Aluminum wiring??

Can anyone help me identifiy if this is aluminum wiring? I’ve attached a picture only of the wires entering the box, hoping that someone is familiar enough with it to be able to tell me if it is aluminum or aluminum clad copper. The wires are definitely silver (the picture of the wires in the box was not good enough quality to show, though). Its the four dirty brownish wires in the picture that are the ones in question.


The build date of the home may help. I am leaning toward AL. Tinned copper is more often individual conductors rather than a cable assembly.

I vote AL.


as they are cloth covered my best inspired guess would be that they were tinned copper, I have never seen aluminum wiring with cloth braid.

Unless the home was built after the early to mid 60’s I would bet on the tinned copper.

My guess is that home is probably 1940-1950’s



I guess I need to give you some photos for your library. :smiley:

What do the neutrals look like?

I’m with Gerry on this one. I really can’t add to his post.

Well, I can’t seem to find any indication in my library of pictures to support my statement, however, I can’t find anything to support Gerry either.

All my pictures show this type of sheathing on copper conductors. Tinned copper is rubber-insulated (individual conductors), cloth covered, while AL is vinyl sheathed.

So I’ll step out while others assist :roll:

Wiring looks like my parents 1946 house, cloth covered copper wire. But unless I see the wire myself, it is just a guess.

If this home was built in the 50s I would say it is cooper tin covered . The reason why they tined the copper wires was this is just after Knob and tube when all wires had solder joints and copper was very hard to get clean enough to solder so all wires came tinned to make it easer to make solder joints. Been there done that.
I agree with all the rest.

Hi to all,

Jeff and I chatted about this a while ago and he got me thinking more about this, maybe this is aluminum, a dirty version of this product that I have a file picture of.

I cannot tell whether this has a cloth or a PVC jacket, it does look a little like cloth.



aluminum%20wiring-1%20copy (Small).jpg

That IS coated (or painted) cloth braid sheathing.

That’s the stuff I remembered seeing. I just couldn’t find a picture of it.

Thanks for the responses so far. This is the first time I’ve had to get back on since my original post. I’ll try to answer the questions each of you has asked.

The house is a late 40’s early 50’s house.

The sheathing is definitely cloth, not rubber or vinyl.

The only place I could see the wire itself was on the neutral buss - it is obviously silver. The hots were stuck so far under the breaker lugs that I could not see them.


Based on the build date, it’s certainly not likely to be AL.

How to Recognize “Aluminum Wiring”.