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  1. #1
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    Default #10 single strand Aluminum

    House built in 1985. Branch circuits where copper except the dryer, water heater and A/C. I thought the aluminum wire (single strand)was only used in the 70's. The breakers where CU/AL. Was this a accepted practice in the 80's. Can you still use 10#, I don't believe 14# and 12# can be or is just not used because of cost of connectors. Should I explain it to my clients like the smaller strand wires? What would you do.

    Thanks

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  2. #2
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: #10 single strand Aluminum

    If the #10 aluminum is protected by more than a 25 amp breaker then there is a problem that needs to be addressed by an electrician. This is the case for a water heater and a dryer. It could be okay for an A/C unit.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: #10 single strand Aluminum

    I just uncovered aluminum almost accidentally today. I had already seen copper wire in a few of the outlets and switches and found a Zinsco panel that was partially blocked by built in shelving and hate pulling the cover when I don't have clear escape path and almost did not pull the cover since it is an automatic call for replacement. I decided to go ahead and pull the panel and found a mixed panel with four twenty amp circuits with solid aluminum and a couple more appliance circuits with stranded aluminum and the rest of the panel all copper. Glad I pulled the panel, that would be an big expense if found by the electrician when the panel is changed.

    Mike, any aluminum gets flagged unless it is a large appliance circuit with antioxidant paste, but that is just me. If an electrician wants to bless it, that is his choice, but I am going to call for repair.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  4. #4
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    Default Re: #10 single strand Aluminum

    There where two thirty amp breakers and one 40.

    Mike, any aluminum gets flagged unless it is a large appliance circuit with antioxidant paste, but that is just me
    You mean single solid wire right? Not stranded. Stranded is OK.

    If an electrician wants to bless it, that is his choice, but I am going to call for repair.
    Jim what needs repaired. CU/AL means copper or aluminum doesn't it? I did not check the connections at the appliances though.
    Still wondering if you still can use solid wire now or in 85?

    Sorry James I meant #8.........

    Last edited by Mike Schulz; 07-03-2008 at 04:37 PM. Reason: more info
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  5. #5
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: #10 single strand Aluminum

    The only aluminum I call out is #12 & #14. All other is okay if installed properly. IMHO...


  6. #6
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    Default Re: #10 single strand Aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    --The only aluminum I call out is #12 & #14. ...
    ?????

    James,

    When was # 14 Aluminum wiring made?

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 07-03-2008 at 06:00 PM. Reason: Ted to James
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  7. #7
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: #10 single strand Aluminum

    ????????

    Billy....The same period they made #12.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: #10 single strand Aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    ????????

    Billy....The same period they made #12.
    So they made 14 Gauge Aluminum Wire for residential branch circuit wiring?

    And when you see it you call it out?

    What Amperage was it rated for?

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 07-03-2008 at 07:32 PM. Reason: amp added
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  9. #9
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: #10 single strand Aluminum


  10. #10
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    Default Re: #10 single strand Aluminum

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    So they made 14 Gauge Aluminum Wire for residential branch circuit wiring?

    And when you see it you call it out?

    What Amperage was it rated for?
    .

    James,

    So 12 Gauge Aluminum wire is rated for 15 amp. branch circuit.

    That would make 14 Gauge Aluminum rated for ________?

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: #10 single strand Aluminum

    From what I read, all aluminum wire has problems, just fewer connections on the dedicated appliance circuits. The problem is aluminum wire. Even properly rated devices are no assurance of freedom of poor connections.

    The Aluminum Wiring Information Website - How to Identify and Repair Aluminum Wiring in Buildings

    CPSC research shows that "homes wired with aluminum wire manufactured before 1972 are 55 times more likely to have one or more connections reach "Fire Hazard Conditions" than are homes wired with copper. "Post 1972" aluminum wire is also a concern. Introduction of the aluminum wire "alloys" in 1972 time frame did not solve most of the connection failure problems. Aluminum wiring is still permitted and used for certain applications, including residential service entrance wiring and single-purpose higher amperage circuits such as 240V air conditioning or electric range circuits. The fire risk from single purpose circuits is much less than for branch circuits. But it's not necessarily because of a "new alloy" as some folks assert. It's because there are enormously fewer connections (four or six rather than 30 or 40 per circuit) and thus statistically a smaller chance of a connection failure. These connections do still burn up, as indicated by field reports.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

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