We going to see Aluminum wiring soon?

Price of copper have tripled in in the last year or so. Prices of copper romex etc surely is rising or will do quickly too. When house wiring went to Aluminum and all its problems it was because of the price of copper. Now that its happening again do you think we might see aluminum wiring in houses again? Or copper clad aluminum?

Don’t see it happening. I don’t know that they were aware of the extent of the problems with the single strand aluminum wiring during the Vietnam war.

The funny thing is, i see a lot of those houses during that period wired with most if not all of the single strand aluminum, yet the drain / vent pipes were copper in many of them. Whats wrong with that picture?

Very clever observation. I never put that 2 + 2 together before.

I for one would trust it. I think there’s been enough iterations of improvement to aluminum wire and terminations that it would be safe today. I’ve heard that some of the mid-to-late 70s 8000 alloy single strand aluminum, while a rare find, holds up ok. I would be willing to bet that NUAL (and other copycat alloys) could succeed these days if made into single strand wires.

I’d comfortably put it in my house.

If you terminated in in the boxes with an alumiconn type splice and pigtailled on a short piece of copper for receptacles I think it would be OK.

Since I haven’t figured out how to cut and paste, do a Google search for “Beverly Hills Supper Club aluminum wiring” and you can read why single strand aluminum wiring should never be used for branch circuit wiring.

Steve:

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I don’t see aluminum wiring make a comeback anytime soon (due to consumer anxiety over it). However, we may very well see silver romex if copper continues its trend…

Hi to all,

Personaly I would not be surprised to see Aluminum make a come back due to the cost of Copper, however the price of Aluminum has been climbing the same as copper so the differentoal is still the same.

The alloy used in Aluminum wiring now is different from that used in the 1960’s and 70’s and is more stable, plus the technology for connectors is now also much better. The real question is, would UL & NEC reapprove it and would the trades accept it again?

Regards

Gerry

**Silver Romex = Copper-Clad Aluminum Conductors. **Conductors drawn from a copper-clad aluminum rod with the copper metallurgically bonded to an aluminum core. The copper forms a minimum of 10 percent of the cross-sectional area of a solid conductor or each strand of a stranded conductor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverly_Hills_Supper_Club :roll: :roll:

Adam, that has always puzzled me also. They spent all that money on copper drain waste vent lines, to then just skimp on the wiring.
Also alot of those homes (in our area) had cardecking subfloors instead of plywood. I would think that all that 2X6 TNG would add cost, instead of saving money.

The aluminum wiring salesman must have had a great sales pitch back then! He must have had to switch over to aluminum siding in the 80’s when wiring sales went in the toilet. :slight_smile:

U/L and the NEC never did anything to discourage aluminum. You can still use 12 ga aluminum today if you want. Some local ordinances may be an issue.
In the 60s Kaiser wass pitching aluminum to be better than copper and the soft alloy was easier to work with than copper. I still contend the main problem was workmanship more than material but there were certainly issues when you used aluminum with devices designed for copper.

Neither the NEC or UL prohibit the use of aluminum conductors 12 AWG and larger.

The real question is this.

Is anyone currently producing Aluminum cable in sizes smaller than 8 AWG.

Although I am not a fan of aluminum wiring it is only fair to point out that the cause of the Supper Club fire was never conclusively determined. The wiring was generally blamed as a contributing factor by the attorneys when aluminum wiring was found in the debris. The lawsuits that followed set a precedent in that all the manufacturers of aluminum wiring and PVC insulation were sued since it couldn’t be proved which manufacturer provided the materials.

I suspect that in many fires of unknown origin the wiring gets blamed.