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Are there Aluminum power cords?

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  1. #1
    Troybud started this thread.
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    Are there Aluminum power cords?

    I found a power cord today and it looks like Aluminum but i wasnt sure if its just colored Copper that just looks like Aluminum.
    So are some power cords that are Aluminum?
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    I'm guessing its a 'soft' extension cord, with plenty of strands.

    Probably 'tinned copper' wire, cut some at a sharp angle & have a look at the cross section, it has probably got a copper/gold look to it.

    Could be stainless steel, I have found some in a oven once (or twice...) same test as above.

    Ali strands would melt over a hot flame

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    Hello Gentlemen,
    Interestingly enough, there is in fact such a thing as Aluminum power cords -and- Romax type wire, the Alumex Corporation produced it. I know this only because I have some in my wire collection / Wall display. "It's a scrappers nightmare" or a let down at best. But on that same note, it very well could be just simply tinned copper as eesakiwi mentioned.

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    I personally have never heard of aluminum being in any type of power cords or wire.

    You have the rubber coating, and then a smaller rubber coating, then copper, or you have this:

    Rubber coating, thin piece of steel, rubber coating, and then copper.

    The ones with steel, no yard I have been too will take it, but depending on quantity I will either strip it, or just throw it away with steel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
    I personally have never heard of aluminum being in any type of power cords or wire.

    You have the rubber coating, and then a smaller rubber coating, then copper, or you have this:

    Rubber coating, thin piece of steel, rubber coating, and then copper.

    The ones with steel, no yard I have been too will take it, but depending on quantity I will either strip it, or just throw it away with steel.
    There are many, many houses out there wired with aluminum Romax and it is a huge fire risk so they quit using it in the late 70's ish.
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    here in arizona we run across a lot of it it is indeed aluminum very common with older wires used in home and commercial buildings

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    Good Morning / AfterNoon to Everyone!

    Aluminum Wire: Thankfully for us scrappers it's not as common as CU is. But alum wire is out there in almost every guage you could imagine. At this Recovery site that I am at this very moment, we collected approx 200 some odd pounds of alum wire, solid 100% alum. strand as well as solid core, and yes there is also braided alum. tri-plex (Over-Head, High Tention wire) with the single steel wire running through the middle, surrounded by clean alum. Quite often it is refered to as Service Drop within the electrical industry.
    A couple years back I made a wall display showing the many different type of wires so our guys "and me" would have a better understanding how to seperate CU wire. Currently I am way out of town on a large Recovery site, however once we go back home I will take some good photo's of the display and post it on here.

    We still have about another week before we finish up here, so perhaps if I have time in the next day or two I will take a few pics of the alum wire that we still have here on site and post them. Hopefully it will help my fellow scrappers out in wire knowledge & identification.

    Last year I learned a hard lesson regarding alum wire. I had placed a bid on GSA.gov for (The Lot) consisting of 4- pallets of misc. wire, from the the auction pics I could clearly see that a lot of the wire on the pallets were Romex and romex type wire. We won the bid and two days later my brother and I arrived with the excitement of a little kid... approx. 1/2 of the wire was alum wire. Since then we are much more cautious when we bid online with GSA or IDOT.

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    Absolutely aluminum wire is out there. In abundance. On a power cord? Interesting. I've never seen it, but it's possible I guess. Do the heat test like eesakiwi suggest. If it's tinned copper (which would be my guess at this point) the yards here take it as #2 copper. Good luck with it.
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    Troybud started this thread.
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    Ok thanks everybody

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    Hello to everybody once again !
    A couple days ago there was this discussion regarding aluminum wire. There were a few people who didn't realize that in fact there is aluminum wire out there. I stated that I would take a photo of some aluminum wire that we just recovered on a salvage yard site that we are currently on.

    I don’t want to be redundant, however I always keep my word and do what I say I'm going to do. That being said, here is the photo I took on Sunday.

    Truly,
    Scott

    Aluminum wire: http://i1209.photobucket.com/albums/...lumwire005.jpg
    GT Recycling & Reclaiming

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
    I personally have never heard of aluminum being in any type of power cords or wire.

    You have the rubber coating, and then a smaller rubber coating, then copper, or you have this:

    Rubber coating, thin piece of steel, rubber coating, and then copper.

    The ones with steel, no yard I have been too will take it, but depending on quantity I will either strip it, or just throw it away with steel.
    Last edited by GreenTruckR; 11-29-2011 at 11:23 PM. Reason: Just learning how to post photo'S

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  14. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenTruckR View Post
    I have some in my wire collection / Wall display. "It's a scrappers nightmare" or a let down at best.
    some pics of your collection would be helpful / interesting / appreciated.

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    I'm finding more & more Aluminum wire in the microwave transformers.
    Out of the last three that I scrapped, two of them had 1 of the 2 coils in the transformer made from Ali.

    Any silver/stainless steel microwave I'd suspect has at least 1 coil made from Ali, maybe both made of Ali.
    Yah have to check them by scrapeing them. Silver = Ali wire, they always have a gold/copper coloured varnish painted on them too.

  16. #13
    Mechanic688's Avatar
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    The white wire in the pic above is pretty self explanatory as it is marked Aluminex.
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    Aluminex. ouch
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