color of aluminum wire

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  #1  
Old 02-05-02, 05:40 PM
rreinhar
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color of aluminum wire

I've been told my house has aluminum wiring. I'm doing some renos in the basement, and can tell the difference between old wiring (thicker woven black sheathing on the cable) and more recently installed cable (romex). I have assumed that the black stuff is the original aluminum, but when I started disassemling, I noticed that the actual wire is copper colored.
Can aluminum be any color other than silver?
What's up?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-05-02, 05:55 PM
J
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Scrape some exposed wire with a knife. You might have copper-clad aluminum. Such wire may be connected like copper, but it has the ampacity of aluminum.
 
  #3  
Old 02-05-02, 06:01 PM
Jxofaltrds
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If you think you have alum wiring PLEASE have a lic. electrician look at this.
IMHO this is the most dangerous thing a homeowner can work on (aluminum).
 
  #4  
Old 02-05-02, 06:11 PM
rreinhar
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John,
"Copper-clad aluminum"
You say it can be connected like copper.
Does this mean that the copper cladding will alleviate the problems associated with aluminum? (ie aluminum oxidation leading to increased heat, etc)
 
  #5  
Old 02-06-02, 11:48 AM
resqcapt19
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It is very unlikely that the older cable is aluminum. It is very likely that you hve "tinned" copper conductors. The chemicals used to make the old rubber type insulation would attack the copper conductors, so they were "tinned" before the insulation was applied when the wire was manufacturered. When you scrape the "tinning" off you should see copper. If the color remains "silver" all the way through you do have aluminum and should consult a professional.
Don(resqcapt19)
 
  #6  
Old 02-06-02, 12:16 PM
J
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Don, I was going to mention that, but in his first post he said that "the actual wire is copper colored."
 
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