I am really confused as to why a power release is being held up because the inspector had a question as to wheather anti oxidant was used on the aluminum conductors of a residential service. I do use it as a personal preference, and this guy must be legally blind, but is there some requirement that I am unaware of? An NEC requirement, or installation instructions that call for it or the use of it to obtain the UL listing of the product are the only reason I know of for an inspector to require its use. Have I missed something? Or are inspectors now pulling the old well thats how we used to do it thing?
We recently had a pep talk from an aluminum wire rep, and she asserted that aluminum needed the paste no more than copper wire.
Yet, I am old enough to remember when every failure of an aluminum wire install was blamed, by the wire makers. on the lack of, or improper application of, the paste.
I also note that crimp lugs generally come with some sort of paste in them already.
Since you mention service conductors, what does the local PoCo say?
Trade practice is not really enforceable as law ... there is some room for 'neat and workmanlike' calls ... but I consider using the paste necessary. If nothing else, it removes one future cause for argument. I don't get paid to argue.
IAEI magazine has an article this month about aluminum connections by a guy from Brundy and he says you are supposed to wirebrush the conductor and use the goo. I wonder if it is in their instructions making it a 110.3(B)? I am surprised they didn't specify this since it is a magazine for inspectors. A few months ago I was in an IAEI meeting with the Alcan man and he said the goo wasn't necessary, a properly torqued connector breaks up the oxide and makes a gas tight joint so it won't form again. I can sure see where the confusion comes from.
A properly torqued connector... makes a gas tight joint ? Not sure how that works. The corrosion (green stuff) on copper conducts electricity. The white oxide on Aluminum does not. When was the last time you saw someone wirebrush the AL before putting it in a connection ? I'll look for anti-oxide unless there is a written document saying it is not needed. Alan--
I think you have that backwards. If the NEC does not require anti-oxidant and if the manufacturer does't say you do need it, what will you use as a basis for failing the job?
The way it was explained is when you torq the connector to spec the wire deforms to seal against the lug, creating a gas tight fit, much the way a tapered spark plug or oxygen, acetylene or nitrogen gas bottle fitting can work without a gasket.