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  1. #1
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    Dec 2008
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    Erwin, TN
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    Default Aluminum ground wires ?

    Inspected home built in 1928 today (house has been rewired) and observed a couple branch circuits with an aluminum ground wire with hot & neutral wires copper, but have never seen this before. I'm guess the aluminum wire will not expand and contract if not connected to breaker. I don't see a reason for concern, how about anyone else ? Yes I do see the wires on bus bar stuffed under 1 screw.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: Aluminum ground wires ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    Inspected home built in 1928 today (house has been rewired) and observed a couple branch circuits with an aluminum ground wire with hot & neutral wires copper, but have never seen this before. I'm guess the aluminum wire will not expand and contract if not connected to breaker. I don't see a reason for concern, how about anyone else ? Yes I do see the wires on bus bar stuffed under 1 screw.
    Hi Sam,

    I have not seen mixed Al & Cu NM cable myself. Maybe someone else will chime in with a response.

    I would think you're guess is correct. Since the equipment grounding conductor should not carry a current (except in the case of a ground-fault), then there should not be any expansion/contraction of the conductor. However, it still seems to me that the buss bar and switches/outlets (whatever devices the Al EGCs are connected to) should be rated Cu/Alr.

    A couple of additional thoughts.

    1) Could the current-carrying conductors be copper-clad aluminum? I have not run across copper-clad, but have read about it.

    2) I certainly would make a mention of it in the report and let the client know that consulting with an electrical contractor could provide more information.

    I am not seeing the multiple conductors you refer to (other than the doubled EGCs).

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Colorado Front Range
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    618

    Default Re: Aluminum ground wires ?

    Not at all likely that there's not any aluminum cable in that panel OR it's been replaced and alm. wire was used to extend short copper grounds with splices where you don't see then (VERY unlikely).

    I'd bet closer inspection will find aluminum wire attached to some breakers and the neutral buss.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    Default Re: Aluminum ground wires ?

    The picture of the entire panel shows a number of splices. Perhaps that's where copper has been spliced onto aluminum? Did you trace the aluminum grounds up into the cable, where its enters the panel? Was there any printing on the cable jackets identifying it as AL?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Aluminum ground wires ?

    Sam,
    I have also seen this in a panel. I could not find any aluminum wires anywhere else, except the grounds. In the panel I was looking at, there were no splices.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Erwin, TN
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    217

    Default Re: Aluminum ground wires ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Sam,
    I have also seen this in a panel. I could not find any aluminum wires anywhere else, except the grounds. In the panel I was looking at, there were no splices.
    Same here


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chico,Ca
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    427

    Default Re: Aluminum ground wires ?

    Since the NM cable sheathing is visible above the panel, looking what is written on them could provide some information.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    IN
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    Default Re: Aluminum ground wires ?

    Look again.....those wires could be tinned copper. Looks like aluminum but is not.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: Aluminum ground wires ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanS26 View Post
    Look again.....those wires could be tinned copper. Looks like aluminum but is not.
    Tinned copper? Do you think so? The only time I run into tinned copper is with the old cloth-wrapped NM cable and those typically don't have equipment grounding conductors.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

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