Aluminum convert to Copper

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Old 05-17-10, 06:24 PM
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Aluminum convert to Copper

My house has some aluminum wire in it.
Line wire comes in via the attic then drops down the wall to the outlets. The line goes into the first outlet then feeds the next outlet and so on through out the house via inside the walls. Each room being on its own circuit or so.
When running the copper, I don't want each outlet to tie into each other directly. I'd rather place a junction (4x4) box in the attic above each outlet/switch and tie the next into it.

Is this considered an acceptable method of wiring?
Would an inspecter red flag this?

Of course before moving forward I would seek the guidance of my local building department.

Sacramento, CA.
 
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Old 05-17-10, 07:03 PM
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This is acceptable, but watch for box fill in the 4 sqs. Also the junction boxes must remain permanently accessible.

IMO the fewer junctions in the system the less chance for a potential failure.
 
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Old 05-18-10, 08:55 AM
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You could bump up to 4-11/16" square boxes to have more room for making multiple connections per box. I don't know if they carry this larger size box at the big box stores (ironically), but an electrical supply house will have them.
 
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Old 05-18-10, 05:29 PM
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You might also consider running 2 or 3 receptacles into a single junction box. If your attic is full of junction boxes, while code-compliant, it looks more like an amateur job. Again, you'll have to be careful of box-fill.

Also remember, if you're rewiring, now's the time to ensure your outlet spacing is code-compliant as well as having receptacles where you want/need them. Often times the 6/12 rule doesn't give you receptacles everywhere you need them.
 
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Old 05-18-10, 06:34 PM
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So....where are you converting from aluminum to copper?
 
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Old 05-19-10, 08:07 PM
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ok. You dont need a 4-11 box jesus or a extension ring or 4 squares at all for that matter. Aluminum to your receptacles?? You sure about that?? New one on me. I am familiar with services but not branch circuits. I would try scrapping the wire to see if maybe its got something on it... They should be copper.

Anyway.. If you pigtail all your joints in the receptacle box you do not need attic junction boxes at all unless you plan on adding something else into that circuit..??? Use the existing Jbz and limit them if you must use them. As a rule of thumb (my preference) I keep them to a 4 fill max (4 romexs in one box).. That will keep you within code without having to over complicate this which it should not be anyway. I would also run 12/2 and not be cheap on 14 awg because it will limit you to a 15 amp amperage vrs a 20...

PS on the 12 awg thing that is if you are pull new homeruns. If you are ting into JBxs that are feed with 14 disregard the 12 awg. If the homeruns are already pulled in 12 then your good. Though... as noted below, if they are aluminum branch circuits...(new one for me..) you will have to pull all new homeruns anyway or you want be changing a thing. I would double check though because something is wrong with this picture... The main feed is prob alm but the recps.... strange...
 
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Old 05-19-10, 08:17 PM
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California CU country

Silver -

out here in California, there was a lot of AU wiring done in the 70s, and they ran it for branch circuits, sometime you run into a house where only the lighting loads were run in AU, and the rest in CU, other times it the entire wiring job. That and asbestos in the ceiling, floor tile and clay sewer laterals and galvanized water pipes, and you wonder why people still value older California houses, heck they need so much rehabbing to get them into shape, much less into current specs with building codes.
 
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Old 05-19-10, 08:21 PM
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I would LOVE to have a house wired with AU. AU is the symbol for gold. Aluminum is AL.
 
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Old 05-19-10, 08:30 PM
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Thats wild! I have never even heard of AL branches.. Talk about being cheap... Yea new homeruns for you man. I would pull all 12 awg Copper and be done with it. Some will disagree and tell you to pull 14awg for a 15 amp but forget that.. Its sub par power.. 80% of 15 is 12amps.... That 1 single vac... and your tripping breakers...
 
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Old 05-19-10, 08:43 PM
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Thats wild! I have never even heard of AL branches..
Don't have to do much residential service work to run into aluminum romex. What kind of wire did you use in the mid 70s?
 
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Old 05-19-10, 08:48 PM
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none. I was not born or around in the 70s Beer 4U2
Romex is only used in residential. Atleast here in my state in this century.. Thhn, THWN, MC, etc.., no NM though and nothing 15amp branch, 20 minimal.
 
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Old 05-21-10, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverTattoo View Post
none. I was not born or around in the 70s Beer 4U2
Romex is only used in residential. Atleast here in my state in this century.. Thhn, THWN, MC, etc.., no NM though and nothing 15amp branch, 20 minimal.
Romex is used on a lot of small commercial jobs. I prefer pipe/wire and MC cable, but in a competitive environment, a contractor has to use any NEC compliant means he can.
 
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Old 05-21-10, 10:16 PM
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I have never ran NM romex in any commercial whatsoever end of story. Its residential wiring. MC is used a lot in small commercial jobs.. NEC what? Its sepcs and its never NM romex.. End of story
 
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Old 05-22-10, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by SilverTattoo View Post
I have never ran NM romex in any commercial whatsoever end of story. Its residential wiring. MC is used a lot in small commercial jobs.. NEC what? Its sepcs and its never NM romex.. End of story
Yes, it's the "End of Story" IF it's a plan & spec job, but more and more smaller jobs are design/build, plans are drawn by an architect and there is no engineer. By the way, NEC is National Electrical Code.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 09:15 PM
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LOL commercial job specked to romex... Thats funny! It just does not happen, ever. Ask around if you dont believe me. NM is strictly residential and anyone running it commercial should be beat with a stupid stick and banned from electrical work.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverTattoo View Post
LOL commercial job specked to romex... Thats funny! It just does not happen, ever. Ask around if you dont believe me. NM is strictly residential and anyone running it commercial should be beat with a stupid stick and banned from electrical work.

I have see few commercal building with NM and yeah in State of Wisconsin do allow it as long it not over 3 flats { floors } up.

And it will depending on what classifation the building you can use the NM but there are few area the NM is a no-no.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-23-10, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by SilverTattoo View Post
LOL commercial job specked to romex... Thats funny! It just does not happen, ever. Ask around if you dont believe me. NM is strictly residential and anyone running it commercial should be beat with a stupid stick and banned from electrical work.
It's easy to see your experience is limited. Try taking a few code classes and ask questions.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by SilverTattoo View Post
LOL commercial job specked to romex... Thats funny! It just does not happen, ever. Ask around if you dont believe me. NM is strictly residential and anyone running it commercial should be beat with a stupid stick and banned from electrical work.
While NM is not allowed above a drop ceiling in a commercial application there is nothing wrong nor against code to use it in commercial.

Given the frequency in which some places are remodeled or go out of business and change uses NM is an economical choice.

There is no reason to rant against something that the NEC recognizes. While it may not meet some commercial specs or your personal standard, it is still a compliant method.

The answers given here are based on the NEC. There are too many local amendments to do otherwise. Since this is mainly a residential DIY site, commercial usages and specs are not mentioned as a rule. If that were not the case we would be recommending only conduit like Chicago.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 10:53 AM
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Ok well I just dont see any logic in running NM romex with sheet metal studs and walls. It does not take much experience to know this. Maybe back in the 50s it was ok but I have never done it nor seen it done and would never recommend it. If they allow that in your state im surprised and that doesnt say much about safety there or your inspectors.

From my gathering on you, you are a residential guy and have no idea what is done in commercial work and just like to type. As to what pcboss has said I will drop this because its not related to what the OP asked about. Any pro commercial electrician would laugh in your face on this topic.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverTattoo View Post
Ok well I just dont see any logic in running NM romex with sheet metal studs and walls. It does not take much experience to know this. Maybe back in the 50s it was ok but I have never done it nor seen it done and would never recommend it. If they allow that in your state im surprised and that doesnt say much about safety there or your inspectors.

From my gathering on you, you are a residential guy and have no idea what is done in commercial work and just like to type. As to what pcboss has said I will drop this because its not related to what the OP asked about. Any pro commercial electrician would laugh in your face on this topic.

Silver .,
Please keep it civil in here and I don't need to hear anyone call each other names at all we all live to learn something new all the time and Also Silver I do work both Resdentainal and Commercal { Mine Master do cover all three parts inculding industral } there is not much diffrence between the two and each have it own plus and minus so just leave it there.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-23-10, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverTattoo View Post
Ok well I just dont see any logic in running NM romex with sheet metal studs and walls. It does not take much experience to know this. Maybe back in the 50s it was ok but I have never done it nor seen it done and would never recommend it. If they allow that in your state im surprised and that doesnt say much about safety there or your inspectors.

From my gathering on you, you are a residential guy and have no idea what is done in commercial work and just like to type. As to what pcboss has said I will drop this because its not related to what the OP asked about. Any pro commercial electrician would laugh in your face on this topic.
Besides your experience, please show me where the NEC would prohibit the use of NM in a commecial space, except behind a drop ceiling.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 08:44 PM
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Other than experience and just knowing it is a safety hazard its arguable with the NEC.. Its preference with me and would not consider using it in commercial. With that said check out the below articles and base your opinion. Its more limitations in commercial that allowances.

NEC 334.10 NEC 334.12 NEC(518.2)

If you read 334.12(1-10) You can see it really limits the use of NM in commercial structures..

"Romex is allowed in commercial buildings that have wood structural members. (Type III, IV and V are wood and wood is rare in a commercial build). Romex is prohibited in steel framed buildings. Romex is thought to be a conductor of flame. People build buildings out of steel to reduce flammability so NM is contrary to this goal and prohibited by the NEC."

This is what I was told from a outside source. Also it appears to be more of origin than a "code" issue.

Though as per request for uses not permitted other than a drop ceiling look here. NEC ART. 334.12


"P.S> Romex is used on a lot of small commercial jobs. I prefer pipe/wire and MC cable, but in a competitive environment, a contractor has to use any NEC compliant means he can."
I also wanted to say I agree with this man and do see where you are coming from but it would have to be a small, small job and no metal studs for me to run NM. To me that would just be cutting corners to get a job for a low bid rather than doing the way it should be done.. I think we are on the same page on this and I am not tring to argue at all here. Maybe we had diff definitions of small jobs. So no offense was intended and liek Marc said we all learn. Ok im done with this.
 

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Old 05-24-10, 02:09 AM
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NM is not prohibited just due to steel framing. You can also see this quote from 334.12 that you say prohibits NM.

[SIZE=2][SIZE=2]
(2) In non-dwelling construction unless the cables are
concealed within walls, [/SIZE]
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][SIZE=2]fl[/SIZE][/SIZE][SIZE=2][SIZE=2]oors, or ceilings that provide
a thermal barrier of material that has at least a 15-
minute [/SIZE]
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][SIZE=2]fi[/SIZE][/SIZE][SIZE=2][SIZE=2]nish rating as identi[/SIZE][/SIZE][SIZE=2][SIZE=2]fi[/SIZE][/SIZE][SIZE=2][SIZE=2]ed in listings of [/SIZE][/SIZE][SIZE=2][SIZE=2]fi[/SIZE][/SIZE][SIZE=2][SIZE=2]rerated

assemblies.

Also the over jacket on NM is an extremely small addition to the overall fire load in a building. I would be more concerned with all the other things like the furniture and carpet than the wiring method.
[/SIZE]
[/SIZE]
 
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Old 05-24-10, 02:51 AM
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99.999% of commercial is steel or sheet metal framing which would damn near eliminate it completely in that itself.
 
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Old 05-24-10, 08:06 AM
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Well, i dont know how this thread completly got changed away from the OP question. How did we go from Aluminum wiring in a house to running romex in commercial applications.
Back to the OP. IF its possible to run new homeruns with new 12awg copper romex i would. Theres nothing wrong with putting jboxs in the attic, some people like to be able to get to there work in the future to make changes, etc...

Ill add one thing to this changed thread, then i think it should be closed becuase it real off track, and some people need to think before they hit submit. People need to realize that each town, city, state, country are all different as to the AHJ. Some inspectors can say one thing and some can say something entirely different. Even if its not in the NEC, if they want it done one way as opposed to another, then guess what, you gotta comply. Period. dont sit there and berate others and say "thats stupid, ridiculous, you cant do that" all of us, as electricians, have to comply to our own set of codes and wants of our local inspectors, to an extent, unless hes trying to have you do something that completely goes against the NEC and isnt safe or practical.

Now lets all get back to why where here, to help people who arent as knowledable in the field do some DIY work and save some money.
 
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Old 05-24-10, 08:18 PM
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Merci { thanks } Joe for your time and words in here.

Let stay in the topic what the OP request it here.

Joe., I will leave this topic open for now and let the OP come in and see what he have to say if anymore issue add to it.

Merci,Marc
 
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