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#24221 - 04/07/03 08:11 PM Aluminum vs. Copper
discgolf01 Offline
Junior Member
Registered: 04/07/03
Posts: 1
Loc: West Bloomfield, MI
I am about to wire in a 220 for a stove and need to run about 100+ feet of wire (complete opposite side of the house as the panel). My electrician recommended #6 Aluminum and he will be hooking up both ends (I am getting a completely new panel and breakers as well). I have read bad things about aluminum but understand that most problems occur at the connections (especially when mating to copper). My question is if this recommendation sounds ok since this will be a single outlet dedicated circuit hooked up by a professional, is it ok to go with #6 aluminum? Thanks in advance...
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#24222 - 04/07/03 09:25 PM Re: Aluminum vs. Copper
sparky66wv Offline
Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2232
Loc: West Virginia
As long as the conductor insulation and terminals are rated for 75ºC, then #6 Al would be code compliant, assuming 4 conductor cable is being used.

I, personally, like to use Copper #6-3-G (w/#10 Equipment Ground) NM-B Cable when the distance is more than 50 ft.

I tend to completely steer away from Aluminum for branch circuit wiring, and only use it for residential services.

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 04-08-2003).]
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#24223 - 04/08/03 04:18 AM Re: Aluminum vs. Copper
Redsy Offline
Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2056
Loc: Bucks County PA
The problems associated with aluminum generally are related to smaller, old technology, 15 & 20 amp branch circuit wiring. It is OK to use aluminum SE Cable for a range, but I don't do it. The copper doesn't cost much more, and in my opinion, using aluminum in this day and age is a "cheapskate" approach.
#24224 - 04/08/03 02:48 PM Re: Aluminum vs. Copper
HotLine1 Offline

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6775
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
The "key" item to be concerned with is IF the receptacle device that is to be installed is rated for aluminum conductors.

Or, if the unit is being "hard wired", are the terminations rated for Al. conductors?

#24225 - 04/08/03 08:08 PM Re: Aluminum vs. Copper
DBC1 Offline
Registered: 03/15/03
Posts: 16
Loc: Tulsa, OK USA
Spend the extra money on copper. You will sleep better. I agree with the other as long as the terminations are rated for Al it meets code, but not in my home.
#24226 - 04/08/03 09:09 PM Re: Aluminum vs. Copper
SvenNYC Offline
Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1691
Loc: New York City
Doesn't aluminium have this nasty habit of expanding and contracting until it loosens the connection at the terminal?

I'd say go for copper....spend the it right and forget it.
#24227 - 04/09/03 12:03 PM Re: Aluminum vs. Copper
SJT Offline
Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 241
Copper all the way. Thats the only way to go on new installations. Range, service, etc.
#24228 - 04/09/03 04:36 PM Re: Aluminum vs. Copper
frenchelectrican Offline
Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 939
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
majorty of my hevey wireing is copper unless the distance is very long then i switch over to alum. wires but for most branch crks. i use almost all copper expect for service enternce it can be copper or aluminuam depend on service size

merci marc
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

#24229 - 04/09/03 07:46 PM Re: Aluminum vs. Copper
Bjarney Offline
Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2527
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Excuse me, but I need to throw a wrench in the gears. The copper-versus-aluminum argument always heats up when the difference in spot-metals prices increases.

Based on long-past ranch, baseball-field and parking-lot wiring—aluminum H-taps {range-taking parallel splices} that handle 2-14AWG cables are bulletproof and very inexpensive, provided you must have access to a suitable crimper and dies, and the enclosure space to allow copper pigtailing. T&B/Blackburn, Burndy and Penn-Union make ‘em.

[In the OP’s case, it may pay to increase the cable size a gauge on over-75-foot runs. A 5% voltage drop corresponds to close to 10% heat output.]

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