Aluminum Wiring ?

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Old 02-24-11, 08:43 AM
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Aluminum Wiring ?

Hello all,

My house is wired with aluminum wire. I would like to replace eventually.

I am in the middle of a bathroom remodel now and want to know best way to replace the aluminum wire I have access to in that bathroom since it is all torn apart right now.. Is it ok to replace what I can and just tie the new copper to aluminum at the junction boxes? What should I look out for?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.. Thanks!
 
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Old 02-24-11, 09:27 AM
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alumiconn connectors are one way.go to alcopstore.com/order
 
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Old 02-24-11, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by gregnese View Post
Is it ok to replace what I can and just tie the new copper to aluminum at the junction boxes? What should I look out for?
No you cannot do a partial replacement in a bathroom. A bathroom remodel requires a 20A circuit wired with #12/2g copper wire.

Partial replacements may be okay in some other rooms using either TYCO COPALUM crimp connectors or AlumiConn connectors. Personally I would not advocate partial replacement.

Some general rules regarding aluminum is that it can never be joined directly to copper and any device it connects to must have an aluminum rating (CO/ALR). The receptacles and switches with this rating are several dollars each; they are substantially different from the bargin bin devices -- do not use those with aluminum.
 
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Old 02-24-11, 10:26 AM
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Thanks for the reply,


so..to make this easy for me to understand since I have little personal experience in this.

I need to do away with all the wiring and chase the main back to the box and start a copper line from the box to the bathroom and go from there?

Will the existing box accept copper or will I need to replace?

I only have 1 plug, 1 light, 1 fan, and a switch going to this bathroom.


Thanks for the input
 
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Old 02-24-11, 12:26 PM
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I need to do away with all the wiring and chase the main back to the box and start a copper line from the box to the bathroom and go from there?
Actually you need to abandon in place the existing branch circuit. If it just the bathroom and goes to the breaker box then disconnect at both ends. bury it in the wall at the bathroom so it is inaccessible. Cut it as short as possible at the breaker box and shove it back into the wall if possible.

If there are outlets in other rooms on that branch circuit you must disconnect it at point the cable to the bathroom begins, perhaps a light or receptacle, and abandon the cable from that point.

You would run new copper cable from the breaker box. Use 12-2 NM-b on a 20a breaker.

Will the existing box accept copper or will I need to replace?
If you mean main panel, yes. Copper is fine.
 
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Old 02-24-11, 01:13 PM
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Good info, Thanks!! My next step I suppose is to go inspect the wire and see if it goes directly to the panel..
 
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Old 02-24-11, 01:47 PM
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Aluminum connectioins also need noalox
 
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Old 03-16-11, 08:12 AM
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OK, I finally got to this.. The wire leading into the bathroom is in fact the only one on that circuit which is good because I am going to copper from the panel and re-wire while I have the chance. Is there any simple diagrams out there for such a project? I am only needing a light switch, plug, light & a fan.

Thanks for the help!
 
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Old 03-16-11, 09:52 AM
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The most straightforward way to do it would be to run the 12-2 cable from your panel to the receptacle box. Run 12-2 cable from the receptacle box to the switch box. Run two 12-2 from the switch box, one to the light, one to the fan; or if it is a light/fan combo unit run a single 12-3 cable from the switch box to the fan.
 
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Old 03-16-11, 10:00 AM
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Thanks for the reply..
Also, Do I need to ground the wire from the panel in order to have a gfci receptacle? or can I catch that ground at any point? The reason why I am asking is because I have a ground cable connected to the other bathroom that is easily accessible from where my receptacle will be placed.

Thanks
 
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Old 03-16-11, 10:21 AM
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An added ground must connect the the main panel ground within 5 feet of the main panel so you can't run it to another grounded receptacle. A GFCI does not need a ground to function but must be marked "No equipment ground". It increases personal safety but does not provide the needed ground for equipment like a surge protector.
 
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Old 03-16-11, 07:16 PM
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Ok after looking at my panel, it is a Federal Pacific. I have heard nothing good about these. Should I replace the whole thing? Or should I try to get a 20A breaker for this panel and finish the job? I really am not opposed to replacing I just need advice from the pro's. If I do replace, what should I go with? It will have to be a brand that is copper/aluminum friendly I suppose

Ray-anywhere near Port A?

Thanks![IMG] Uploaded with ImageShack.us[/IMG]
 
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Old 03-16-11, 07:53 PM
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Ok after looking at my panel, it is a Federal Pacific.?
Load up on fire extinguishers and make sure your sd's have batteries.
I have heard nothing good about these.
No more nusiance trips when you use the toaster and the mw amd the coffeemaker with two 2000w space heaters with a gem tap
Should I replace the whole thing?
Yes. As posted by the joke above, they often jam and It is like a penny in the fusehoulder.
If I do replace, what should I go with? It will have to be a brand that is copper/aluminum friendly I suppose
Square D QO is the best, but you will pay for it. As long as you have a copper buss you are good, however.
 
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Old 03-16-11, 08:17 PM
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Ok. Thanks for the info. Would this be a relatively simple job for a diy?
 
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Old 03-16-11, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by gregnese View Post
Ok. Thanks for the info. Would this be a relatively simple job for a diy?
Assuming this is your main panel it may be a very advanced DIYer project but the average weekend DIYer should have an electrician do it. You may need to upgrade the mast, the feed, and the meter socket. The electric must be disconnected at the pole or pad by the electric company. In some places such as where I live the permit can only be pulled by a master electrician. It is all the things you don't know you don't know and the problems you don't know about that occur on a project like this that make it too difficult for all but a pro.
 
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Old 03-16-11, 09:33 PM
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Good advice thanks. If I just run a new copper line like I originally set out to do and use the same circuit breaker that the original wire used(which is a 20 amp) will I be ok for now? Then I can just call in an electrician later to install new panel. Im spending a lot doing this bathroom remodel
 
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Old 03-16-11, 10:32 PM
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Yes, you should be good for now.
 
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Old 03-17-11, 12:02 PM
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See the diagram I found below that closely matches what I am trying to do.. Do you see any probs with this one? The only thing I may do different is add a 2nd plug recepticle. And if I do that, would I come from the 1st plug or will I have to have another line coming from the switch/breaker?

Thanks for the input!

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Old 03-17-11, 01:16 PM
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The diagram looks accurate. If you wanted to add another receptacle, you would add it after the first receptacle. The incoming power at the first receptacle would attach to the LINE terminals, and the outgoing power to the second receptacle would attach to the LOAD terminals. The second receptacle should be a standard (non-GFCI) duplex or decora type as the first GFCI receptacle protects the downstream one.
 
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Old 03-17-11, 01:50 PM
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Thanks!,

the only thing that may be different is that we might use a fan/light/nightlight combo. I guess if that is the case we would just run a 12/3 wire to that instead of 12/2? Is there anything wrong with using 12/2 & 12/3 for the whole project?
 

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Old 03-17-11, 02:35 PM
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Correct, if the fan and light are the same unit run a single 12/3 from the switches to that unit instead of the separate 12/2s. If the fan unit has a lot of functions you may actually need 12/4 or two 12/3s. Check mfr instructions if you have the particular unit picked out. I installed one not too long ago that I think had 4 separate switch loops (heat, light, fan, nightlight) and required a special switch unit from the mfr.
 
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