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  1. #1
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    Default Electrical Wire Discoloration

    A 1995 built home that has a 200 amp Cutter Hammer electrical panel, at first glance I thought the home had aluminum branch wiring, however, after closer inspection I realized the wiring was actually copper, but most of the exposed wiring had a silver discoloration. The homeowners are divorcing and was told the husband installed the existing panel. Neither homeowner were available for information, but I am assuming this was not the original panel. The existing panel and breakers looked fine. No heat damage was observed and the only issues I found were missing bushing protection, a 220 circuit the grounding conductor was not attached to bus bar and some 110 circuits the grounding conductors had 2 wires under 1 lug.
    Any thoughts what could've caused this discoloration?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Electrical Wire Discoloration

    This should be posted in the electrical section.


  3. #3
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Electrical Wire Discoloration

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    This should be posted in the electrical section.
    It is. Did Brian move it from somewhere else?

    Regardless, though, that's not a very helpful answer, Jack F.

    Of course, though, mine is not real helpful either, but at least I tried to be:

    Jack W.,

    Any photos?

    Copper turning silver? I've never seen what I am visualizing you are saying - a photo would make it clear as to what you are referencing.

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

  4. #4
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
    Jon Randolph Guest

    Default Re: Electrical Wire Discoloration

    Could it be tinned copper wiring?


  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Electrical Wire Discoloration

    Jon,

    Not in 1995.

    At least ... not unless someone went and tinned all the ends of the copper themselves.

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

  6. #6
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
    Jon Randolph Guest

    Default Re: Electrical Wire Discoloration

    Brain fart , I didn't even pay any attention to the year.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Melbourne Beach, FL
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    48

    Default Re: Electrical Wire Discoloration

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Wingo View Post
    A 1995 built home that has a 200 amp Cutter Hammer electrical panel, at first glance I thought the home had aluminum branch wiring, however, after closer inspection I realized the wiring was actually copper, but most of the exposed wiring had a silver discoloration. The homeowners are divorcing and was told the husband installed the existing panel. Neither homeowner were available for information, but I am assuming this was not the original panel. The existing panel and breakers looked fine. No heat damage was observed and the only issues I found were missing bushing protection, a 220 circuit the grounding conductor was not attached to bus bar and some 110 circuits the grounding conductors had 2 wires under 1 lug.
    Any thoughts what could've caused this discoloration?
    Hey Jerry,
    Have attached photos

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  8. #8
    Jon mackay's Avatar
    Jon mackay Guest

    Default Re: Electrical Wire Discoloration

    Unusual for a 1995 panel to be replaced so soon.
    Any environmental factors observed?

    Is this in a garage?

    Laundry area?


  9. #9
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    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Electrical Wire Discoloration

    Jack,

    I can't tell from the photo, "silver" or more 'blackish'?

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Melbourne Beach, FL
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    Default Re: Electrical Wire Discoloration

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Jack,

    I can't tell from the photo, "silver" or more 'blackish'?
    Jerry,
    I have seen the blackish discoloration before, no this is definitely silver. FYI-The house is located in Indian Harbour Beach, just west of Hwy A1A. This area has a highly corrosion environment due to salt air from the ocean. I built several home in this community and used metal doors with rust warranties, rust was so prevalent it drove the manufacturers nuts with replacement issues.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Electrical Wire Discoloration

    Jack,

    If you've seen the blackish ones, then you know what I am referring to.

    I don't know what could make them silver.

    New one on me.

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

  12. #12
    Jon mackay's Avatar
    Jon mackay Guest

    Default Re: Electrical Wire Discoloration

    Perhaps you could contact the homeowner to see if they can provide any insight. Sometimes when I come across a house when the owner specializes in something such as plumbing or computers, then while going through the house, I find some interesting techniques used for plumbing and computer wiring everywhere.
    Perhaps the home owner specializes in electrical installation for corrosive environments. This type of work would not typically be seen by home inspectors but I believe that they treat exposed wiring with a conductive, protective solution to prevent corrosion.

    Just a thought


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