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toxigal
Aluminum or Tinned copper?

Hi, this is my first post. i'm a novice who likes to make sure she is doing things correctly and i've hit a confusing snag...
i'm trying to identify what type of wiring i have in parts of my house. my home improvement bible is letting me down.

i'm trying to figure out if i have aluminum or tinned copper wiring. I have no idea when the wiring was done, so i can't use timing to narrow it down.

it's a two wire flexible armorded cable with fabric then plastic sheathing and stranded silver colored wire. i "think" it's copper but the wire is so thin that i can't really see the core when i snip it. i am going to snag a magnifying glass to see if i can get a better idea.

so, if its aluminum i have to use the CO/ALR specific outlets/switches. but what i don't know is if i'm getting myself in trouble using those if it happens to not be aluminum. am i causing a problem if i use the CO/ALR and it is actually tinned copper wiring?

Thanks in advance!

NEC
Re: Aluminum or Tinned copper?

If it is stranded I can guartandamtee it is not aluminum if it is smaller than #8.

If it is stranded you should splice it to a solid conductor or use the proper crimp terminals if going to a screw terminal on a device.

toxigal
Re: Aluminum or Tinned copper?

thanks for your quick reply!

will it be a problem if i use CO/ALR devices? i just happen to have some, but i can easily go buy others i suppose. i will be sure to use crimp terminals.

i'm happy to have my non-aluminum suspicions confirmed. so much easier!

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Aluminum or Tinned copper?

To answer your question CO/AL receptacles will work with aluminum or copper. Like NEC says if it stranded it's copper.
Jack

NEC
Re: Aluminum or Tinned copper?
toxigal wrote:

thanks for your quick reply!

will it be a problem if i use CO/ALR devices? i just happen to have some, but i can easily go buy others i suppose. i will be sure to use crimp terminals.

i'm happy to have my non-aluminum suspicions confirmed. so much easier!

Not a problem........ Most every device made these days is CO/AL.

Just do not try wrapping that stranded wire around a screw terminal on a switch or receptacle. Use the proper crimp terms or wirenut it to solid wire.

toxigal
Re: Aluminum or Tinned copper?

i have a lot of wire nuts, but no crimp connectors. i admit, today i wrapped some wire around the terminals because i was in a hurry. i plan on redoing it though. i hope the house doesn't burn down tonight!

toxigal
Re: Aluminum or Tinned copper?
NEC wrote:

If it is stranded I can guartandamtee it is not aluminum if it is smaller than #8.

If it is stranded you should splice it to a solid conductor or use the proper crimp terminals if going to a screw terminal on a device.

okay, i just realized you said it is copper if smaller than #8. this appears to be #12. i just installed a light fixture with regular wire nuts and wonder if i should have used the purples just in case.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Aluminum or Tinned copper?

12ga is much smaller than 8ga.. The larger the ga number the smaller the wire size.
Jack

toxigal
Re: Aluminum or Tinned copper?
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

12ga is much smaller than 8ga.. The larger the ga number the smaller the wire size.
Jack

doh! i knew that. really i did. i can now rest in peace. thanks!

NEC
Re: Aluminum or Tinned copper?
toxigal wrote:

doh! i knew that. really i did. i can now rest in peace. thanks!

Well,....... just do not rest in too much peace and have some fun while you have shoes to put on........... Or, take off, whatever.

Re: Aluminum or Tinned copper?

Dont get too comfy I didnt see you mention anything about a ground wire and you cant use the jacket as a ground. So, no equipment ground?

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