Monday, April 13, 2009

Kids! Kids! The Slugs Are Back!

one slug, two slug, green slug, ewww slug

The slugs are back, and the deer are gone. The doe has been very vigilant, and our neighbor reported last seeing them yesterday afternoon. I didn't see them at all today, though I was down into the basement and around the other side of the house to the main electrical panel several times. On one of the last trips I spotted this handsome fellow oozing along.

I made a lot of trips between the kitchen, the basement and the main panel. That was because after wrestling to get the exceptionally large wires into the new range outlet, I tested things, and got nothing. I went to the main panel, shut off the power, and noticed that the wires at the panel end were smaller than the wires I'd been wrestling with. So I went into the basement and under the house and traced things, and discovered that there was a one junction box where the fat copper wires were joined to some other fat wires (probably 4 AWG) with cool bronze screw clips. And from there it lead to the mystery subpanel on the other side of the house. There it joined to the smaller wires with some huge wire nuts, and then up to the main panel. The mystery subpanel on the side of the house is also where the old dryer circuit of very dubious merit ran through. The thing is, the 4 AWG wire doesn't appear to be copper, and is in the old cloth insulation. Regardless, there's a problem somewhere along the line between the mystery subpanel and the kitchen. So even though we won't be using it any time soon (our antique stove is gas), I'll be pulling new wire for the range outlet. Sigh. I'd been hoping to just hook that back up and be done with it.


Ragnar said...

The old wire is likely tinned copper but might be aluminum. Easy way to tell: cut and look at the cut. If it's reddish inside you're looking at tinned copper. Background: cloth wire had rubber isolation rather than PVC. During the manufacturing process the rubber needs to be vulcanized using sulfur which would damage bare copper. Thus all rubber isolated wires are tinned copper, often mistaken for aluminum for its silvery sheen. Aluminum wire on the other hand was all the rage in the US in the 1950s through 1970s, but I don't know whether they actually made cloth covered aluminum wire.

Bending it should tell you whether it's tinned copper or aluminum too - aluminum is much softer.

Gene said...

Thanks for the info! It might very well be tinned copper. In any event, it (a) has a break in continuity somewhere (b) only goes as far as the mystery subpanel. From there it uses much smaller (too small) wires to go to the main panel. So I'll be running new wire directly to the main panel.

Gene said...

I snipped off a piece and got a better look at it out in the light, and you are correct. It's tinned copper, with a rubber coating and cloth outside that.

Ragnar said...

I can see why you want to replace it ;-)

Just wanted to add a piece of useless trivia, a hobby of mine :-)