Aluminum Wire??

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  #1  
Old 12-18-11, 06:15 PM
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Aluminum Wire??

Hi,
I am curious what size of aluminum wire will handle 40 amps.
Thanks
 
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Old 12-18-11, 06:18 PM
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Should be #6 AL. Why do you need to know?
 
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Old 12-18-11, 08:24 PM
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I put am a geothermal contractor and my electrician always uses
copper wire. I heard that aluminum is much cheaper. The wiring really adds up on certain jobs. Just kind of exploring options that could save a little money.
 
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Old 12-19-11, 09:41 AM
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Most electricians will choose aluminum or copper based on length of run. Copper is easier to work with, bends and pulls easier, and doesn't require any prep to make connections. Aluminum is cheaper but needs to be scraped, no-ox applied, and torqued correctly. It's typically more unforgiving of repeated flexing and heat/cool cycles if the termination isn't made correctly.

But as you mentioned, as the runs get longer, the extra time and hassle may end up being worthwhile.
 
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Old 01-17-12, 02:53 PM
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Aluminum wire

Aluminum wire on smaller sizes has what is called an expansion coefficient.... The more current you draw on it the more it expands at each connection. When the current is reduced the wire connection contracts and you end up with a loose connection. Personally I would not take the chance. You only need to do it once don't you?
Don
Electrician 35 yrs
 
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Old 01-17-12, 03:05 PM
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Goodness, please donít tell me you are running this for a cooking appliance. In this case, pay the extra, and get copperóif Iím correct.
 
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