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Thread: Aluminum wiring

  1. #1
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    Aluminum wiring

    What does the NEC code say about existing aluminum wiring 20amp 12 gauge ? Does it have to be removed if found ? Can I add to that circuit with copper using special lug nuts ? I have to add an outlet off existing aluminum wiring . What are your thoughts or do I have to run a new branch circuit ?


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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluecollar84 View Post
    What does the NEC code say about existing aluminum wiring 20amp 12 gauge ? Does it have to be removed if found ? Can I add to that circuit with copper using special lug nuts ? I have to add an outlet off existing aluminum wiring . What are your thoughts or do I have to run a new branch circuit ?


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    the code does not say anything about it at all.

    you can connect copper conductors to the existing aluminum wire for the new receptacle, as long as it is done in an appropriate way.

    or you can run a new copper circuit in place of the aluminum wires, either leaving the existing aluminum conductors in place or removing them.
    Bob

  3. #3
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    I thought aluminum house wiring was unsafe?


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluecollar84 View Post
    I thought aluminum house wiring was unsafe?
    It's highly unsafe when it's terminated improperly and the wrong wiring devices are used. However, the market now has reliable products to deal with both of those issues.

  5. #5
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    BUT ... with aluminum 12 AWG was for 15 amp circuits, 10 AWG for 20 amp circuits. If he has 12 on a 20, change the fuse or breaker.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter d View Post
    It's highly unsafe when it's terminated improperly and the wrong wiring devices are used. However, the market now has reliable products to deal with both of those issues.
    I get this question A LOT. It's not the wire that's unsafe, it's the terminations. Devices or wire connectors not listed for use with aluminum or tying AL and CU together. I know the Ideal purple wirenuts are listed to do that but I've seen too many fail due to the AL and CU touching. Get yourself some AlumiConn connectors and a tourque screwdriver.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNSparky View Post
    I get this question A LOT. It's not the wire that's unsafe, it's the terminations. Devices or wire connectors not listed for use with aluminum or tying AL and CU together. I know the Ideal purple wirenuts are listed to do that but I've seen too many fail due to the AL and CU touching. Get yourself some AlumiConn connectors and a tourque screwdriver.
    Mike,

    As a percentage, how many Ideal Purples have you seen fail? I hear this issue a lot, but the product is designed for that purpose.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter d View Post
    Mike,

    As a percentage, how many Ideal Purples have you seen fail? I hear this issue a lot, but the product is designed for that purpose.
    Jerry, I have personally removed maybe 20 purples that showed signs of heat buildup and distortion. That's about 5-8% of the purples I've come across in the field I would guess. On the other hand I have removed like 250+ regular nuts that were melted and distorted. We as a company have installed probably around 1000 AlumiConns and I have yet to get a call back or find one that has failed. They are spendy, but way cheaper than COPALUM crimping. I'm a believer!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNSparky View Post
    Jerry, I have personally removed maybe 20 purples that showed signs of heat buildup and distortion. On the other hand I have removed like 250+ regular nuts that were melted and distorted. We as a company have installed probably around 1000 AlumiConns and I have yet to get a call back or find one that has failed. They are spendy, but way cheaper than COPALUM crimping. I'm a believer!


    I've only seen AL NM cable twice in my life, and CU clad AL once. Thankfully it's extremely rare here so we don't have a need to deal with it much.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter d View Post


    I've only seen AL NM cable twice in my life, and CU clad AL once. Thankfully it's extremely rare here so we don't have a need to deal with it much.
    I'll see the AL NM maybe once every couple weeks here. What's really rare are the houses wire in flex with AL THWN. I've only seen 3 or 4 houses like that. We completely re-wired one with CU in 3 days with no rock cutting.

    I found it to be a good little niche here that no one else wants to do. We make good money going through a house and redoing the connections with AlumiConns.

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