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I am connecting a power cable to my dishwasher and I noticed the end of the copper wire looks like it has been dipped in solder. It is silver and very stiff. Should I be putting the wire nut on over this or cutting it off?

Both the power cable and the wires on the dishwasher have this material on the end of them.

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It's solder - it allows you to easily solder to the cable (if you needed to)

It's a very soft metal coating, a screw will make perfectly good contact through it.

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    They also help to stiffen up the ends of stranded wire (for when you need to insert it into a push connection) and it make it less likely to get breakage of individual strands or to oxidize (for both solid and stranded) – Joe Apr 25 '11 at 15:43
  • @Joe - good point about the strands. Although the engineer in me wants to say that you can't beat a copper-copper contact – mgb Apr 25 '11 at 16:00
  • @mgb : You can; that's why they sell so many gold plated plugs for home audio/video stuff ... most oxides are a resistor, so in low voltage situations it can be significant. – Joe Apr 25 '11 at 19:01
  • @Joe, yep copper-copper is good, but copper-gold-coper certainly beats copper-oxide-copper! – mgb Apr 25 '11 at 20:29
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    We've always called it "tinning the wire" because the solder is usually mostly tin (Sn). – Bratch Apr 26 '11 at 4:51

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