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Max ampacity of feeders copper/aluminum for 50 amp service?

Max ampacity of feeders copper/aluminum for 50 amp service?

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  #1  
Old 07-21-07, 03:15 PM
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Max ampacity of feeders copper/aluminum for 50 amp service?

I own a 1987 townhouse/condo. One of about 8 units. The cost of upgrading my 50 amp service is prohibitive. My building inspector said my load calculation, including new kitchen appliances, that exceeds 45 amps is OK up to 50 amps providing my feeder is copper and #8. (I may go with 45.26 or 47.1 amps depending on appliances) At the sub-panel in my unit the feeder checks out, it is copper and #8.

What about the rest of the feeder buried between the house and the meters/disconnect? Might be aluminum wire, right? Would it be sized to match the maximum ampacity of #8 copper feeder inside the house if installed according to code? How would I even check the rest of the feeder? I don't see how the panel that houses the meters could be opened without disturbing the neighbor's meters, and everything else is buried.
 
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Old 07-21-07, 05:12 PM
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Why would you think the rest of the feeder is AL?? Is there cable in the panel and conductors in conduit underground? This would imply there is a splice somewhere.
Even so, I HIGHLY doubt they would use copper cable and AL underground. This would make no sense.

Actually, the only way #8 would be acceptable for 50 amps is if it is either CU SER cable or CU (THWN) conductors in conduit.
 
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Old 07-21-07, 05:20 PM
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My wife's cousin is a contractor who mentioned the possibility of aluminum to the house. Maybe we had a communication failure.
 
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Old 07-21-07, 05:32 PM
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The feeder is labeled '8 AWG Type THHN or THWN E14656K (UL) Gasoline and Oil Resistant II 600V' and it looks like there is a conduit from where it's attached to the sub-panel. And I can see that it's copper from where it's exposed at the connection.
 
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Old 07-21-07, 05:48 PM
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The house is on a concrete slab and the feeder runs underground under a sidewalk, under another set of condos and surfaces at the meter next to the street.
 
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Old 07-21-07, 06:23 PM
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Correction one of the hots is labeled '8 AWG Type THHN or THWN E14656K (UL) Gasoline and Oil Resistant II 600V'. Thanks.
 
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Old 07-21-07, 06:55 PM
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If there is #8 THWN in conduit at the panel I would safely assume that it extends all the way to the meter/service.
 
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