Silver Wiring - what is it?


Old 12-20-09, 02:49 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Silver Wiring - what is it?

I have been replacing a few light fixtures (flush mount fixtures and pendant style) and noticed that most of them have silver wires in the fixture. I cannot find any labeling that says what the wire is made of. The fixtures are brand new. The wiring is made of stranded small silver wires. Is it alumumin? Do I need special connectors to connect it to my copper house wiring?

My concern is that everything I read says that aluminum wiring is unsafe to connect to copper.

This brings a similar question about wire nuts. I noticed some of them are silver on the inside, while others are copper. Are the silver ones for a special purpose? I have seen the same colored nuts (yellow), some with silver and others with copper inside.

Sponsored Links
Old 12-20-09, 03:45 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
They are copper wires that have been tinned. Tinning is the process of coating wire with solder.
Old 12-20-09, 04:42 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,144
Received 84 Votes on 72 Posts
You will need to make sure that you are not installing fixtures that require 90 degree rated insulation if you wiring method has a lesser rated insulation.

In the US the rating is designated NM-B for the 90 degree rating. It was first made around 1984. Older Nm only had 60 degree rated insulation. I don't know if Canada had a similar change.
Old 12-21-09, 05:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,706
Received 17 Votes on 16 Posts

Do the silver wires have insulation?
Old 12-22-09, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,767
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
FWIW, Canada changed from NMD-7 wiring to NMD-90 wiring, which is similar to US NM-B, but has no paper in it. I know we had it at least since 1990.
Old 01-10-10, 08:51 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks everyone for your replies. I was busy over the holidays, and just read through the posts now.

The fixtures are brand new and from a major hardware store, so I'm not concerned. After reading a few sources, it appears it is (as you mentioned) tinned copper wire.

Thanks again.
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: