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Thread: Where can I buy 10/2 Al wire?

  1. #16
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alectrician
    Use 12/2 copper with TIGHT wirenuts.

    Nothing wrong with that. It's done every day.

    CAREFUL when you strip the Al wire. Use the #10 slot in the strippers. If you ring the wire even a little bit, it will snap off in the nut.
    What are "tight" wire nuts? Are they approved for AL to CU splices?

  2. #17
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I assume he means TIGHT as in turn them as much as possible. But that did not stop the old systems from deteriorating,a nd loosening, because of different rates of expansion and contraction.

  3. #18
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    I truly hope he does not mean that. If so he should NOT be giving advice such as this on a public board. Not unless he wants to burn down some houses.

    There are few ways to splice small AL conductors to copper. A regular wire nut is NOT one of them!

  4. #19

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    Supposedly, a scotchlok nut with a flame-free antioxidant, the wires scraped and pre-twisted, and with no more than 4 wires to a nut, is considered a good connection -- if not UL listed. But definitely do not use any regular wire nut that isn't a "spring" type, or those UL listed Ideal purple nuts you see at the store... they readily flame out.

    I just use the Alumiconn lugs to remove any question, but they only take 3 wires, they are bigger than a wire nut, quite a bit more expensive due to the patent, and proper tightening of the lugs requires a torque screwdriver. Though I would suggest a torque screwdriver when tightening any AL wire connections such as switches and outlets, because it removes the margin for error that exists when you tighten by 'feel'.

  5. #20
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Split bolts rated for AL/CU are available in a wide range of sizes. Insulate with tape.

    There is also a nice terminal strip that is rated for up to 30 Amps with for wire up to #10 that would work with "1 to 1" connections. It can be cut to length. I could not read the listings molded into the insulation because the print is too small and no contrast. http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...&tab=techSpecs

  6. #21
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alectrician
    First.....You skipped a question Pete. What did you use in the 70's to make AL connections ?.
    According to the 1975 code cycle on page 18 in section 110-14 when making connections between copper and aluminum the use of an approve connector was called for. In the 1968 code cycle it was in the same section, the second paragraph but on page 15.
    In the 1962 cycle the rule is found on page 27 in section 110-13 second paragraph.

    Maybe your speed comes from your lack of knowledge of what you are doing. It has NEVER been appropriate to splice copper and aluminum together without the use of the proper fitting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alectrician
    You are trying to tell me that wire nuts won't make a proper al/cu connection?
    NO!!! I am not “trying” to tell you, I AM TELLING YOU that the use of a regular wire nut to splice copper to aluminum is an improper connection.

  7. #22

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    Why not rewire with copper wire?

  8. #23
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    You keep telling yourself that.

    It's great to see a "professional" electrician condoning an illegal and unsafe installation.

    Do you even own a code book?

    110.14 Electrical Connections
    Because of different characteristics of dissimilar metals, devices such as pressure terminal or pressure splicing connectors and soldering lugs shall be identified for the material of the conductor and shall be properly installed and used. Conductors of dissimilar metals shall not be intermixed in a terminal or splicing connector where physical contact occurs between dissimilar conductors (such as copper and aluminum, copper and copper-clad aluminum, or aluminum and copper-clad aluminum), unless the device is identified for the purpose and conditions of use. Materials such as solder, fluxes, inhibitors, and compounds, where employed, shall be suitable for the use and shall be of a type that will not adversely affect the conductors, installation, or equipment.

  9. #24
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Hey Pete, here is what it said in the 1968 code cycle. Remember when these houses were being wired?
    Quote Originally Posted by Alectrician
    When AL wire was being installed for several years in the 70's, wire nuts were used at every splice.
    I think this was after what was printed in the 1968 code cycle



    .

  10. #25
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Looks familiar......

  11. #26

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    The manufacturers of wire nuts simply tried to distance themselves from the whole aluminum wire thing so at some point they declared their products were for copper wire only. They didn't change the materials in their product their lawyers just told them to say "no al wire".

    You guys get all worked up over nothing. When properly installed (properly stripped wire w/ no ringing and tight connections) wire nuts are work just fine.

  12. #27
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alectrician
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
    Man, you just keep digging. Isn't six feet deep enough?
    You guys get all worked up over nothing. When properly installed (properly stripped wire w/ no ringing and tight connections) wire nuts are work just fine.
    My first electrical job was in the summer of 1968. I had just turned 17 and got my drivers license. I was ready to take on the world. This first house was one of my fondest memories in the electrical trade as I got to do all the drilling.

    .

    This old house was way up a holler in the foothills between the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains just inside Wilkes County NC. I remember one chilly morning the old man left the truck door open. It was a 1949 Ford with a top roller four speed transmission and a flat head in-line eight cylinder engine. The sun had been up for about an hour when the old man said he was going down the hill to get us something for breakfast. About 100 yards down the side of the hill the old man jumped out that truck with a groundhog climbing over the top of his shoulder. Guess the critter crawled up under the seat cause it was warmer in there than outside.
    When the old man came back he had a fatback biscuit and a big cup of coffee and he always took out $.25 from my pay to pay for it.

    Code books back in that day were hard to find and electricians with enough education to read them was even harder to find. I was lucky in so much as the old man I worked for could count money pretty good and never shorted me a minute on my pay. Although he was paying me $1.65 per hour it never bothered him one bit to explain to me how to make up a joint whether it was a telegraph joint in Knob and Tube or taping a crimp connector on NM cable.

    Another memory I have is of the wire connectors we used back in the day. We had split bolts just as you see them today but most of the joints that were made in boxes were a crimp and tape. What do most of you see in older houses especially those with aluminum wiring? When we crimped a copper and aluminum together we used a special crimp that kept the two wires from touching just like the ones today except the ones today don’t take as much power to squeeze.

    Sometime when I have a little longer I will tell you all about the two deer the old man shot from the back porch of that old house on the side of the mountain. Shot the buck in the back of the head and the bullet went through his neck and killed the doe he had mounted.
    Didn't eat no fatback for over a week and the coffee was only a dime. Saved myself 75 cents that week.

  13. #28
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alectrician
    Don't you have a service call or something to do?
    No I don’t so let me tell you about my first raise. When I went to work for this old man up there in them mountains minimum wage was $1.15 and he was paying me fifty cent above that.
    We averaged working about 9 hours a day that first winter and as spring was working itself in the old man came to me and ask if I would work for a days price instead of by the hour. I was making about $14.85 a day and was proud of my high pay rate.

    Well this old man was going to offer me Twenty Dollars a day. My Pops wasn’t brining home but just over $40.00 a week at the cotton mill. This offer of $20.00 a day was more than I could stand. I was so excited about making $100.00 a week I was about to burst.

    Long about the middle of summer on a warm Sunday afternoon me and Pops was sitting on the river bank trying to catch a big old cat fish for supper when he pointed out that I was leaving home before the sun came up and it was dark when I got home. Well around this time of year the sun comes up around 5:30AM and goes down around 9:30PM. This with a lunch break equals about 14 hours a day.

    Now let’s all take a look at my raise. 14 hours a day divided by twenty dollars a day equals just over $1.42 per hour. Yes I did have a talk with the old man.
    Know what he told me? He said, “Sit up and take notice cause some day you will be running a crew just like this one.”
    Well I looked around and all I could see was one old man and myself. Maybe someday I will be running a big crew like that myself.

  14. #29

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    Nice stories, JW.

    Keep 'em coming.

  15. #30

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    From Ideal in response to my query. I was quite impressed that they took the time to contact me.



    ""Underwriters Laboratories revised the applicable standard -- UL 486C --
    effective Jan. 1, 1986.""

    I wonder what we were suppose to do between 1968 and 1986???



    ""You are correct that prior to that date, virtually
    all twist-on connectors could be, and indeed most were, listed for
    copper-to-copper, copper-to-aluminum, and aluminum-to-aluminum
    combinations.

    With the 1986 revision, a heat-rise addition was made to the
    standard that effectively prevented all twist-on connectors from meeting
    the new requirements.""



    " Because aluminum wiring, unless otherwise prevented
    from oxidizing, will naturally oxidize over time and result in a layer of
    semi-conducting aluminum oxide forming when in intimate contact with a
    reducing material -- such as copper. This layer of aluminum oxide causes
    the resulting connection to heat up to the point that the connection will
    exceed to the UL heat-rise requirement. ""

    I call BS.



    "" This addition to the standard was
    made because of the problems experienced in real world applications with
    standard compression connectors (of which twist-on's are one type)
    involving copper-to-aluminum connections.""


    Again...BS. I am IN the real world have seen a LOT of AL and al/cu splices and have NEVER seen a failure due to oxidation unless there was water dripping on it or it was underground. A regular splice in a jbox....NEVER.



    "In 1995, IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. introduced the Twister Al/Cu wire
    connector, which was and remains the only UL-listed and CSA-recognized
    twist-on connector that meets the revised requirements of UL 486C."

    What were we supposed to do between 1986 and 1995??



    "The connector contains a proprietary antioxidant filled in such a manner that
    no air remains inside the connector end to cause oxidation subsequent to
    installation.

    One of the reasons that simply adding an antioxidant to a
    conventional twist-on connector, such as an IDEAL Wing-Nut connector, will
    not meet the revised UL 486C requirements is that it is very difficult to
    field-install an antioxidant to exclude a pocket of air from forming at the
    end of the connector. Only a very small amount of entrapped air is needed
    for oxidation to occur, and the connection to potentially overheat."

    *****It is very difficult to field-install an antioxidant to exclude a pocket of air from forming at the end of the connector.????*****

    Come on now. It is very difficult to install 4" underground conduit, transition it into the proper alignment for the panel, pull the feeders in, install all the branch circuitry, trim it all out and chase down your money. It is NOT difficult to put some anti oxident into a wirenut.


    "We hope this addresses your inquiry adequately. Please feel free to
    contact me directly if you would like further information."

    It did answer a lot of my questions and I thank them VERY much for taking the time to respond. I do still think that thier "special" wire nuts are not special at all. Real oxidation...the kind which would affect conductivity, will not occur in a normal setting.
    Last edited by Terry; 10-02-2007 at 11:28 PM.

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