in your efforts.

    Go for it.

    Sigh, what a waste of space on this board from your efforts to take up space and reading time from the others, but if that is your wish, start your Krieghisms, let your foolish run with abandon.

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

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