Visual ID of aluminum wiring

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  #1  
Old 12-12-12, 02:10 PM
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Visual ID of aluminum wiring

Some of our receptacles were improperly wired years ago; reversed hot/neutral and some also ungrounded. Pulled one out to install a new receptacle and I'm 99.9% sure this is aluminum but I wanted to double-check. I know this is a dumb question but I never saw aluminum wiring with this kind of insulation.

Photo here: http://i.imgur.com/4pA1K.jpg Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 12-12-12, 02:37 PM
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From the pic...it could possibly be steel...yes, they did have steel wiring a long time back. If you scrape it and it's shiny it's prob alum. If it sticks to a magnet, it's steel.

Any idea of the age of the house?
 
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Old 12-12-12, 02:43 PM
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Built in 1930. I have a NdFeB magnet i can test with. If it is steel, how are they connected to modern receptacles?
 
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Old 12-12-12, 02:50 PM
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Hmmm no Pro...but I doubt there is a way. Pretty sure it has to be replaced if it's steel. If aluminum, yes there are ways to properly connect it.

I'll let the experts provide those answers.
 
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Old 12-12-12, 03:45 PM
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That is too old to be aluminum. What you have is tinned copper.
 
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Old 12-12-12, 04:19 PM
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Thank you both. Tinned copper is safe to use as if it's regular copper for modern receptacles and switches, right?
 
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Old 12-12-12, 04:27 PM
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Yes, it is safe to use on receptacles and switches.* You can confirm by cutting diagonally and looking at the cross section. (Diagonal cut just gives a bigger cross section.)

*On lighting though you have to careful the light is rated for 60. Most modern lighting specifies 90 wire.
 
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Old 12-12-12, 04:37 PM
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This why I always say wait for the Pro's.
 
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Old 12-12-12, 04:47 PM
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Thank you all. What a great community!
 
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Old 12-12-12, 05:14 PM
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Thanks for the thanks. Glad we could help.
 
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