Does this look like copper wire?

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-18-13, 04:37 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Does this look like copper wire?

It looks like copper to me but I just want to make sure if it is nor not, thanks.
 
Attached Images  
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-18-13, 04:45 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 614
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes it's copper and that top black wire looks like the insulation is burned and also the copper is corroded as if exposed to water.
 
  #3  
Old 09-18-13, 04:53 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the info toolmon.
 
  #4  
Old 09-18-13, 05:10 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 10,051
Received 26 Votes on 20 Posts
Yes it's copper and that top black wire looks like the insulation is burned and also the copper is corroded as if exposed to water.
Definitely copper. Both the melted insulation and the green corrosion are the effect of overheating from a poor connection to the receptacle. The backstabbed termination of the wire to the receptacle is the reason. Always terminate residential receptacles to the screws terminals and never use a backstab.
 
  #5  
Old 09-18-13, 07:07 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks casual. I actually took that picture when I was replacing the non working outlet to make sure I put everything back the right way. (My first attempt at an electrical fix) I bought a new outlet and connected it to the screws a few days ago and I don't plan to use that outlet for the time being. Just moved in a few weeks ago and that outlet blew on my first day here. I feel much better with your explanation. some people at a non electric forum had me scared and suggested I get the whole place checked out ASAP.
 

Last edited by 954Guy; 09-18-13 at 07:28 PM.
  #6  
Old 09-18-13, 07:33 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 10,051
Received 26 Votes on 20 Posts
some people at a non electric forum had me scared and suggested I get the whole place checked out ASAP.
I don't think that would be necessary, but since you found one recetacle backstabbed, the odds are high that all of them are that same way. Here's a project for you; start pulling all receptacles and switches to check and remove all wires from backstabs and properly attach around the screw terminals.
 
  #7  
Old 09-18-13, 07:38 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Welcome to the forums!

Just moved in a few weeks ago and that outlet blew on my first day here.
What did that receptacle (not outlet) do when it "blew'? Have you determined any source for moisture into the outlet (the box) and corrected it? Did you trim the combustible material (the wallpaper) away from the box before you replaced the wall plate?

I would use it. The heat will help keep it dry, besides the fact that only using it will test whether it is in good condition now.
 
  #8  
Old 09-18-13, 07:41 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I might do that casual.. I know one was fixed by a handyman who did several different things for me. That one had half the outlet out and when he went to replace it there were spider eggs all around it. Big ones like the size of a small jelly bean. I might wait for my father to come in January to help me, he's good with electric and general home repairs, but if I notice a problem I will do it myself sooner.
 
  #9  
Old 09-18-13, 07:52 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks Nash. It's a mobile home from the mid to late 70s that's why I wanted to know if it was copper or aluminum,

What happened was when I moved in 3 weeks ago I went to plug something in and my 2 ACs (not plugged into where I was plugging something) that are window units turned off. I reset the breaker box tried again and it went out again. I reset it and tried to plug something in. Then it went off again and I tried to reset the breaker box but that whole side of the house was off. No ACs no bathroom light, no ceiling fans working. For a few weeks I just ran my 5000 BTU AC from a 14 gauge extension cord. I was waiting for the handy man to see when he would be in my area again. As long as I had my kitchen and an outlet in my main bedroom to watch TV and use the computer I was making due.

I decided to replace the outlet myself and when I did that whole side of the house started working again once I was done and turned the breakers box back on. People on a mobile home site scared my into thinking that it was an immediate dangerous situation. and yes the wallpaper is away from any wires.
 
  #10  
Old 09-18-13, 08:04 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I think I might buy one of these to check out all my outlets

Prime Products AC Line Meter & Polarity Tester Digital

''


Or should I get something else. Whatever i get I want something that plugs in if you can suggest something else, thanks.
 
  #11  
Old 09-18-13, 08:11 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 53,210
Received 379 Votes on 356 Posts
That's good if you travel and want to keep an eye on power but as far as testing.....

You'd be better served by picking up an inexpensive analog meter like in the link. Can be used for checking receptacles and other electrical problems that may crop up.

Gardner Bender 5-Function 12-Range Analog Multimeter-GMT-312 at The Home Depot
 
  #12  
Old 09-18-13, 08:20 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks PJ, I would have to see how to use it first, that other one costs between $25 to $35 depending where online I find the best deal. I just want something easy to use and read that plugs in not something with probes that I have to stick into something.
 
  #13  
Old 09-18-13, 08:21 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
I went to plug something in and my 2 ACs (not plugged into where I was plugging something) that are window units turned off. I reset the breaker box tried again and it went out again.
Window A/Cs should be on dedicated circuits. Not best practice to even run one on a general purpose 15 amp circuit. Too easy to overload the circuit.

To trouble with that device is if you come back with a problem we will want results we can trust and will ask you to use a multimeter.
 
  #14  
Old 09-18-13, 08:25 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I don't even know what that means ray or how to go about it. The main one I use in the small bedroom is 5000 BTU, the living room one I don't use often and it's 8000 btus. I had a 10000 btu portable ac that I used while I was painting the place, but that's just in my spare room and I don't use it now.

Everyone I know just plugs the ACs into a wall socket. My old apartment has s 12k btu running 24/7 but it had a thermostat that shut itself off and on when it got to the desired temperature.
 
  #15  
Old 09-18-13, 08:30 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Please read the addition to my post regarding the tester. As to dedicated circuit means only one receptacle on it. A single AC can draw more than 20 amps for a few seconds when starting. Even after starting it will use half the capacity of a 15 amp circuit. You should definitely never use two on the same circuit (breaker).
 
  #16  
Old 09-18-13, 08:37 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks ray. I don't know much about electricity. I don't even know if the bedroom one and living room one are on the same breaker. I know I won't use both at the same time just in case. It's not like I can move the ACs. This old mobile home has mostly crank windows and I had to fire someone to put them in. The living room one has a regular sliding up window, but ti's the only one that I can use for that AC.
 
  #17  
Old 09-18-13, 08:43 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
You really need to buy a copy of Wiring Simplified and read through it. Amazon and other book sellers have it and some BigBox stores sell it in the electric aisle.
 
  #18  
Old 09-19-13, 08:53 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 10,051
Received 26 Votes on 20 Posts
I think I might buy one of these to check out all my outlets

Or should I get something else. Whatever i get I want something that plugs in if you can suggest something else, thanks.
If you have $20 burning a hole in your pocket, go ahead and buy it, but I don't see it helping much. It won't tell you if a receptacle has the wires backstabbed and it won't tell you if the connections have been heating up under load. The best thing is to go ahead and pull all the devices and do a physical check and correct the ones that need to be corrected. Spending the money on an analog meter, as PJ suggested, and learning how to use it would be a wiser investment.
 
  #19  
Old 09-19-13, 09:45 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks casual, I am gonna replace my outlets now that I know that the backstabbed ones can pose a bigger problem.
 
  #20  
Old 09-19-13, 09:56 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Just rewire the receptacles if they are in good condition no need to replace if you can get the wires out*. Be sure to wrap the loops clockwise.

*Try a 4d nail or jewelers flat tip screw driver in the slot next to the hole.
 
  #21  
Old 09-19-13, 10:24 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 15
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thanks ray. I did see online about putting the loop clockwise, but have to recheck it because I didn't know that when I did it. I was able to just pull the last cable out of the backstab by tugging on it.
 
  #22  
Old 09-19-13, 11:40 AM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I was able to just pull the last cable out of the backstab by tugging on it.
That's evidence of why using those is not recommended!

Inspect the stripped part of any conductor that was in a backstab for damage from the teeth in the clip, and decide whether to trim and re-strip it or use it as it is.
 
Reply

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
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: