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#117130 05/24/04 02:52 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,671
Likes: 2
Admin Offline OP
This Used To Be A Conductor
Photos by Dave55:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
Is that an aluminum conductor that was installed underground? That's what normally happens to aluminum if there is a small nick in the insulation and the conductor is installed underground.

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 697
Exactly, Don.


Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,438
Ahhh, this looks very familiar! I once had a call at a mobile home park where about 8 units had no power... A month earlier a plumbing company installed a sewer cleanout near one of the affected units.. All the utilities in this place were in the same trench.. Tone traced it & lost signal right next to the cleanout.. Lo & behold I found direct burial #1 Aluminum conductors just like this there... I wonder if the plumber noticed a tingling feeling when he was doing his work? [Linked Image] The circuit breaker controlling this did not trip (Zinsco 90A 240V)..


Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,289
What causes the white "globs" on conductors that get wet?
I've seen this many times, but never knew why the formed....S

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
I think the white crud is aluminium oxide....

Aluminium reacting with the oxygen in the water and probably who knows what else in the soil?

Just a guess....I'm no chemist. [Linked Image]

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 152
I think the electricity in the conductor has a lot to do with it also.

Where's Scott35 ?? Surely he could give us an indepth explanation of this occurance.

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 147
SvenNYC: I'm no chemist either, so I phoned one up. The white crud is aluminum oxide.

[This message has been edited by crash (edited 05-26-2004).]

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,412
Likes: 3
To agree with Crash,
That is Aluminium Oxide, caused by fresh Aluminium being exposed to Oxygen.
Water only accelerates the deterioration of the Aluminium metal below, the oxide surface. [Linked Image]

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
For aluminium conductor, air and moisture readily form oxides and hydroxides when in contact with the metal on its exposed surfaces—coincidentally happening to be superb {and merciless} insulators.

As is probably evident from the images, in time the oxides also migrate into cable-strand interstices.

Nonreversible tool-compressed terminations and splices are unbeatably durable for many decades of electrical-connection reliability [and survival of the electrical system.]

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