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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Erwin, TN
    Posts
    206

    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
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,584

    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).

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    610

    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.

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