Aluminum Wiring in Service Panel

Hey everybody, I am not yet a certified inspector but I am hoping to become one by the end of July. I wanted to ask the more experienced inspectors if they could explain when exposed twisted aluminum wire (like the incoming neutral) is allowed in the panel. In my home I have three examples of this in addition to the incoming neutral and I have no idea why, what they are for, or their legality.

Also, I noticed the following things as defects/write ups.
1: There is old cloth wiring in the panel that is heavily deteriorated.
2: There is a double tapped breaker.
3: The wire on the bottom of the picture is not live. Non live wiring that is not being used should be removed by a professional electrician.
4: There is electrical tape around part of one aluminum conductor, and old/mismatched tape/insulation around other wires.
5: Not pictured, there was mild rust on the dead front panel. Due to the age and deterioration of the panel it is recommended to be evaluated/updated by a professional electrician.

You better go read your books again.

Chris, if you haven’t taken the Internachi Residential Electrical course, I suggest you do. You may then want to proceed to the advanced course.
Good Luck


A few observations:
The bare aluminum conductor is permitted for an equipment grounding conductor (EGC). It can be taped but not required.

  1. Could be an issue if the rubber insulation is compromised
  2. Problem unless the CB is listed for two conductors, SQ D type QO are typically listed for two conductors within a certain size range.
  3. Not an issue, no need to remove it.
  4. Can’t see the mismatched tape.
  5. Rust can be an issue, from the photo the panel appears to be in good condition.
    There are several other major issues with this panel.
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Thanks. I remember that now. I need to look into it more. I have completed the first electrical course but I need to review it and then do the advanced one. I’m still training I am not claiming to know it all!

I have completed the residential and plan on reviewing more and taking the advanced afterwards. I didn’t know there was an advanced one. I am new to this. Thanks.

Welcome to our forum, Chris!..Enjoy! :smile: