Informing owner of using copper clad aluminum

paulengr

Senior Member
My first question would be will an insurance company by off on it.
The first home inspector to write it up and an home insurance company may balk.
Then there the inspectors that may say hey you have #10 on a 20 amp breaker not knowing what there dealing with.
Case in point on here we have read where an inspect has ask an electrician to correct.
How would I Know what type untill it is removed with a flush panel. NM is not marked on the conductor it's self.
Then would have #12 on a 15 amp breaker.
That would a night mare working in that area using CC.

I can see where some education would be needed. Maybe talk with insp dept and make sure there up to speed with a new install cover install methods and materials. Be proactive. Just like we or I did with mc AP.

CCA is very obvious. It looks like copper from the side but the ends are different and it flexes different.

No issues with NEC. There are not separate ampacity tables. So you have to treat it as aluminum. I’ve looked at the ampacity data. The copper improves the reactance but effectively ampacity is about the same as aluminum. It is just a coating.

The theory is that you get higher strength and lower cost with this stuff. You ought to read the Copperwekf sakes literature. But when you start digging into it, it becomes clear that there is very little advantage over an outright all aluminum cable. This is very different from copper coated steel or aluminum coated steel (ACSR) which has great strength and good conductivity for overhead lines.
 

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
IMHO your duty to disclose is the same as your duty to disclose different 'grades' of receptacles.

If you are selling 'code minimum', then anything code permits you can do.

If you are selling based on quality then you might point out that you _don't_ use Al even though it is permitted.

If you are doing quality tiers, then you might spell Al out in a lower tier.

Seeing the comments about box fill and the like eating up any savings, 14 ga Al on a 10A breaker might make practical sense for lightning circuits. Has this been approved?

Jon
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I don’t think the comment made by @kwired ; was about the NEC boxfill calculation. Just the practical aspect of cramming more stuff in the box.
yes, box fill is one thing, jamming a GFCI or other larger body device into some boxes that are under the code fill but with items that don't count still can raise difficulty level.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Doesn't the cladding procedure exclude oxygen and eliminate that from happening?
Cut ends will be number one place for it to happen though, and that is also where nearly all terminations are in close proximity so you potentially compromise those as well.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Depends on how alert the folks are at scrapyards, seen copper & aluminum insulated mixed together there. If they ain't paying attention the scrappers will notice.
Even if they don't notice, the weight will be significantly less, and bottom line to the copper thieves is that check amount will be significantly less than for same volume of copper.
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
I remember using CCA in the early/mid 70's. I'm sure my boss was not the only one.

So, why are their questions about the performance? It's been in use for decades and I've not heard anything about it (unlike aluminum wire).
 

Tulsa Electrician

Senior Member
Location
Tulsa
Occupation
Electrician
In my case it's more about awareness than performance and using current code compliant installation methods.

Wonder if the #10 NMB will have a orange jacket? Or another color to easily identify for inspection etc.
Then one inch of jacket extending into a panel could be a quick check for a flush panle installation where the wires are covered within a wall cavity.
As a base guide, I'm sure we all look for white,yellow,orange and black and assume conductor size and type when we remove a cover.

I do understand the jacket color can be special ordered and is available in different colors and configurations.

I do have another question.
Since it is in the Al ampacity table do we use CU or AL for voltage drop calcs?

This may have an offset for ampacity between conductor sizes and type. 🤔
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
In my case it's more about awareness than performance and using current code compliant installation methods.

Wonder if the #10 NMB will have a orange jacket? Or another color to easily identify for inspection etc.
Then one inch of jacket extending into a panel could be a quick check for a flush panle installation where the wires are covered within a wall cavity.
As a base guide, I'm sure we all look for white,yellow,orange and black and assume conductor size and type when we remove a cover.

I do understand the jacket color can be special ordered and is available in different colors and configurations.

I do have another question.
Since it is in the Al ampacity table do we use CU or AL for voltage drop calcs?

This may have an offset for ampacity between conductor sizes and type. 🤔
I would think you should need to use a different K factor, and not either the ones used for straight copper or aluminum, circular mills still remains same for any particular AWG, but conductor resistance per unit of length is what would be different and that is what that K factor is all about.
 

Tulsa Electrician

Senior Member
Location
Tulsa
Occupation
Electrician
As with anything I'm not real clear on I start read in order to educate myself.
 

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wwhitney

Senior Member
Location
Berkeley, CA
Occupation
Retired
The UL memorandum referenced earlier said that was true for 20A and lower rated devices, but not for 30A and above.

Edit: e.g. from the UL RTRT guide info:

Terminals of 15 and 20 A receptacles not marked "CO/ALR" are for use with copper and copper-clad aluminum conductors only. Terminals marked "CO/ALR" are for use with aluminum, copper and copper-clad aluminum conductors.

Terminals of receptacles rated 30 A and above not marked "AL-CU" are for use with copper conductors only. Terminals of receptacles rated 30 A and above marked "AL-CU" are for use with aluminum, copper and copper-clad aluminum conductors.

Cheers, Wayne
 
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Tulsa Electrician

Senior Member
Location
Tulsa
Occupation
Electrician
Starting to look at installation practices.
In a dwelling using NM cable
One item that sticks out is #10 CCA under 240.4(D) (6) 25 amps.
This may be a solution for the ELE water tanks when a 25 amp OCD is required.

Also pulled this info from there site:
"Identified for use with wiring devices, splice connectors and equipment terminals rated for Cu, Cu/Al and CO/ALR. When terminating with twist-on splice connectors, pre-twisting is not recommended. Torque until the wires are tight under the cap and visibly twisted together two times outside of the cap to ensure electrical contact. Do not over-torque or under-torque. When terminating to panel lugs and wiring devices, torque to 12 to 14 lbf-in. Ensure secure connection limiting wire deformation. Copperweld® NM-B is made with ASTM B-566 Copper-Clad Aluminum bare wire, which carries its own component listing, RU DVVU2. Per UL Guide Information RTRT and WJQR, Copperweld® NM-B can terminate with any wiring device (receptacle or switch) rated copper-only or CO/ALR. Copperweld® NM-B CCA conductor satisfies Article 110.14 Electrical Connections as being a similar metal to copper for the purposes of electrical connections. Copperweld® NM-B may be pigtailed to single-metal copper wire in dry locations."

Are the stating a cu rated wire nut is ok?

I'm starting to see a good use for multifamily dwelling large apt complex.
 
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paulengr

Senior Member
Even if they don't notice, the weight will be significantly less, and bottom line to the copper thieves is that check amount will be significantly less than for same volume of copper.

CCA can’t be recycled. That’s a claimed advantage from Copperweld.
 

ramsy

Roger Ruhle dba NoFixNoPay
Location
LA basin, CA
Occupation
Service Electrician 2017 NEC
The UL memorandum referenced earlier said that was true for 20A and lower rated devices, but not for 30A and above.

Edit: e.g. from the UL RTRT guide info:

Yes RTRT seems remains unchanged from 2016 UL white book to Nema bulletin 122 after 2020 NEC, but nothing prevents using listed means for terminating => #10 aluminum or CCA to cu-only devices.
 

cdslotz

Senior Member
So I have access to copper clad nmb.
Have not used much but what little I have I liked.
I want to wire a house in this. Would you inform owner. Or not worry.
I don’t think it’s is an issue, though I might be thinking with my pocket book.
Most cities don't allow it
 
. This is very different from copper coated steel or aluminum coated steel (ACSR) which has great strength and good conductivity for overhead lines.
Is there actually steel that is clad with aluminum? All ACSR I have seen (which I'm pretty sure stands for aluminum conductor steel reinforced) has one center steel galvanized strand surrounded by all aluminum strands
 

Tulsa Electrician

Senior Member
Location
Tulsa
Occupation
Electrician
I would think you should need to use a different K factor, and not either the ones used for straight copper or aluminum, circular mills still remains same for any particular AWG, but conductor resistance per unit of length is what would be different and that is what that K factor is all about.
So I did a little digging and came up with 16.83246 ( 10384* 1.621/1000) for exact k. Ran some VD numbers for a 16 amp load at furthest point(20 ampbranch circuit) @3% VD.
looks like a total D difference is 11.11 feet.

I used #12 CU solid compared to #10 CCA solid.

I do not find a rel big difference in use there. Most use 250 feet or more on a 20 amp branch circuit anyway with out any VD consideration.
Ran a quick calc based on a 125 foot run of NM for the branch circuit mentioned above. The VD % showed a 2.06% gain using CCA. still The VD was way above the recommended per NEC.
Based the VD on a voltage of 120v the drop was 15.44 for #12 CU and 12.968 for #10 CCA, yielded a difference of 2.472 I did no temp adjustments for either. Based it from table in NEC and from what I found at copperweld.
There may be other factors for this and these are quick calculations.

If was to take a real world dwelling circuit and base it off of general use rule of 180 va per outlet the distance would increase. I may do that this week if not to busy. Here in Tulsa the City has a max outlet requirement for a 20 amp branch circuit. They do not go by the NEC for dwellings.
 

paulengr

Senior Member
Is there actually steel that is clad with aluminum? All ACSR I have seen (which I'm pretty sure stands for aluminum conductor steel reinforced) has one center steel galvanized strand surrounded by all aluminum strands

Must depend on size. It can be aluminum or zinc coated.

 

Tulsa Electrician

Senior Member
Location
Tulsa
Occupation
Electrician
So I did a little digging and came up with 16.83246 ( 10384* 1.621/1000) for exact k. Ran some VD numbers for a 16 amp load at furthest point(20 ampbranch circuit) @3% VD.
looks like a total D difference is 11.11 feet.

I used #12 CU solid compared to #10 CCA solid.

I do not find a rel big difference in use there. Most use 250 feet or more on a 20 amp branch circuit anyway with out any VD consideration.
Ran a quick calc based on a 125 foot run of NM for the branch circuit mentioned above. The VD % showed a 2.06% gain using CCA. still The VD was way above the recommended per NEC.
Based the VD on a voltage of 120v the drop was 15.44 for #12 CU and 12.968 for #10 CCA, yielded a difference of 2.472 I did no temp adjustments for either. Based it from table in NEC and from what I found at copperweld.
There may be other factors for this and these are quick calculations.

If was to take a real world dwelling circuit and base it off of general use rule of 180 va per outlet the distance would increase. I may do that this week if not to busy. Here in Tulsa the City has a max outlet requirement for a 20 amp branch circuit. They do not go by the NEC for dwellings.
Curiosity got the best of me.
Did them quick hope there some what accurate.
 

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