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#73090 - 12/16/06 12:45 PM Aluminum Wire For Landscape Lighting
wendel Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 57
Does anyone know if aluminum wire is appropriate for outdoor landscape low voltage lighting? Copper is getting a bit expensive so I thought in an outdoor, low voltage situation, aluminum might be a better way to go.

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#73091 - 12/16/06 12:53 PM Re: Aluminum Wire For Landscape Lighting
LearJet9 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 196
Loc: Millis, MA USA
AL wire is totally and absolutely useless for anything.

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#73092 - 12/16/06 06:30 PM Re: Aluminum Wire For Landscape Lighting
PCBelarge Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 657
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
LearJet

That is just your opinion.

I certainly would not use Al wiring outdoors/underground.

For other applications, Al could be a cost effective way to install feeders. There are many ways to accomplish this, raceways, MC, etc...
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Pierre Belarge

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#73093 - 12/16/06 11:50 PM Re: Aluminum Wire For Landscape Lighting
mhulbert Offline
Member

Registered: 10/19/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Anaheim, CA USA
If all of your runs were in PVC, and all your connections in above grade "power posts", with DB rated connectors, aluminum would be great.

For the typical LV, direct burial setup, I'd have a hard time trusitng it. Too bad, since LV lighting uses some heavy cable, the copper adds up.

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#73094 - 12/17/06 04:51 AM Re: Aluminum Wire For Landscape Lighting
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
I agree with PCBelarge and mhulbert.
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#73095 - 12/17/06 07:32 AM Re: Aluminum Wire For Landscape Lighting
Tom Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
Unless the manufacturer of the power unit for the system specifically allows a differant cable type or conductor type in their installation instructions, aluminum would not be permitted IMO.

In UL's White Book, under the heading of Landscape Lighting Systems, Low Voltage (IFDH), the conductors should be listed SPT-3 or SPT-2-W.

Under the heading of Flexible Cord (zjcz) in the first paragraph " All conductors are stranded copper."
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#73096 - 12/17/06 09:22 AM Re: Aluminum Wire For Landscape Lighting
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Learjet has expressed the feeling of "the trade" ... if not that of the wire manufacturers!

Aluminum, anywhere near the ground, can't help but have corrosion issues. Nor have I ever seen a landscape lighting transformer listed for use with aluminum wire. As far as I know, aluminum is not currently made in wire finer than #6. (I could be wrong on that).

Indeed, the only place I see aluminum used is in the PoCo service drops.

But, before I get my shorts in a know over "can I or can't I," I'd look to see if the stuff exists first of all.

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#73097 - 12/17/06 10:01 AM Re: Aluminum Wire For Landscape Lighting
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
 Quote:
Learjet has expressed the feeling of "the trade"


No he has not spoken for "the trade".

Aluminum can be and is used without problem for many circuits.

Would I use it for direct burial?

Would I recommend it for a seaside installation?

No.

Inside a building for feeders yes it is a fine product.
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#73098 - 12/17/06 10:52 AM Re: Aluminum Wire For Landscape Lighting
luckyshadow Offline
Member

Registered: 01/04/05
Posts: 305
Loc: Maryland USA
Around here aluminum cable is used on 99.9% of residential services. The standard here is 4/0 Al. SEU service cable.
I have even seen some commercial feeders being run in aluminum .

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#73099 - 12/18/06 04:12 AM Re: Aluminum Wire For Landscape Lighting
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Most European power companies have been known to run Al underground feeders everywhere, so it must be possible. One thing though: they always use crimp splices and embed them in some kind of resin, so there is absolutely NO chance of moisture or air getting to the connections.

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