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Old 04-12-2019, 05:21 PM   #1
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Default Black oxidation (?) on ground wires

So doing some renos in the basement and a couple of the boxes I've opened up have a black coating on the grounds that rubs off. It is almost like a dust that gets onto your hands, but not a large accumulation. The boxes were for a light on one side of the house, the dryer, and a couple of receptacles in the laundry. I haven't seen it before and just wondering if anyone might have an insight as to what it might be.. Naturally the basement is finished, so ripping it out isn't really an option..

As a side note... In my after life, I hope I meet the guy that wired the basement in a dark alley... Receptacles wired wrong, ground wire cut off to a switch, switching the neutrals on all of the lights I've come across, very little left for a loop, etc..
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Old 04-12-2019, 05:28 PM   #2
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How old is the house?

That is an indication of toxic Chinese drywall.

I hope that's not the case, but if it is the house needs to be vacated immediately.
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Old 04-12-2019, 05:51 PM   #3
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Usually an indication of hydrogen sulfide. Many sources besides chinese drywall. Don't panic.

Research it. At least inform the home owner.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:02 PM   #4
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How old is the house?

That is an indication of toxic Chinese drywall.

I hope that's not the case, but if it is the house needs to be vacated immediately.
Built in 2006.

Drywall in the basement that I can see is:
Toughrock, Edmonton, AB, 11/29/06

Last edited by glen1971; 04-12-2019 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:03 PM   #5
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Usually an indication of hydrogen sulfide. Many sources besides chinese drywall. Don't panic.

Research it. At least inform the home owner.
I am the home owner.. lol..

I've seen tons of effects of H2S on wires and this doesn't really look like it. Not sure if maybe the wires was stored somewhere with it in the environment before it was installed here..

Last edited by glen1971; 04-12-2019 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:38 PM   #6
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Can be from rotting organics, sewer gas, many things. Any batteries in the house? Backyard pool?

I see it here from time to time. Just throwing things out there hoping one of them will ring a bell.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:56 PM   #7
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Heat will cause black oxidation on copper. Ground fault somewhere?
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:01 PM   #8
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Can be from rotting organics, sewer gas, many things. Any batteries in the house? Backyard pool?

I see it here from time to time. Just throwing things out there hoping one of them will ring a bell.
No batteries.. No pool. Sump pump sump is about 20' away.. No odors in the house. Nothing that I can find as rotten..
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:04 PM   #9
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Heat will cause black oxidation on copper. Ground fault somewhere?
The two receptacles I replaced were both back stabbed, one wired wrong, and one of the hots fell out when I touched it on the washing machine. No sign of heat degradation on the wires though. It seems like it was mainly on the grounds..
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:24 PM   #10
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Built in 2006.

Drywall in the basement that I can see is:
Toughrock, Edmonton, AB, 11/29/06
Well that's good news, sounds like it isn't that Chinese crap.

It was a big problem in the southeast US right around that date range.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:56 PM   #11
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Well that's good news, sounds like it isn't that Chinese crap.

It was a big problem in the southeast US right around that date range.
I did a little googling after you had mentioned it and only found one reference to Toughrock and Edmonton, and they said there was an issue with some sulphur that got into some gypsum from a mine in BC.

There was a fair amount from the US side on the issues post hurricane issues they have had with it! I couldn't imagine having to have to replace a house full of drywall! I can't believe it got let into the country and passed inspectors!
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