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#117130 05/24/04 02:52 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,660
Likes: 1
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This Used To Be A Conductor
Photos by Dave55:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
R
Member
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.
Don


Don(resqcapt19)
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 697
D
Member
Exactly, Don.

Dave

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,437
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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)..

-Randy

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,287
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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
S
Member
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
M
Member
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
C
Member
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: 8,407
Member
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
B
Moderator
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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