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Old 01-17-2011, 06:01 PM   #1
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can someone help me identify this wire


hi.. im looking at a house and found this wire.. my home inspector mentioned it could be aluminum.

i dont see any AL markings.. does anyone know what these "weaved' and coloured wires are?

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink

thanks

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Old 01-17-2011, 06:22 PM   #2
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can someone help me identify this wire


I'm not sure but I think it might be old time Romex. The orange one has a 2/14 mark on it. 2 conductors, 14ga.

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Old 01-17-2011, 06:32 PM   #3
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can someone help me identify this wire


It looks like the wires are just above the panel box. If this is the case, open up the panel box and take a photo.

Last edited by adave; 01-17-2011 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:43 PM   #4
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can someone help me identify this wire


this photo was taken during my home inspection.. i really cannot get back inside.. i've tryed to search the terms on the wire

philex 2/14 NND-7 no results from the internet
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:55 PM   #5
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can someone help me identify this wire


That looks like old Romex or BX wire (i think) its what I got in my house and mine DOES have a ground bundle in it (like 3 16 ga or so grounds per wire set)

Its hard to judge if it is aluminum or copper just from what you see. Open the panel up.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by LyonsElecSupply View Post
That looks like old Romex or BX wire (i think) its what I got in my house and mine DOES have a ground bundle in it (like 3 16 ga or so grounds per wire set)

Its hard to judge if it is aluminum or copper just from what you see. Open the panel up.
How can you possibly say that might be BX?
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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can someone help me identify this wire


Philex could actually mean "Philex Mining Corp. - Phillipene Mining Corp." They mined Copper/Gold ore in the Phillipines http://batangphilexmines.com/historyofphilexmines.htm Now, the Green Sheath wiring could be AL.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:35 PM   #8
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How can you possibly say that might be BX?
I completely agree. I find that statement hard to believe.





That IS old "romex' cable and will not be aluminum. AL was not used in that vintage.

Greg, I have seen that green stuff and is was CU.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:49 PM   #9
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Shane, did the Inspector per chance even open the panel and notate the wiring, or any problems in it?
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:46 PM   #10
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NMD is a term used in Canada. Are you in Canada? It looks like that panel box is mounted sideways, a common practice up there ...
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:28 PM   #11
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hi.. im looking at a house and found this wire.. my home inspector mentioned it could be aluminum.
Why didn't you ask the inspector, if he was not able to answer you I would be worried on how much the inspector knows. Something like that he should see on a daily or weekly basis.

To me that is old style wire, I have some of it in my 55yr old house.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:53 PM   #12
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As mentioned your probably in Canada. NMD -7 was the earlier wiring before NMD -90 was introduced. It is not aluminum to my knowledge. From the looks of newer cabling I would say the load center is relatively new and an upgrade has occureed with at least the panel. I don't believe you have much to worry about.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:18 AM   #13
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can someone help me identify this wire


I am currently installing a completely new kitchen in a 1960's rambler. Every bit of the wiring used in the home with the exception of the main line coming in from the street is copper.

While tearing out the walls in the remodel, I too found some of this old braded wrapped wire, it was all 12-2 and 12-3 copper. More than likely all of the braded sheathed wire IS copper. Best way to be sure is to pull the breaker panel cover and physically inspect the wire. The inspector should have known better and pulled the breaker panel cover to inspect everything including the main line.

Aluminum wire was not popular for use in residential homes until the late 1960's (around 1965) and when the price of copper began to rise aluminum became the material of choice due to reduced cost. Unbeknown to architects and builders the AL wiring would not be able to handle the current loads of all the new appliances the 1970's would bring to life.

Many a house fire was started and still are started by homes with Aluminum wiring. However this does not mean you will not find Aluminum wiring in homes, hense the main lines (which are stranded not solid core). If you tried to run a main line from the street pole to your main panel the cost would be astronomical no to mention HEAVY! Thie is one reason why Aluminum wire is used as the main line feed.

If you do find there IS ANY Aluminum wiring in your home, PLEASE spend the time and money to rewire the house. It could run you several thousands of dollars (even 10K+) but with all of the high-tech hardware homeowners have now, the old wiring just can't handle the loads. Also in many older homes they used branch circuits to feed multiple areas on just 1 15 or 20 amp breaker. This was fine 40+ years ago, but don't try to operate a toaster, coffee maker, microwave oven, flat screen TV and lighting in the kitchen on that 1 15 amp! Ouch!

Better to be safe than sorry. Electrical is nothing to go cheap on. If you do need to replace some or all of the wiring, use 12 guage, it will handle higher amperage loads. Just remember the rules and don't overload a breaker. It's easier to have a sub panel installed. Best suggestion if you ever decide to finish off a basement to usable living space, but that's another tip.

Hope this information helps.

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Old 01-18-2011, 11:26 AM   #14
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can someone help me identify this wire


FWIW, BX is the coiled metal covered wire in this photo.

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Old 01-18-2011, 05:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowesSuperDude View Post
If you do find there IS ANY Aluminum wiring in your home, PLEASE spend the time and money to rewire the house. It could run you several thousands of dollars (even 10K+) but with all of the high-tech hardware homeowners have now, the old wiring just can't handle the loads. Also in many older homes they used branch circuits to feed multiple areas on just 1 15 or 20 amp breaker. This was fine 40+ years ago, but don't try to operate a toaster, coffee maker, microwave oven, flat screen TV and lighting in the kitchen on that 1 15 amp! Ouch!
If aluminum wire is treated properly(useing AL plugs and switches, proper marrets and penetrox(anti ox i beleive it is called as well) you should have no worries with the aluminum. The problem rises when people use copper rated plugs and switches with it that you can have issues.

Although i do agree if you can afford it rewire the whole house even if it is one circuit at a time.

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