Wires look burnt or Purposely Colored?

I couldn’t really tell if the wires in the attached image were burnt or someone was attempting to color them black with a marker. Is there an easy way to tell from the image? The went to the Water Heater and A/C.

They look colored for re-identification.

Is that single strand aluminum at the top of pic 2?

May actually be 2 strands of aluminum that go to the double-pole breaker; don’t see a neutral but only a ground at the top neurtral/ground terminal bar.

I agree, probably a faded magic marker that changed the white conductor to, well, whatever you want to call that new color. :smiley:

did they taste burnt?

I agree with Robert.

This is quite common when 2 wire cable is run to a straight 240 volt load like a water heater or A/C.

The wire that appears to be 1 or 2 strands is actually about 10 strands from what I can see in my hi-res photo on my laptop.

I was looking at the top, 4 right side conductors, at the double pole breakers, not at the bus bar.

You mean those silver colored wires? :mrgreen:

I know which wire you are referring to now. My picture is rotated that I was looking at. I’m not 100 percent clear on the use of aluminum wiring for ranges and that is what that wire goes to. I put something in my report about the use of that wire for the range and deferred to a certified electrician to be evaluated. From what I do understand about the aluminum wiring it was still used up into the 1980’s and then outlawed for branch wiring. I know it is still used by some for service entry and Heat Pump feeders like you see in the picture. Was it wrong to deferr the wiring on the range?

Added by edit:
The wire to the range looked like #8 aluminum juding by the diameter. The only reference I’ve found is the one in the link below which says that the range should have #6 aluminum wire. Of course, this material is copyright from 1989.


Now that was funny…the taste comment that is.

That would be “aluminum” colored! :twisted:

Generic rule of thumb…

(Any size)
Solid aluminum conductors… BAD.
Multi-strand conductors… Good.

And as you did… “When in doubt… call it out”.

Thanks Jeffrey. I did see the same thing in the training material with an asterik note about always calling them out if they are single strand just after I had posted. I should have started there.

You can call single strand AL out all day long…fact is the major problems with AL single stranded AL is the terminations. So how about calling out an electrician to come in and check all connections, check torque in the panels and devices and so on. Putting the fear in a homeowners eyes that all AL has to come out is not productive to the industry. Sure we can show problems with it but I can also lead you to where probably 99.9% of all fires due to AL wiring was at the termination points and not the wiring in the walls.

Call it out…BUT always feel free to give the client some options…give them a little education on what to ask for when they hire that electrical contractor so they don’t get ripped off. There aint anyone more picky than I am about electrical safety…but if a house has AL wiring in the walls…if I check the torques on all terminations, replace my connections with proper connectors at all stress points and have it looked over and protected properly by a correctly sized OCPD…I have no problem sleeping at night with AL solid branch circuits…again as long as the terminations are done right and checked.

Just my 2 cents…I don’t subscribe to being an alarmist anymore…sorry I have changed…:wink: