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Thread: AL vs CU cost analysis

  1. #1
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    AL vs CU cost analysis

    Anyone ever do an analysis of the % diff between the two material and labor when substituting for a particular amperage....obviously have to upsize for AL?

  2. #2
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    I did and it was cheaper to use AL over CU above 200A.
    Ron

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstrlucky74 View Post
    Anyone ever do an analysis of the % diff between the two material and labor when substituting for a particular amperage....obviously have to upsize for AL?
    I don't see any significant Increased labor in going up a pipe size. Copper is heavier than aluminum so that is a factor for pulling
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

  4. #4
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    Sorry should've been more clear. Scenario I'm referring to is when you have EMT and thhn copper conductors and want to switch to aluminum conductors. I often see a lot of value engineering requests for this.

  5. #5
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    I think that much of the potential savings depends on how high your labor rate is. Factoring in more or larger conduits, larger or more sets of conductors on parallel runs and more terminations can diminish your savings if you have very expensive labor rates.
    Rob

    Moderator

    All responses based on the 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

  6. #6
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    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

  7. #7
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    Something I have noticed is that parallel 1/ 0 is about the cheapest ampacity you can get with the side benefit of being easier to work with as opposed to using a single larger cable.
    Bob

  8. #8
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    The application conditions do have some impact.

    If you were making a 1000 foot run underground in PVC - the need to increase the raceway a size probably doesn't impact labor as much as needing to increase GRC a size that is being installed 30'+ high in a high bay building, especially once you start to go beyond 2 inch trade size.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by infinity View Post
    I think that much of the potential savings depends on how high your labor rate is. Factoring in more or larger conduits, larger or more sets of conductors on parallel runs and more terminations can diminish your savings if you have very expensive labor rates.
    Good point.

  10. #10
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    Interesting. I've recently switched to CU myself.

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