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#179761 - 07/30/08 05:01 PM GFCI's and Aluminum Wire  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
It finally happened .... I came across some aluminum wire in a trailer. Now the fun begins.

For those who have not worked on trailers, they are typically glued together. As a result, opening the walls really isn't an option, and re-pulling the wires is problematic - unless you want to demolish the trailer, and start over!

So, I'm doing the next-best thing ... replacing what wire I can find, and using Co/Alr rated devices. Here's where the trouble begins ....

My local parts houses scratch their heads at the request for rated GFCI receptacles. Leviton assures me that there is no such thing - at least, in their inventory.

Does anyone have a source for Co/Alr rated GFCI's?

(FWIW, this trailer was made before GFCI's were required. While I have 'normal' device boxes, I really want to add GFCI's to the kitchen and bathroom).

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#179762 - 07/30/08 05:55 PM Re: GFCI's and Aluminum Wire [Re: renosteinke]  
electure  Offline

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,262
Fullerton, CA USA
Would it be possible to use a pigtail of copper (with approved splicing methods)?

#179763 - 07/30/08 05:58 PM Re: GFCI's and Aluminum Wire [Re: renosteinke]  
dougwells  Offline

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,141
kamloops BC Canada
How about the dead front (faceless) gfci devices mounted at the panel location for those circuits. Run copper from the Panel to gfci device and an approved method for pig tailing Al to Cu at the GFCI device near panel

#179766 - 07/30/08 06:49 PM Re: GFCI's and Aluminum Wire [Re: dougwells]  
EV607797  Offline
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
Fredericksburg, VA, USA
Wow, that is a really good one. I can honestly say that I've never encountered this situation. I'm in agreement that finding CO/ALR rated GFI receptacles is likely impossible. I can only imagine an approved method of pigtail splicing and more than extension box.


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

#179767 - 07/30/08 07:21 PM Re: GFCI's and Aluminum Wire [Re: EV607797]  
NORCAL  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 874
In chat you said that the panel is Zinsco, is the panel going to be replaced? If so, how about a GFCI circuit breaker????

#179771 - 07/30/08 08:48 PM Re: GFCI's and Aluminum Wire [Re: NORCAL]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,135
I guess it comes down to how many Alumiconns you can get in a box with a GFCI. I see a 1900 box and a ring in your future. wink

Greg Fretwell

#179773 - 07/30/08 08:56 PM Re: GFCI's and Aluminum Wire [Re: gfretwell]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,135
I was half kidding in that last post but if you gave them a quad with a GFCI and a CO/ALr receptacle you would only have one pair of splices. Splice L/N into the GFCI and use copper jumpers between the receptacles.

Greg Fretwell

#179775 - 07/30/08 09:01 PM Re: GFCI's and Aluminum Wire [Re: NORCAL]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Alas, try as I might, I can find nothing wrong with the panel ... plus, with it installed indoors, recessed into the wall, AND it being a trailer (nearly impossible to patch) ... I'm not about to change it. Zinsco lives on ...

Today was productive, in that I now have a very good idea as to what is wrong with the trailer. This, my friends, is why you need to have a megger!

Anyway, I need only replace two sections of wire. Naturally, the least accessible one is guarded by a 35 pound black widow spider ... at least, that's how it looked while I was under the trailer. I just PRAY the brick I hit it with didn't just make it mad! laugh

So, it looks like I'll be doing a fair amount of pigtailing. Apart from the GFCI's, I'll need to do this at the light fixtures.
The King "AlumiConn" connectors look to cost in the neighborhood of $3 each. That's ten bucks' of connectors in a box. I suspect I'll be 'daisy chaining' the $2.60 Cu/Alr devices, rather than my usual pigtail method.
T&B, who had assured me at "counter day" that I would have no trouble getting their rated "Marrette" connectors (about 40 cents each) is proving elusive, now that I actually want some.

#179778 - 07/31/08 06:13 AM Re: GFCI's and Aluminum Wire [Re: renosteinke]  
mbhydro  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 347
Winnipeg MB Canada
Have you tried looking at the "Big Box" stores for the cu/al Marette's, if your wholesaler doesn't have them?

Where I am here in Canada they are on the shelves with the regular ones.

#179782 - 07/31/08 09:59 AM Re: GFCI's and Aluminum Wire [Re: mbhydro]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Thanks, MB .... but, alas, they seem to be a 'marketed in Canada only" product. I'm still looking.

Leviton, P&S, and Hubbell have all informed me that they have no GFCI's rated for aluminum wire.

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