Anything wrong with this?

Anything wrong with this???

50 amp bridged breaker (electric range I believe) with appropriately sized conductors. However, one is copper and the other is aluminum.

I can only assume that the copper distribution wire was short (or had to be replaced) so they spliced a short pigtail to ONE side with aluminum stranded. Again, can only assume that they used Aluminum because that is what they had in the truck???

Can’t think of any reason this would be called out but wanted to get a second opinion before submitting my report.

Any input is welcome.



The CU to AL splice would be a potential point of issue. It must be an approved connector, but it almost looks like a split-bolt connector (which would not be proper).

Verification of the connection would be warranted. . .

Actually a correct CU/AL split-bolt is one of the proper methods of splicing larger AL to CU. They have a “partition” that keeps the two dissimilar conductors from coming in contact.

To me that looks like tinned, or AL clad, copper, not aluminum.

Thanks Jeff…

Why can’t a split bolt connector be used if properly rated for this connection? I’ve seen them rated for Aluminum to Copper connections:

*Split bolt connector with spacer bar Copper alloy-bodied, electro-tin plated For aluminum-to-aluminum cable **Copper-to-aluminum cable *Copper-to-copper cable Size= Min/Max range of equal main & tap Color: WIRE:Solid/Stra Size: SIZE:6/ 1/0

What would you consider to be a proper splice (Copalum Crimp?).

I agree with Speedy on this----that wire is not likely aluminum----note the cloth covering?


Mind if I chime In…:slight_smile:

Actually older style split bolts that are copper where not designed to be CU/AL conection choices…The bridge in the middle was still copper and not voiding the copper to aluminum issue…The ones that Speedy and I used today will be listed and labeled as AL/CU if they have that intent…and are usually silver in color ( well the ones I use are…lol…)

Many of the older split bolts that are copper colored did not allow for the mixing…HOWEVER…

With that said…I do not think you should call this out because you are not able to verify the type of split bolt and the electrician is not going to come and cut off the tape to see…so it depends on the installation…

If it was a relative new change over…we have to assume they used a AL/CU rated Split Bolt…but being it is wrapped…no signs of melting tape…due to possible signs of heat build up…a condition that may occure in a situation where disimilar metals happen and resistance could lead to heat built up…sooooooo

so regardless of Alum or Copper Conductors…since you can’t see the end of the conductor to verify if it is Copper Tinned and so on…not enough of something I would call out…sorry…only my opinon.

Never said I was a GURU…just opinionated.

lKnob & tube: 1880’s – 1930’s
lAC (armored cables) 1930’s - current
lNM (non-metallic) cloth covered:1928 – 1960’s
lNM (romex) (plastic sheathed): 1960’s - current

•Copper conductors: 1880’s to current
• Tinned Copper conductors: 1910’s to 1950’s
• Aluminum conductors: 1960’s to current

I agree Paul. Mainly becuase it is not VISIBLE.

I did not call this out but did call out the oversized breaker (50 Amp on a 10AWG copper conductor) and the scorched wire and melted insulation in other parts of the panel, while calling for a complete evaluation of the panel by a licensed electrician.

The Sparky should decide if there is a problem with the splice while he is doing his complete evaluation.

Thanks to everyone that chimed in…


Good point. I rarely see that type and forgot that they exist.

Looking again at the photo, I agree.

Thanks guys…

Since you can’t see the tips of the conductor, what clues are there that the wire is tinned copper and not aluminum?

The cloth cover is one indicator - there are also knicks on the wire that have exposed the copper.

For me it just an experienced eye. Old tinned CU looks quite different that solid AL.
Also as Jeff said, the braided/rubber insulation is quite common to tinned CU.

as well it appears to be nicks that has the copper showing through… unless the color is just a bad image.