switch has pigtail to silver wire?

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Old 10-06-14, 11:28 AM
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switch has pigtail to silver wire?

I replaced a one way switch recently. The junction box has pigtails to some smaller silver wire, which is connected to the switch. 2 black wires, the neutral is just connected to another neutral in the junction box but doesn;t connect to the switch.
Is this ok? I read somewhere you shouldn't mix aluminium with copper?
 
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Old 10-06-14, 11:37 AM
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Not all silver wire is aluminum. It could be tin covered copper which needs no special treatment.

If you can do so easily, file or scrape the extreme end of the wire. See if copper color shows through.

If it is aluminum, the connectors need to be a special kind for use with aluminum. Usually the kit comes with a tube of jelly to cover the exposed wire with.

The aluminum connectors will work with copper to copper joints although this is expensive overkill.
 
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Old 10-06-14, 11:37 AM
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If the wires are aluminum you should not use wire nuts.Polaris or AlumiConn connectors are best.
 
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Old 10-06-14, 12:26 PM
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I noticed a lot of thermostats and baseboard heaters come with this same silver wire so it must be modern and up to code?
 
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Old 10-06-14, 02:22 PM
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That would be tinned copper. Look at a cross section.
 
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Old 10-06-14, 06:18 PM
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Baseboard heaters have never used aluminum wiring.
 
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Old 10-06-14, 07:25 PM
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For your house to have tinned copper wiring the house would have to be at least 50 to 60 years old with original wiring.
 
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Old 10-07-14, 07:10 AM
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The are the silver with small wires/filaments...easy to wrap around a stiff copper wire.
 
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Old 10-07-14, 07:44 AM
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The are the silver with small wires/filaments...easy to wrap around a stiff copper wire.
If those wires are on thermostats and baseboard heaters, they are tinned copper and not aluminum. Did you read Ray's post?

ray2047

That would be tinned copper. Look at a cross section.
The only real silver wire I have seen/used was silver clad copper with white teflon insulation, but you won't see it anywhere around a house.
 
 

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