I am running a 200 amp feeder approx 80' long in 2" EMT. I very rarely use aluminum wire, however with the price of copper skyrocketing I've decided to do so in this situation.
My question is about the equipment ground in the EMT. I would rather run my EG in copper and the hots and neutral in aluminum. I can see no reason why this would be a problem but was wondering if it a poor trade practice for any reason? I guess I would rather use copper when making up ground lugs etc.
Also, how many guys are using aluminum more and what do you think of it. A rep from the aluminum industry was doing some demonstrations in a supply house recently and had some pretty convincing arguments for using aluminum. He showed how the old aluminum conductors were much easier to break after a few bends of the wire and stated that nowhere in the code is the use of deox required. I will still use it though to sleep beter.
I like to work with aluminum wiring for larger cables... It is a little less expensive (especially with the current escalation of copper prices)... It is easier to handle for most applications...
I always use NoAlox or Penetrox when doing my connections, seems to me to just be good practice for a few pennies per connection.
I only use it for large feeder connections like sub panels and such. Wouldn't use it for branch circuits... not because I see anything wrong with it, but I wouldn't want the potential of a home owner playing with connections in aluminum down the road.
IMHO there is nothing wrong with Aluminum for these larger applications.
#66358 - 05/31/0605:55 PMRe: Question on using aluminum
Lee: I've been using Al IF it's in the spec, & occasionally for budget reasons. 750kcmil, down to 4/0. As to a ground conductor, Al is not a problem. Personally, I don't like to mix. I've seen #6 Al used for site lighting; had I issue where a 'nick' caused a leg failure in the pipe; not the fault of the conductor material though.
Bob & Don: As to pentrox (etc) I've been using it for 30+ years! It's what my 'teachers' did, & old habits are hard to break.
#66363 - 05/31/0607:56 PMRe: Question on using aluminum
Live near an ocean and one would sing a different tune about no-ox.... Without it AL turns into a block of chalk over time. So much so that all the over-head drop lines here near the beach are copper. Medium voltage too.
It cant hurt..... But I do all the time.
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason