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#66354 - 05/31/06 03:11 AM Question on using aluminum  
leespark  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 54
Massachusetts
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.


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#66355 - 05/31/06 05:33 AM Re: Question on using aluminum  
iwire  Offline
Moderator
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
No code reason not to mix conductor types.

That said....

If I come across an installation that has mixed conductors I assume someone was using scraps saving a buck etc.

I also generally install copper but would have no problem using an AL EGC with AL circuit conductors.

As far as 'deox' the sales rep is correct, not an NEC requirment. Go ahead and use it if you like. IMO it is of little value.

It comes reinstalled in some crimp connectors my guess it works as both a lube while crushing and keeps water from entering the connector.



[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 05-31-2006).]


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

#66356 - 05/31/06 07:30 AM Re: Question on using aluminum  
resqcapt19  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
IL
Bob,
Quote
As far as 'deox' the sales rep is correct, not an NEC requirment. Go ahead and use it if you like. IMO it is of little value.

Why do you say that it is of little value?
Don


Don(resqcapt19)

#66357 - 05/31/06 11:07 AM Re: Question on using aluminum  
ExpressQuote  Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 83
BC, Canada
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.

Glen


#66358 - 05/31/06 05:55 PM Re: Question on using aluminum  
iwire  Offline
Moderator
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
Don

Quote
Why do you say that it is of little value?


I have never seen any documentation that it can do anything. I consider it a snake oil item.

It makes us feel we are going that extra step of craftsmanship without knowing if it does anything.

Other than possible moisture displacement what can it really do to improve a connection?

JMO, Bob


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

#66359 - 05/31/06 05:56 PM Re: Question on using aluminum  
LK  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey
Make life easy use 2-1/2" also consider a mogal fitting.

[This message has been edited by LK (edited 05-31-2006).]


#66360 - 05/31/06 06:25 PM Re: Question on using aluminum  
Ryan_J  Offline
Moderator
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
West Jordan, Utah, USA
I don't think I have ever seen anti-oxidant compound used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, which typically require the use of a wire brush.


Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

#66361 - 05/31/06 06:34 PM Re: Question on using aluminum  
LK  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey
Good issue, not code, but manufactures requirement.


#66362 - 05/31/06 07:27 PM Re: Question on using aluminum  
HotLine1  Offline


Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,872
Brick, NJ USA
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.

John


John

#66363 - 05/31/06 07:56 PM Re: Question on using aluminum  
e57  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
S.F.,CA USA
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

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