Aluminum wiring for Outlets- aluminum ground only


Old 04-08-13, 11:57 AM
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Aluminum wiring for Outlets- aluminum ground only

My home was built in 1969 with what appears to be outlets having copper postive and neutrals and aluminum grounds. This being the case, would a sufficient repair solution be putting in arc fault breakers along with Alumiconn for the aluminum ground wires?

alternatively, would i be fine with just having arc fault breakers because having aluminum ground wires only is not a hazzard?

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Old 04-08-13, 12:37 PM
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Are you sure the grounds aren't tinned copper. Look at a cut end cross section.
Old 04-08-13, 12:41 PM
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I've never seen nor heard of aluminum and copper conductors in the same cable assembly. Do you have cables or conduit?

Tech Note: There is no positive in AC electrical systems. There are ungrounded, grounded and grounding conductors, commonly referred to as hot, neutral and ground.
Old 04-08-13, 02:12 PM
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In 1969 it is quite possible your house was wired with "copper clad aluminum" wire. Copper clad was supposed to reduce the problems of using straight aluminum wiring, especially the problems where the connections were made. It did NOT change the Ampacity of the aluminum wire to coincide with that of straight copper so a #12 copper clad is still limited to 15 amperes and a #10 copper clad is limited to 20 amperes.

Ray, tinned copper was/is only used with rubber insulation. Using straight copper with rubber has a tendency to corrode the copper. I'm sure that you have seen/worked with portable cables (type S) that had copper conductors tarnished to black and needed to scrape this tarnish off the copper to make a decent connection. This tarnish/corrosion problem was one of the reasons to move to plastic insulation.
Old 04-08-13, 03:01 PM
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thanks for the feedback. I'll pull out the wires so I will know for sure what I have.
Old 04-16-13, 09:48 AM
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Thanks for all the feedback.

I took a look at the outlet for my fridge and it appears to be braided aluminum wire at the breakers and has twist caps connecting aluminum to copper at the outlets. I've heard that braided aluminum wire is not a concern, so i guess I don't need a rewire. Is this correct?

Also, I understand that twist ons are not good for aluminum to copper pigtailing. So I plan to replace them wherever I find them with Alumiconn. Is this a sufficient repair?

Old 04-16-13, 11:00 AM
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The typical AL branch circuit wiring was solid #12 or #10, not stranded.

Alumiconns are listed for pigtailing the AL to copper. Be careful, the old AL breaks easily.

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