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How Urgent? Aluminum electrical corrosion or what?

Posted by SparklingWater (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 15, 14 at 11:11

Hi, hoping for some help here in an area that many plumbers and electricians over the years have seen and noted no sense of emergency or urgency but eventual pipes needed eventual switch out.

The photos show main and BX armored cable electrical lines from the older of two used basement 200 amp metal breaker boxes. The original owner's electrician placed the old breaker box under an old first floor shower and yep, the tile shower/drain leaked. So, I cut off the water with intent of eventual replacement, soon to occur.

What's going on here? Corrosion has always been noted in this area (or flux?) when plumbers/electricians come, but now I see possibly new "white stuff" on the BX aluminum cable electrical wiring leading away from the old metal breaker. Is this also corrosion? Note: last summer during kitchen fix, an electrician put in a new grounding wire away from this area even though we had pipe grounding wires.

I'm going to have electrician in to advise me, so please don't flame me on these photos. The area has been heavily viewed over the years.

What do you think of that BX cable? How urgent is this situation w.r.t. electric hazard to wires inside? Any possible relation to old and new grounding last summer, as I don't recall seeing this white stuff at all last summer or year before?

Thank you for your help!

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This post was edited by SparklingWater on Sun, Jun 15, 14 at 11:37

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How Urgent? Aluminum electrical corrosion or what?

Surface corrosion on the conduit, sheath of the service wires, or the armored cable isn't likely to be much of an issue. I'd be more concerned about that water pipe. It's looking for a failure (usually pin hole leaks).

I have no idea what you're talking about when you say pipe ground. Are you talking about a clamp on the pipe bonding it to the electrical grounding system?

RE: How Urgent? Aluminum electrical corrosion or what?

Thanks for answering ronnatalie!

Yes indeed, that pipe has got to go. That entire area is a mess and needs to be fixed. Even though the shower water is off, that drain pipe has got to go. But I'm glad to hear no immediate emergency about the stuff on that armoured cable, although I'll be sure to call an electrician soon enough. I was reading about galvanized steel last night, as our house is old, and checked out the basement this morning and saw that armoured cable.

I took a picture of the new cooper grounding wire installed last summer. It turns out it was from gas line to water supply pipe to help lessen spark risk. Here it is:

 photo 0802030819_zps90e8a12f.jpg

Thanks again. Now if I could just decide whether a first floor bath should be redone as is (with shower) or just as a powder room with sink/lav.

RE: How Urgent? Aluminum electrical corrosion or what?

Kind of funny to me that one plumber came in and made a big thing about the blackening of a copper pipe (oxidized) but said nothing about that obviously corroded pipe.

Even worse, I bought his words and now have shiny new pipe next to old corroded pipe.

I'm more careful now, but my solo plumber has knee problems. :( Hard for him and he is good.

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