Aluminum wiring

I’ve never seen single-strand aluminum wiring in circuits other than 15- and 20-Amp circuits. One of yesterday’s inspections had the proper wire size in 40-amp and 50-amp circuits, but it was single-strand aluminum. Am I correct in my understanding that the larger aluminum wires do not have the same problems associated with them that the smaller wires do?

Hi Russel, all single strand Aluminum should be concidered suspect, I would recommend that the circuits be checked by an electrician and that at least the connections are correctly torqued.

BTW what age was the home? as I have never seen Aluminum single strand in those sizes.



Thanks, Gerry.

Home was built in 1978 with significant modifications in 1987.

Electric panel was I-T-E, vintage 1978.

I concur with Gerry. Only multi-strand AL should be considered “safe” for use as current carrying conductors.

When sized properly and used as the GEC and/or an EGC, solid AL conductors do not present the same problems.


 I have seen single strand AL up to a #8 AWG before...but it is not something you will find everyday...thats for sure.

I have never seen 6 or 4 al solid that you would need for 40 and 50a circuits. OTOH The real issue with al is the termination style not the wire.
Actually I haven’t seen 8 solid al either but even then it could only be used as a single conductor, not in a cable or raceway.

Drywer circuit today.

Another builder saving a couple bucks…:smiley: …as usual.

Here is some aluminum wiring I found today.

Doonan 181.jpg

I love finding stuff like that! Easy to write up and you feel like you might have saved someone from an electrical fire. If they fix it,that is.


Still amazes me when I see things like that.......just a lack of concern on the person that did it......they are probably still saying...well it ain't burnt down yet.....Git er Done.....

Makes me wanna SLAP the home owner....

James- You are right…IF they fix it…could not agree more.

I have never seen single-strand solid aluminum larger then #10, and I must have installed miles of aluminum wire back in the 70’s. Maybe it was a New Jersey thing, but all aluminum conductors larger then #10 were to my recollection multi-stranded SEU/SER.