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Thread: Cost of 'lead-free' (or < 300 ppm) building wire

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    Cost of 'lead-free' (or < 300 ppm) building wire

    Does anyone have experience with the cost implications of specifying electrical wire and cable with lead content less than 300 parts per million? Very few manufacturers of common building wire like THHN/THWN seem eager to address lead content in their literature so I have no idea how rare or expensive lead-free wire would be.

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    No, and I never will. What a ridiculous concept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteamDonkey View Post
    Does anyone have experience with the cost implications of specifying electrical wire and cable with lead content less than 300 parts per million? Very few manufacturers of common building wire like THHN/THWN seem eager to address lead content in their literature so I have no idea how rare or expensive lead-free wire would be.
    Why should I be worried one way or the other?
    Tom
    TBLO

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    All the THHN I see now has "LEAD FREE" prominently displayed on the jacket. Am I missing something here?

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    Did I attempt to start a religion or something? I'm not here to promote environmental stewardship and I'm not telling anyone to be worried about anything. I simply want to get an idea of what lead-free wire costs, assuming it's even available. If I find out nobody is selling or installing it, that would be useful information.
    Edit: Thanks peter d, that is helpful.
    Last edited by SteamDonkey; 12-29-17 at 09:18 PM. Reason: update

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter d View Post
    All the THHN I see now has "LEAD FREE" prominently displayed on the jacket. Am I missing something here?
    I always thought the lead was in the insulation. I could be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by packersparky View Post
    I always thought the lead was in the insulation. I could be wrong.

    Yes, that's right, lead was used in insulation but is not any longer. There is no lead in the copper. Copper must be 99.9% pure to be electrically conductive. So where else would the lead be?

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    I agree that the lead is not in the wire. This may be outdated but from the Cerrowire website:

    Polyvinyl Chloride Compounds
    Dispose of the THHN insulating material utilizing the correct procedures as required by EPA and DOT due to its Lead and Antimony Trioxide content.

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    Now that you mention it I kind of remember a fuss being made several years ago over the lead compound in CAT5 PVC jackets. You were warned to wash your hands after handling it and before eating or smoking. I would imagine a problem if the stuff burns.

    -Hal

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    Quote Originally Posted by packersparky View Post
    I agree that the lead is not in the wire. This may be outdated but from the Cerrowire website:

    Polyvinyl Chloride Compounds
    Dispose of the THHN insulating material utilizing the correct procedures as required by EPA and DOT due to its Lead and Antimony Trioxide content.
    So I probably shouldn't hold the wire ends in my mouth when I need a third hand.

    I was wondering where those brain cells had gone to.

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