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Aluminum Wire

Aluminum wire is popular because of its ability to provide quality conductivity to weight ratio more so than copper wire. It is commonly used in electrical wiring in houses, power grids and even in the aircraft industry. Aluminum wire is usually more cost-effective and lighter than copper wire. Its advantages make it the top choice for transmission and distribution of electricity. The following are some of the questions answered by Experts regarding aluminum wire.

If someone is replacing electrical outlets to pig-tailed (wired) outlets with Alumiconn connections for each positive and negative wire ground, could this work well?

The use of Alumiconn electrical wire connectors is usually good, but in some boxes you may not find enough room for the connectors which depends on the number of conductors in the box and the devices. However, you could use CO/ALR devices for the remediation which is NEC approved and this will help provide more room for multiple connectors. You could use Ideal wire nuts for the ground which are UL approved for grounding and bonding. For extra protection, it is suggested that the branch circuit breakers be replaced with AFCI breakers.

I am purchasing a house which has three 230v, 20 amp circuit breakers. I want to know if it is legal to use aluminum wire in these as I heard that aluminum wire was legal only in amperage of 30 amps or higher.

If the fittings are rated for aluminum wire including receptacles, wire nuts, switches, etc., using #10 ga (gauge) aluminum wires is within the NEC codes.

Is it safe to add a junction/breaker box to a hot water heater if the original aluminum wire is connected to copper wire from the junction/breaker box? Does this meet NEC Safety Standards?

If a electrician used an anti-oxidation compound on the aluminum wires, it should not be a problem in most cases. What can happen is when the heater is switched on is that a dielectric metal piece bridges the two types of wires and this should be safe as long as the wires do not touch each other where there is no insulation.

Is it possible to use #6 aluminum wire on a 50 amp breaker for a stove?

This is not possible because the highest rating for #6 aluminum wire is 40 amps. However, #6 copper wires will be suitable for most 50 amp breakers for the stove.

I intend to fix a 100 amp sub-panel in the garage which is 50 feet away from the main house. Is it ok to use 2-2-4 triplex aluminum wire to wire the sub-panel which will be connected from my 100amp double pole breaker in my main 200 amp panel? How should I go about wiring it?

If your wiring will be underground and you run a pvc conduit and pull XHHW aluminum conductors, the NEC requires ground rods at the detached garage. You will also need a 2-2-4-4 aluminum feeder since the NEC requires all feeders to detached buildings to be 4 wire feeders. Also, the panel board must be appropriate for use as service equipment, and have a main breaker. The ground and neutral wires cannot be terminated together and the bonding screw should not be installed in the garage.

Is it safe to use aluminum wire in a house? If so, what type of aluminum wire would be required for an All-Electric house with a 220 service?

With the exception of service entrance conductors, aluminum is no longer used but it is safe to use in a house. An average 1500-2000 sq ft house usually requires 4/0 aluminum service feeders but only a certified electrician will be able to guide you as to what size of service conductors you will need as he will calculate the electrical load the house will be able to take.

While aluminum wiring is popular and cost-effective, improper installations can be dangerous. It is advisable to be aware of what the NEC Code states regarding aluminum wiring. If you have any questions or doubts on aluminum wiring you can always ask Experts who are available round the clock. What’s more, asking an Expert can be quick, easy and more affordable.
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