Aluminum Wiring?

Inspected a home today and I think it might have aluminum branch wiring but I am not 100% sure.

The reason I am not positive is because the vast majority of the box is obviously copper but there are a select few breakers that look aluminum (however I know they make coated wiring that kind of looks aluminum even though it isn’t) and because the diameter still looks 14 gauge and not 12 gauge but I only eyeballed it.

This home had a lot of shoddy DIY work and I am thinking he added aluminum wiring to the bottom of the box for an addition in the basement and I just want to be sure it’s not just some type of coated 14 gauge copper before I advise my client.

It’s aluminum.

I occasionally see a mix of Copper and Aluminum also.

Agree with Kevin, its aluminum. Call it out in your report.

Some aluminum in there for sure.

Yes , tin coated is mostly found in old home but that not tin coated.

The only thing worse than double tapped Neutrals… is double tapped Aluminum Neutrals!

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Thanks I thought it was aluminum and yes it looks like 14 gauge but not sure, its very DIY in the basement and they all go to unfinished strapping without drywall in the basement I am going to recommend it all be removed and if the client wishes to finish the basement work to have it done by a licensed electrician with permits.

I don’t know if they ever made 14 gauge aluminum wire. If they did I have never seen it…

But even if 12 gauge, is not large enough, that looks like a 20 AMP breaker.

But, they’re only going to plug a ‘small’ toaster into that outlet! :neutral:

Oh ok… :slight_smile: But that being the case, maybe put a 15 AMP breaker in the slot… it will handle a ‘small’ toaster ok.

Nah… the missus likes her bagels. :nah:

What’s really a mystery is why there is AL and Cu conductors on the same double pole breaker. How does that happen?

I wonder what year the house was built.

Not used as a double pole breaker… no tie between the two breakers.

How can you tell? Bottom black breaker, 1st photo.

Even if it was tin coated, how can you be sure? Wouldn’t you have to call it out regardless.

It should be fairly obvious from a visual inspection of the insulation… Compare the aluminum conductors in post #1 of this thread with this other thread that has tin-coated copper.

Tinned copper does not have a thermoplastic insulation.

So Robert, when I see this single strand conductor at the main service equipment, it’s a rubber insulated, cloth covered tinned copper conductor? And the fraying/deterioration of the cloth is not something that should be reported?