The Electrical Contractor Network

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

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!

Featured:
   

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

   
Recent Posts
Correct rotation, wrong sequence
by Potseal
Yesterday at 03:14 PM
Industrail Control Panel bonding per 409.108
by sparkyinak
12/09/16 06:29 PM
Calling all Non-US members!! (Non-US only)
by aussie240
12/07/16 02:39 AM
Photo Upload Tutorial
by DanK
12/06/16 11:35 PM
Sprinklered equipment 26-008
by bigpapa
12/02/16 04:24 PM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm˛ flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 11
HotLine1 9
Potseal 9
sparkyinak 8
Texas_Ranger 7
Who's Online
0 registered (), 8 Guests and 1 Spider online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#213223 - 03/30/14 12:46 PM Aluminum
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Have you been to an aluminum pitch lately?
General Cable is making the rounds trying to rehabilitate aluminum again. They are still concentrating on feeder sized conductors but they do leave the door open for branch circuit sized wires sometime soon (10&12)
They blame it on device manufacturers who charge such a premium for Co/Alr

One interesting thing I heard is that if you really want to use NoAlox, you should be using it on your copper wire, not the aluminum (most lugs are aluminum) and they also say wire brushing the conductor is a waste of time.

It is an interesting show.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

Top
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#213224 - 03/30/14 04:12 PM Re: Aluminum [Re: gfretwell]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Sounds like a repeat of a presentation put on by the Southwire rep about 6 years ago.

Sure, it all sounds nice. I'm not convinced, though. Nor do I trust them- it all seems like they're setting the stage to bring back aluminum branch circuits.

Let me make my own position clear: I just want to do my job. I have to rely upon 'experts' to guide me. That's pretty hard to do when field lore conflicts with learned papers, or when one group of experts (the manufacturers) is at odds with another (the IAEI).

We've also all heard our share of whoppers over the years. The aluminum industry destroyed their credibility back in the 70's, when they made it an article of faith that every issue was the result of improper installation.

If it's that difficult to install properly, what's to keep the issues from arising again? Especially when their favorite installation defect - that anti-oxidant wasn't used- is now tossed aside. Now, they say, the goop isn't needed.

Theft? If you think thieves like copper, just wait until they discover there's aluminum out there!

Top
#213225 - 03/30/14 05:39 PM Re: Aluminum [Re: gfretwell]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6805
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Only used Alon rare occasions. If it was re-introduced for branch circuits, and I was still wearing tools, I would not use it.
_________________________
John

Top
#213226 - 03/30/14 07:39 PM Re: Aluminum [Re: gfretwell]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I really have mixed emotions on this. It is clear the utilities are aluminum virtually 100% and they seem to be making it work.
I also lived with an aluminum house, my ex still has.
43 years later, she has had zero problems.

OTOH there are plenty of documented failures with binding screw terminal devices and aluminum wire so there is something going on there.

I do tend to agree, aluminum in an aluminum lug, should be fine.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

Top
#213227 - 03/30/14 09:37 PM Re: Aluminum [Re: gfretwell]
twh Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/04
Posts: 898
Loc: Regina, Sask.
Stranded aluminum seems to be pretty reliable except on overhead services where it's exposed to wind and rain. It weighs less and is easier to bend into the lug so the installation is easier. I wouldn't use it to save a couple hundred dollars but for a couple thousand it is on my favourite list.

Solid aluminum has a well known track record. I already learned that lesson.

I read the specs on an aluminum lug a few years ago and it was tinned so it could be used with copper. Are they all tinned?

Top
#213228 - 03/30/14 11:35 PM Re: Aluminum [Re: gfretwell]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Yes they are tin plated to avoid galvanic corrosion with copper. That was why he says you are better off using the anti oxidant on copper wire.
As long as the plating is solid, no problem but if you scratch up the lug installing the conductor, you might actually get more corrosion with the copper.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

Top
#213229 - 03/31/14 06:15 AM Re: Aluminum [Re: gfretwell]
wire_twister Offline
Member

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 265
Loc: Georgia USA
In my area we can win or lose a bid for as little as 50 dollars. That being said most of the new services I put in are aluminum, if aluminum branch conductors were to be available again there is no way I would install them! No amount of data from so called experts can cover experience in the field. We have all seen some prety hacked up copper installs that are still working fine, we still have miles of knob and tube in use around here, so copper is prety easy to install and make it work. Aluminum on the other hand, have to use anti-oxidant, have to use Co/Alr devices, have to use special connectors etc etc.... The choice is clear to me branch circuits will always be copper!
_________________________
Jimmy

Life is tough, Life is tougher when you are stupid

Top
#213230 - 03/31/14 06:55 AM Re: Aluminum [Re: gfretwell]
harold endean Offline
Member

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
When I did the service on my house many years ago (over 20?), when it came time to do the service I ran AL wire because using CU wire would have costed me over $3,000 back then. Money that I didn't have. I did however install the underground service in PVC pipe. That way in case I had problems with the AL wire, I could pull it out and run new wires again.

Top
#213232 - 03/31/14 07:49 AM Re: Aluminum [Re: gfretwell]
jdevlin Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 402
Loc: welland ontario canada
Maybe they should be making their pitches to the insurance companies that don't like aluminum branch circuits.


Edited by jdevlin (03/31/14 07:49 AM)

Top
#213234 - 03/31/14 09:17 AM Re: Aluminum [Re: gfretwell]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
To be clear, the pitch is for feeders, not 15 and 20a branch circuits. They are only talking about lugs, not binding screw terminals like you have on 15 and 20a devices.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals