ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

ECN Shout Chat
Top Posters(30 Days)
Admin 19
Recent Posts
Anyone hiring inspectors?
by HotLine1. 03/27/17 08:03 AM
Old decora style outlets
by Admin. 03/25/17 11:40 AM
ESA Arc flash course
by TheShockDoctors. 03/24/17 10:15 AM
fuse rejectors
by HotLine1. 03/24/17 07:53 AM
Another Forum Update
by Admin. 03/22/17 03:04 PM
New in the Gallery:
SE cable question
Popular Topics(Views)
231,627 Are you busy
166,458 Re: Forum
160,717 Need opinion
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 63 guests, and 10 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
#188758 - 08/31/09 01:12 PM Aluminum conductors  
Steve T  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 306
Oak Park, IL, USA
Are aluminum conductors allowed for all feeders and branch circuits? Code sections? If someone can guide me to a previous thread on this, that would work too. Thanks.


2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides

#188761 - 08/31/09 03:10 PM Re: Aluminum conductors [Re: Steve T]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Technically, as the code is written, there's no reason not to use aluminum for nearly everything. True, there are a few exceptions, such as certain grounding conductors where the NEC specifies theat aluminum shall NOT be used, but those are the exceptions.

Indeed, the aluminum wire makes will tell you that aluminum is every bit as reliable as copper.

Yea, right. The wire makers leave out a few details:

They neglect to mention the change they made in the alloy used in the late 70's, to address issues that - they still claim - were caused by poor installation.

They also neglect to point out that they don't make the stuff smaller than #6 anymore. So, while there's no rule against using all aluminum to wire a house, lots of luck finding that #12 Romex in aluminum.

The same paradox exists as to the use of anti-oxidant compounds. The wire makers say there is no more, or less, reason to coat aluminum than there is copper. The NECA standard seems to assume that you will use it when working with aluminum, but doesn't specifically tell you to use it. The NEC is silent on the issue.

This is -yet again - where 'trade practice' varies from what the rule books say. Personally, I'll stick with tradition.


#188763 - 08/31/09 03:44 PM Re: Aluminum conductors [Re: renosteinke]  
ghost307  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 900
Chicago Illinois USA
Check with the local AHJ as to the minimum sizes allowed.
Most of them have no problems with Aluminum feeders but do have a cutoff size that they won't allow to be anything but Copper.
Around here, it's usually 10AWG and smaller, but it pays to check it out.


Ghost307

#188764 - 08/31/09 04:17 PM Re: Aluminum conductors [Re: ghost307]  
Steve T  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 306
Oak Park, IL, USA
So where/how does 110.5 apply?


#188805 - 09/03/09 08:57 PM Re: Aluminum conductors [Re: Steve T]  
gpsparky  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
Kansas
PLEASE, please, please don't tie copper and alu together under a wire nut, even if "they" say that the nut is made specifically for that purpose.


Sometimes not getting what you want can be an incredible stroke of luck.

#188807 - 09/03/09 09:20 PM Re: Aluminum conductors [Re: gpsparky]  
Tom  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Shinnston, WV USA
Originally Posted by gpsparky
PLEASE, please, please don't tie copper and alu together under a wire nut, even if "they" say that the nut is made specifically for that purpose.


Who are the "they" you're talking about? Do you know something that UL doesn't or have you fallen for the scare tactics on one of the web pages that I swear is funded by the makers of the copalum splices?

The only drawback I can see to the wirenut that is listed for copper to aluminum is its large size, hard to jam back in those undersized boxes they use in the old mobile homes.

Last edited by Tom; 09/03/09 09:22 PM. Reason: duplicate word

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

#188809 - 09/04/09 02:41 AM Re: Aluminum conductors [Re: Tom]  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,211
SI,New Zealand
Originally Posted by Tom


Who are the "they" you're talking about? Do you know something that UL doesn't or have you fallen for the scare tactics on one of the web pages that I swear is funded by the makers of the copalum splices?

Personally Tom,
There is absolutely no way that I would EVER put an aluminium wire and a copper wire in the same termination and call it "safe".

Sure the copper wire might be fine, but screwing a wirenut over an aluminium wire, is just asking for trouble.

These sorts of connections depend on friction only, not the sort of thing you want to subject aluminium to, as it has the habit of "flowing" under mechanical stress.

Especially when these connections are also carrying current, which will heat any sub-standard connection up, possibly to the melting point of the metal.

Bi-metallic lugs and splices are there to be used for a reason, otherwise, we wouldn't have them.


Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#188815 - 09/04/09 07:20 AM Re: Aluminum conductors [Re: Trumpy]  
Alan Belson  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Mayenne N. France
UL= Underwriters Laboratories. The clue is in the name. If a product is approved, then it must have passed their tests, surely?


Wood work but can't!

#188816 - 09/04/09 11:30 AM Re: Aluminum conductors [Re: Alan Belson]  
KJay  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 763
MA, USA
Not sure if this relates to the OP's question or not, but the thing I find a little unnerving about the Ideal purple wirenuts, is that the manufacturer has multiple warnings on the package that they are designed only for connecting aluminum-to-aluminum conductors with another copper conductor present, but not for straight aluminum to aluminum only.
Not sure about the T&B Marette ACS wirenut though, but according to the T&B product literature, they are not even UL Listed, so not sure how you could actually use them.
If I need to splice small AWG aluminum to aluminum or aluminum to copper, which thankfully is a rare occurrence for me, I use the AlumiConn set screw type connectors and a torque screwdriver, so as to make it a UL Listed splice. These still can take up a lot of room in a box, but IMO they are presently the next best alternative to the actual Copalum splices


#188827 - 09/05/09 02:44 PM Re: Aluminum conductors [Re: KJay]  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,059
Estero,Fl,usa
One thing a lot of people seem to ignore is that most lugs are aluminum. It would seem (as Alcan, among others will say) aluminum wire performs better in these lugs than copper.


Greg Fretwell

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Member Spotlight
HappyElectrician
HappyElectrician
Penn USA
Posts: 31
Joined: December 2011
Show All Member Profiles 
Featured:

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Shout Box
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.020s Queries: 16 (0.004s) Memory: 0.8207 MB (Peak: 1.0019 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-03-28 08:09:57 UTC