Go Back   InterNACHI Inspection Forum > Specific Inspection Topics > Electrical Inspections

Notices

Electrical Inspections Contains discussions about electrical systems. This includes receptacles, panels, wiring, etc.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 10/5/12, 3:29 PM
Greg W. Mathias's Avatar
Greg W. Mathias Greg W. Mathias is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lloydminster,Ab
Posts: 2,330
Default Black film on copper wiring in main panel

Need a quick answer. I don't suspect Chinese drywall. Is there another reason for copper to be black like this?
Can't seem to figure out how to put a picture from my phone in. On some of the neutrals it looked almost crusted on.



Greg Mathias, CCHI
Journeyman Carpenter
Level I Thermographer
Certified Master Inspector
Global Property Inspections
Lloydminster, AB. Canada
(780)205-9912
Reply With Quote
Need a home inspection in New Mexico? Check out InterNACHI's listing of New Mexico certified home inspectors. Or, find a home inspector anywhere in the world with our inspection search engine.
  #2  
Old 10/5/12, 3:43 PM
Michael Larson's Avatar
Michael Larson Michael Larson is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Hudson, WI including the Twin Cities of MN
Posts: 51,945
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmathias1 View Post
Need a quick answer. I don't suspect Chinese drywall. Is there another reason for copper to be black like this?
Can't seem to figure out how to put a picture from my phone in. On some of the neutrals it looked almost crusted on.
Sulfer, chemical compounds and high moisture environments are possibilities.

Check copper pipes and HVAC compnents



As a Professional Home Inspector, I support the privacy of my clients.

For more information click Trustyourinspector.ORG


www.InspectraPro.com
www.MinnesotaHomeInspector.biz

Michael Larson
Hudson, WI

Services provided in East MN and West WI

Call me

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10/5/12, 6:12 PM
Greg W. Mathias's Avatar
Greg W. Mathias Greg W. Mathias is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lloydminster,Ab
Posts: 2,330
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

The copper pipes looked ok. That's why I don't think it would be the drywall.



Greg Mathias, CCHI
Journeyman Carpenter
Level I Thermographer
Certified Master Inspector
Global Property Inspections
Lloydminster, AB. Canada
(780)205-9912
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10/5/12, 6:15 PM
Greg W. Mathias's Avatar
Greg W. Mathias Greg W. Mathias is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lloydminster,Ab
Posts: 2,330
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

Heres a couple of pictures.
Attached Thumbnails
black-film-copper-wiring-main-panel-dscn4320.jpg   black-film-copper-wiring-main-panel-dscn4316.jpg  



Greg Mathias, CCHI
Journeyman Carpenter
Level I Thermographer
Certified Master Inspector
Global Property Inspections
Lloydminster, AB. Canada
(780)205-9912
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10/5/12, 6:28 PM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Brighton, ON
Posts: 20,452
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmathias1 View Post
The copper pipes looked ok. That's why I don't think it would be the drywall.
I have not heard of any bad dry wall in Canada.



Chorine ,cat pee, Horse Pee and or other chemicals could be the reason .



If you do not search for more ,
......You will never find it.

............. Roycooke@hotmail.com
...................613-827-2011
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10/5/12, 6:41 PM
Greg W. Mathias's Avatar
Greg W. Mathias Greg W. Mathias is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lloydminster,Ab
Posts: 2,330
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

Second floor condo. The panel is about eight feet from the laundry. Rh was 35%. I even ran the washer through a full load to re check RH. only went up 3%. I'm stummped.



Greg Mathias, CCHI
Journeyman Carpenter
Level I Thermographer
Certified Master Inspector
Global Property Inspections
Lloydminster, AB. Canada
(780)205-9912
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10/5/12, 6:45 PM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Brighton, ON
Posts: 20,452
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmathias1 View Post
Second floor condo. The panel is about eight feet from the laundry. Rh was 35%. I even ran the washer through a full load to re check RH. only went up 3%. I'm stummped.
bet Javex is the cause ( Chorine )
They say do not store laundry supplies near your furnace for that reason



If you do not search for more ,
......You will never find it.

............. Roycooke@hotmail.com
...................613-827-2011
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10/5/12, 6:54 PM
Greg W. Mathias's Avatar
Greg W. Mathias Greg W. Mathias is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lloydminster,Ab
Posts: 2,330
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

Could be



Greg Mathias, CCHI
Journeyman Carpenter
Level I Thermographer
Certified Master Inspector
Global Property Inspections
Lloydminster, AB. Canada
(780)205-9912
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10/5/12, 9:38 PM
William Blackmon's Avatar
William Blackmon William Blackmon is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Middlesboro, KY
Posts: 450
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

I would suspect the chlorine in the air from the laundry. This is a form of oxidation and I have seen this exact condition on wire terminations many times where chlorine and moisture are both present.

Best to recommend service by a licensed electrical contractor. Normally it is a process of cleaning the strands with a wire brush, applying an anti oxidant compound, and properly torquing the connection.

The source of moisture may be the dryer instead of the washer. I would suspect ventilation/air flow might not be adequate in the area where the panel and laundry is located.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10/5/12, 10:23 PM
Marcel Gratton, CMI's Avatar
Marcel Gratton, CMI Marcel Gratton, CMI is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Gatineau, QC
Posts: 3,280
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

I inspected a home a few years back that had the pool equipement along with its chemical (chlorine) stored in basement, basement had a walk-out to the pool, and the electrical panels were located in that same room.

Copper wiring were not discoloured but cabinets were rusted.
Attached Thumbnails
black-film-copper-wiring-main-panel-img_0057.jpg  



Marcel Gratton, NACHI04011210, CMI
On The Level Inspection
Gatineau, Québec
http://www.onthelevelinspection.com/
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10/5/12, 10:40 PM
William Blackmon's Avatar
William Blackmon William Blackmon is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Middlesboro, KY
Posts: 450
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgratton View Post
I inspected a home a few years back that had the pool equipement along with its chemical (chlorine) stored in basement, basement had a walk-out to the pool, and the electrical panels were located in that same room.

Copper wiring were not discoloured but cabinets were rusted.
I can fully believe that. I think in many instances either the ambient air temperature, or the lack of adequate ventilation, or both, are contributing factors. I would assume in the basement you inspected, the temperature or RH might have been more moderate than in the 2nd floor of the condo, especially with laundry equipment in close proximity.

On a side bar, I have also repaired the same oxidized wire terminations in electrical cabinets that control industrial plastic extrusion processes. RH is typically very high and this is very common in processing systems for PVC products.

I guess there are so many possible variables in the world that it is difficult to speak in terms of absolutes or certainties.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10/6/12, 12:13 AM
Greg W. Mathias's Avatar
Greg W. Mathias Greg W. Mathias is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lloydminster,Ab
Posts: 2,330
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

I wrote it up as follows:
It appears that the copper wiring in the service panel has oxidized. The exact reason is unknown as there are many variables as to why this can happen. It is recommended that a licensed electrician evaluate and repair as required.



Greg Mathias, CCHI
Journeyman Carpenter
Level I Thermographer
Certified Master Inspector
Global Property Inspections
Lloydminster, AB. Canada
(780)205-9912
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10/6/12, 5:04 AM
Joshua L. Frederick Joshua L. Frederick is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Defiance, OH
Posts: 2,259
Send a message via AIM to jfrederick
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlarson View Post
Sulfer
Check copper pipes and HVAC compnents
I agree, I've seen residual sulfer corrosion/damage/deterioration/staining like this multiple times. Was there any other blackened areas/components like Michael said?
Reply With Quote
Need a home inspection in New Mexico? Check out InterNACHI's listing of New Mexico certified home inspectors. Or, find a home inspector anywhere in the world with our inspection search engine.
  #14  
Old 11/14/13, 4:15 PM
Christopher Currins's Avatar
Christopher Currins Christopher Currins is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Godfrey, IL
Posts: 12,522
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by wblackmon View Post
I would suspect the chlorine in the air from the laundry. This is a form of oxidation and I have seen this exact condition on wire terminations many times where chlorine and moisture are both present.

Best to recommend service by a licensed electrical contractor. Normally it is a process of cleaning the strands with a wire brush, applying an anti oxidant compound, and properly torquing the connection.

The source of moisture may be the dryer instead of the washer. I would suspect ventilation/air flow might not be adequate in the area where the panel and laundry is located.
I'm leaning to the dryer vent causing this issue (blackened copper electrical wires and water pipes) at yesterdays inspection. Service panel was 10' to left of dryer. Home built in the 60's. Sorry for blurry photos of water pipes.
Attached Thumbnails
black-film-copper-wiring-main-panel-p1011335.jpg   black-film-copper-wiring-main-panel-p1011421.jpg   black-film-copper-wiring-main-panel-p1011430.jpg   black-film-copper-wiring-main-panel-p1011365.jpg   black-film-copper-wiring-main-panel-p1011368.jpg  







CBC HOME INSPECTIONS

Christopher Currins
Professional Home Inspector In Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Godfrey, Maryville,
Fairview Heights, O'Fallon and surrounding areas of S
outhern Illinois

We Make It Safer
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11/14/13, 8:28 PM
ROBERT YOUNG, CMI's Avatar
ROBERT YOUNG, CMI ROBERT YOUNG, CMI is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Montreal Quebec H4B2R8
Posts: 10,300
Send a message via Yahoo to ryoung7
Default Re: Black film on copper wiring in main panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcooke View Post
bet Javex is the cause ( Chorine )
They say do not store laundry supplies near your furnace for that reason
Rodent urine. I think you where on to it in yourfirst post Roy.
Any dropping in or around the panel?



Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
Home inspector Montreal - Montreal Home Inspector
"Putting information where you need it most, "in your hands!"
montreal-home-inspection-services.com
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
National Electrical Code Information and Discussion jtedesco1 Electrical Inspections 50 6/15/10 7:28 PM
Panel wiring question dmacy Electrical Inspections 12 2/2/09 8:38 PM
Nice Report on AL Wire Terminations - Enjoy pabernathy Electrical Inspections 0 7/2/07 12:35 PM
Main Panel wiring sstanczyk Electrical Inspections 2 2/9/06 8:55 AM
Bad electrical problem Pest Guy Electrical Inspections 4 1/20/06 9:26 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 5:30 PM.
no new posts