Alum to Copper - ILSCO AK-6 split bolts?

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Old 08-04-06, 04:39 PM
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Exclamation Alum to Copper - ILSCO AK-6 split bolts?

Hi,

I removed my old electric cooktop to replace with a new cooktop and discovered that I have aluminum wiring in my home.

I have a 3-lead aluminum wire (2 solid 10 guage leads and 1 stranded ground) that isn't quite long enough to reach the electric connections on the new cooktop.

There are four connections on the cooktop (3 copper leads and 1 aluminum).

I need to splice in a 5-7 foot piece of copper wire to reach the electrical connections on the cooktop.

Is it safe to use 2 ILSCO AK-6 split bolts for this purpose? I would use them to connect one of the 10 gauge alum leads to 2 of the copper power connections on the cooktop, and the other 10 gauge alum lead to the remaining copper power connection.

What wire prep (cleaning / anti-oxidant treatment) required these connections?

Also, what kind of connector should I use to connect the stranded ground to the ground on the cooktop?

Any guidance is appreciated.

Thanks.
S.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 05:22 PM
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The experts will be along but if the lead is really #10 Al wire it isn't large enough. If you have 4 wires on the cook top then it is probably 120/240. You will need a four wire service to the cook top.
I would use them to connect one of the 10 gage alum leads to 2 of the copper power connections on the cooktop
If that wasn't a typo it indicates a possible lack of knowledge of wiring. Each "hot" wire (probably red and black) must be connected separately. Neutral must go white to white and ground bare or green to bare or green.

Bottom line as described your current wiring won't work. You need new wiring from panel to range top.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 08-04-06 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 08-04-06, 05:28 PM
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Correction - cooktop connections

Ray,

You are correct .. I wasn't thinking clearly. Though the cooktop does have four connections, two are power and the remaining two are ground (one for the heating elements and another for the downdraft fan).

All four are stranded, the two power connections and the white ground are copper. The green ground appears to be aluminum.

Your further guidance is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
S.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 05:41 PM
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The white wire is not ground. It is neutral. It probably is used with one of the "hot" wires to provide 120V. The green ground wire is probably tinned copper. You must have four wires from the breaker panel. You can no longer combine neutral and ground.

If you truly had number ten Al wire from the panel then it would be only good for twenty amps. What size is the breaker? What size breaker is recommended for the new cooktop?
 
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Old 08-04-06, 05:42 PM
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OK. a couple of basics.

the white is not a ground and should not be hooked up to the grounding system

Next, you need to determine how much amperage is required for the cooktop and the fan. It should be listed on the appliances.

Next, free air splices are not going to cut it.

ah heck, ray beat me to it.

Give us the info Ray requested and we'll help you get this straight.
While we need amperage ratings, voltage ratings are required as well.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 05:51 PM
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More information

The breaker is 40 amps. Presumably this means my aluminum wire is 8 AWG. I measured it earlier with my wire cutter and it still looks a bit small to be 8 AWG.

Cooktop has 7KW rating so 40 amp breaker / 8 AWG wire is recommended. I'll pick up a length of 10 AWG wire at HD tomorrow to compare to my wiring and confirm that it's actually 10 AWG and not 8 AWG.

Installation manual for the cooktop indicates three-wire, single phase AC 120/240 volt 60 cycle system is required.

Thanks for the help gentlemen. Really appreciate it.

S.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 06:05 PM
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ok, still a couple things. What type of wire is the house side. Individual conductors? if so, what type of insulation.
cable? if so, what type of cable?

Is there a junction box for this or is it just coming out of the wall?
 
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Old 08-04-06, 06:16 PM
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Is it remotely possible to just pull a new run of # 8/3 W/G (copper) to the range?,, I think you said your old wire was to short anyway correct?,, You;d be a better off electrically and safety wise if you could get that new run up to it. JMO
 

Last edited by Navydad1; 08-04-06 at 06:19 PM. Reason: Brain cramp
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Old 08-04-06, 06:23 PM
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Additional information

Wire has there individual conductors -

Two solid 8 AWG aluminum wires in black rubber insulation
One stranded aluminum wire without insulation

The three wires are bundles in grey plastic (rubber) insulation that reads "Alcan S Stabiloy AA-8000 Series".

The cut-out for the cooktop is in a kitchen island and the wire comes through the floor into the bottom of the island. There is no junction box. I was thinking about adding one since the old wiring is too short to reach the connections on the cooktop anyway.

It'd be tough to run new wire from the breaker box. If there's a safe way to get this done without having to run a new wire, that's my preference. However, I don't want my house to burn down.

Thanks again!
S.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 06:39 PM
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First thing is: if this will work (not yet determined) a junction box is mandatory. You cannot have free air splices.

Next; something I will have to defer to the resi guys for but wire that is #8 larger where installed in raceways must be stranded. I don't know if that requirement has ever included cables such as se cable I am not sure but it sounds as it may be se) was a solid #8 ever used. This may lead to the fact that you have #10 wire. It should state on the side of the cable, right along with the manufacturer name.

Honestly it is sounding more and more like you really need to run a new (and correct (4 wire)) cable
 
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Old 08-04-06, 07:09 PM
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Full description of electric wire

Managed to read a bit more from the wire coming off of the breaker box:

Alcan S Stabiloy AA-8000 Series
Style U Type XHHW
CDRS 600 Volts 3 CSDR 8 AL
UL 1987

So it's definitely 8 AWG.

Thanks.
S.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 07:39 PM
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I am still not sure but I believe you have SE cable.

ok, a real big question here:

does this cable go back to the main panel of the house or to a sub panel?


also, I am not familiar with the split bolts you speak of. Are they rated for al/cu connections?
 
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Old 08-04-06, 08:59 PM
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More cable information

In fact, the cable does say Type SE and it does go back to the main panel.

The split bolts are AL/CU rated. Here's the information about the split bolts from the ILSCO web page:

AK AL/CU SPLIT BOLT
Manufactured from heat treated aluminum alloy.
Triangular edges.
UL 486B 90 C Listed and is CSA certified for 600 Volts.
Electro-Tin Plated.
Spacer bar.
Dual Rated for Copper and Aluminum Conductor.

Cat #: AK-6
Wire range run: 6 STR.-10 SOL.
Wire range tap: 6 STR.-10 SOL.
Torque (lbs.): 165
NAED No: 78366900830

Thanks Nap!
S.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 09:13 PM
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Actually I have been stretching this out hoping one of the residential guys will hop in.They deal with this more often than I do and I'm not 100% sure as to the legality of the install.

I'm leaning towards it is ok to continue on but the extension may be a problem. I'm really not sure. If you alter the circuit, somewhere in the code it requires you to update it but i'm not sure if this qualifies as an alteration as defined for that purpose.

The other thing is that the appliance actually calls for a 3 wire circuit. This whole thing has me a bit unsure of myself as far as making the call.

Hang tight for a couple of the other guys to stop in and give some recommendations.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 09:47 PM
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Not an expert but you wrote you have a three wire cable from the panel with no mention of a ground. The cook top has four connections so it looks like no way the current wire/cable can be used.

You are reporting a 40amp breaker but #8 aluminum wire from the panel. Normally it would have to be #6 since aluminum usually needs to be one size larger then copper.

Sounds like time for a new run of 3 conductor with ground #8 copper wire (that's four wires total) and a junction box with armored cable from junction box to the cook top connections.
 
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Old 08-04-06, 10:05 PM
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Actually xhhw aliminm is rated for 40 amps as well as USE. The code does not seem to specify SE in the amperage tables but in the text it seems to infer you can use the xhhw rating which is 40 amps.

number 8 coppper is good for 50 amps (using the same insulation rating)

These are both in wet locations. in dry locals the ratings are 45 and 55 amps (respectively as discussed.)

The odd thing is the manuf calls for 3 wire circuit. Code did allow ranges and dryers to utilize the neut as a common neut/ ground. New code requires 4 wires but allows the grandfathering of the old circuit if it is not changed. That was my concern was the lengthening. This may require it to be all newly refed with 4 wire.
 
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Old 08-05-06, 06:21 AM
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nap you are using the 90 deg table. Since the breaker, fuse and terminals at the device are not likely to be rated 90 deg, that columb cannot be used. The 75 deg table must be used.

Also number 10 has one of these * next to it in the table. The max amps for number 10 is 30 amps. 240.4 (D)

I am also curious where you got the 45 and 55 amp ratings from. I missed that table.
 
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Old 08-05-06, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jwhite
nap you are using the 90 deg table. Since the breaker, fuse and terminals at the device are not likely to be rated 90 deg, that columb cannot be used. The 75 deg table must be used.

Also number 10 has one of these * next to it in the table. The max amps for number 10 is 30 amps. 240.4 (D)

I am also curious where you got the 45 and 55 amp ratings from. I missed that table.

No actually I was using the table 310.16 . The op states he has #8, not #10. #8 does not have an automatic derating like 14, 12 and 10 have. The 75 column fro aluminum xhhw is 40 amp. Actually you can use the 90 column to START your derating (if neccessary) but cannot end up with a higher end rating than the 75 column. That is where the 45 and 55 come from.

Yes, I should not have tossed in the 90 rating since you are correct as to the termination limitations. It is one of the things I continue to do as I do commercial work and tend to use cables less than individual conductors and get to use the 90 table more than the resi guys when I am derating conductors. Since this is a cable, there would be no derating involved as I would presume it is run without a conduit.
 
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Old 08-05-06, 08:45 AM
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The plan

From everything I've read, it seems like I can do one of two things:

1) Run the existing 3-wire to a junction box and use the ILSCO AK-6 split bolts to connect the aluminum to new copper. In this scenario, I'd match the neutral to the ground.

2) Run new copper from the breaker box to a junction box and then from the junction box to the cooktop.

In either case .. what copper wire do I get to run from the junction box to the cooktop?

Installation guide calls for 3-wire and Maytag repair suggested that I can match the neutral to the ground. Any serious concerns in pursuing option #1?

Thanks.
S.
 
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Old 08-05-06, 02:26 PM
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Check with your local inspection department to see if it is permitted on 120v/240v appliances to tie neutral to ground.

While it may work fine if heaven forbid there is ever a fire even remotely related to the area the insurance company will only be interested in code compliance not what the Maytag man told you. Failure to compile with code is a great way for insurance companies to avoid paying and so they look for any violation.

If you ever sell your house a home inspector for the buyer may red flag the connection also.

Finally it is after all aluminum wire with all the baggage of past safety problems. In my opinion you should redo it to current code.

You can you flexible metal conduit with 4 individual conductors to connect between junction box and the cook top. You shouldn't need split bolts. There are wire nuts large enough for the wire.
 
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Old 08-05-06, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047
You can you flexible metal conduit with 4 individual conductors to connect between junction box and the cook top. You shouldn't need split bolts. There are wire nuts large enough for the wire.
If he utilizes the existing aluminum wire, he has no other choice but to use split bolts (rated for the dual metal conection).

Although there is supposed to be a wire nut available for a al/cu connection, I ,personally, do not trust it. Additionally I do not believe they make them for #8 wire either.
 
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