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Thread: Anyone ever see AL entrance cable conductor undersized AWG from the factory??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Anyone ever see AL entrance cable conductor undersized AWG from the factory??

    Got some SE cable the other day, Kingwire 3 wire Aluminium , and one of the two insulated conductors was visibly smaller than the other, though both were supposed to be 2/0. Noticed it after I cut it down in the meter housing, a bit late. Sure enough it seemed like a burnt wire, it was discoloured.. a brownish tint when you cut the insulation back, and it was compressed tightly, the strands were stuck together, it was noticeably smaller than the other insulated conductor. - Anyone ever see this on supposed brand new wire?
    Guy at the counter said "nah, its just extruded that way when they made it, or it's just the way it's cut." .but no..it was like that the whole 50' I bought. Another counter guy was more concerned and took my sample with him.
    AWG goes by diameter, right?

  2. #2
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    Never seen that. Pics would have been great. Worst I've seen is coax with flat spots and out of roundness, and the braids visibly compressed and damaged in spots. I believe it was Carol brand cable from a BB store.

    Sounds like someone loaded up a wrong spool at the factory to make the triplex.
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

  3. #3
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    Well, it goes by area, which is proportional​ to diameter squared for a constant wire geometry.
    Normal stranded has a larger diameter than solid for same area. But stranded can also be "compact" with the strands compressed to fit with less or no air space. That is common for aluminum wires.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    As Digger stated it cold be that one conductor is compact and the other isn't. Photo's available?
    Rob

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    All responses based on the 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

  5. #5
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    Pics or its not real
    What is esoteric knowledge today will be common knowledge tomorrow.

  6. #6
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    Allright, I left the prime example with the supply house. I should be able to come up with a pic, am still on this job.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by infinity View Post
    As Digger stated it cold be that one conductor is compact and the other isn't. Photo's available?
    Could be that one conductor is compacted to too small a wire gauge.

  8. #8
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    OK finally got the pics. You can see if you look enough the red striped CC conductor appears smaller than the other. Also the wire itself appears tinted a bronzish color . Both have 19 smaller strands. Myself and my witness here both say the one is smaller than the other diameter wise.
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  9. #9
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    Hard to tell from the pics, but one does indeed look slightly smaller. Not by much, but slightly undersized by 1/2 to 1 gauge. Could be that the black is larger. How do both these conductors compare to known normal SEU cable?
    What is esoteric knowledge today will be common knowledge tomorrow.

  10. #10
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    I agree one looks slightly smaller, and that would concern me a little about quality control of that manufacturer.

    I used to wire a lot of marinas and I found that the copper conductors of one manufacturer of type W cable (I think it was #2) were slightly smaller than another. I called the manufacturer rep and he said he would look into it. Got back to me and said their wire was fine. Well, I know for a fact that they had less copper than General did.

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