Every once in a while I find solid aluminum wiring that is ran to high amperage devices such as a range. I have read that this is OK if all the connections are done with the proper tool with the proper method, if the circuit breaker is rated for aluminum, etc. Is this ever OK? If it is, do you still put in the report to have an electrician check the work and components to see if was done properly? Thanks in advance for the help.
The “aluminum” problem has more to do with the terminal than the style of wire. The trouble was with “binding screws” where the wire was wrapped around an old alloy brass screw. The wire and the screw expanded at different rates and the connection loosened up.
Newer CO/ALr changed the alloy of the screw, made it bigger and coupled with the new AA8000 alloy pretty much fixed the problem … but the reputation was set in stone. There is not nor thas there ever been a problem with lugs that clamp the wire in a pocket, under a set screw. Most of these lugs are an aluminum alloy in the first place (silver color?) and actually perform better with aluminum wire than copper, for the same expansion reasons.
That usually get’s boiled down to “stranded vs solid” aluminum wire but it is really the style of terminal that wire generally gets connected to.
Thanks for the thread. That clears it up. This home was built in 1999!
I think you will see more aluminum in the future. Copper price is up, close to 600% in a year. Whether this ever trickles down to 15 and 20a circuits again will depend on the sales efforts of the aluminum industry. I know they are working it. I have been to IAEI meetings and heard the pitch.
I agree with greg…I don’t however think it will trickle down to the 14 AWG level…because of the stigma of it…but I can see it going down to the 12 AWG level and them trying to compete for a market share.
Copper has gone through the roof…might as well use GOLD …lol
Just one note, you can’t have 14ga aluminum in branch circuit wiring. 12 will be the smallest (15a)
Ya…but we have wire down to as small as 22 AWG and even smaller…I sell 1,000,000’ of 14 AWG and 18 AWG a year in my other business ventures…not really was speaking only to branch circuits…my cost is HUGE on the wire we sell…I can see them trying to push AL for some of the markets i work in.