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#75618 - 03/06/07 02:34 PM Cu or Al  
Wizzie Electric  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 69
Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Can...
I am replacing a panel 100A and the SEC is #2 Cu and is too short. The home owner wants to use up a roll of #2 Al he has. Is it acceptable to replace the #2 Cu between the panel and meter with #2 Al. And is the use of an antioxadent not required by the NEC (just wondering)


Thanks.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#75619 - 03/06/07 02:54 PM Re: Cu or Al  
ITO  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 348
Texas
Depends on:

1) Local codes, some areas may not allow Al.
2) The insulation of the AL conductor (75°C or 90°C)READ T-310.16 for Ampacity. If you cant tell what type of wire it is, you should not use it.
3) If the lugs in the panel and meter are listed for AL use (probably yes, but check anyway)

...and "Nolox" is always a good idea with AL conductors and Lugs


101° Rx = + /_\

#75620 - 03/06/07 02:56 PM Re: Cu or Al  
ITO  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 348
Texas
Also as an after thought, how long of run are we talking about?


101° Rx = + /_\

#75621 - 03/06/07 04:36 PM Re: Cu or Al  
earlydean  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 751
Griswold, CT, USA
also, an antioxident is generally required by the manufacturer's installation instructions for aluminum conductors when the conductors are terminated in a damp location.


Earl

#75622 - 03/06/07 05:03 PM Re: Cu or Al  
EV607797  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
Fredericksburg, VA, USA
I just learned that anti-oxidant paste is NOT an NEC requirement after decades of working in the electrical field. This is the kind of thing you just assume when working with others. That's the value in sites like this.

Back to the original question, yes, I would use and trust AL cable if the panel and meter base lugs are rated for it (few aren't, at least not in the past 40 years or so). If aluminum is installed correctly, it's a highly-efficient conductor. I agree that there may be local restrictions on using it, but I have yet to encounter any AHJ that prohibits it. That's usually more of a customer or building owner-level restriction.

#2AL is permitted by the NEC for residential 100 amp services, which is actually an exception since it's really not rated to handle 100 amps under other circumstances.

[This message has been edited by EV607797 (edited 03-06-2007).]


---Ed---

"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."

#75623 - 03/06/07 05:20 PM Re: Cu or Al  
ShockMe77  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 821
Rahway, New Jersey
Better make sure that whatever you use to connect the copper to aluminum is rated for connecting copper to aluminum. Ideal makes a wirenut specifically for this purpose. Maybe they also make a bug (split-bolt connector) for an application like this as well. Is there anyway you can talk this customer into replacing the conductors back to the meter pan?

[This message has been edited by ShockMe77 (edited 03-06-2007).]


#75624 - 03/06/07 05:39 PM Re: Cu or Al  
Wizzie Electric  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 69
Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Can...
"Is there anyway you can talk this customer into replacing the conductors back to the meter pan?"

The plan is to replace them back to the meter pan.

The main breaker lugs are rated for Al and Cu. The run is about 6 feet.


Thanks.

#75625 - 03/06/07 06:12 PM Re: Cu or Al  
ShockMe77  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 821
Rahway, New Jersey
I thought for some reason that you were splicing the conductors because they were short. D'oh!


#75626 - 03/07/07 01:39 AM Re: Cu or Al  
DougW  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
North Chicago, IL
As ITO said, I'd run it past the local AHJ first, but as long as you're within the conductor's ampacity, WTH.


#75627 - 03/07/07 01:58 AM Re: Cu or Al  
gfretwell  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,103
Estero,Fl,usa
310.15(B)(6) says it is OK but if this house has a big load that cycles like an HVAC they might see a little extra dimming of the lights with the aluminum. 20 some feet of #2 might seem expensive to him now but how much will it cost if you have to come back to install it later?


Greg Fretwell

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