replacing ballast with aluminum wiring

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  #1  
Old 07-15-15, 08:53 AM
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replacing ballast with aluminum wiring

I was going to replace the ballast in the fluorescent light in my basement, and I noticed the wires that I am splicing are aluminum, whereas the wiring in the new ballast is copper.

I was looking into installing alumiconn connectors, until I found out that the aluminum wiring need to be 10-12 AWG. I haven't measured the current wire size of the aluminum wires, but it looks around 18-20.

does anyone have any advice? thank you
 
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Old 07-15-15, 08:59 AM
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Are you sure it's aluminum instead of tinned copper (copper coated with solder), or actually tin plated copper? Use a knife blade to scrape the wire to see if there is copper underneath the shiny surface.
 
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Old 07-15-15, 09:11 PM
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How did you know it was tinned copper? Does this mean i can use regular wire nuts when splicing the wires? Thanks
 
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Old 07-15-15, 09:19 PM
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All ballasts use copper wire or copper wire with tin plating. Usually it's #20 gauge wire. You can use any type of wire nut or push in connection. There is no issue with that wire causing any problems.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 07-15-15 at 09:40 PM. Reason: clairfied post
  #5  
Old 07-15-15, 09:23 PM
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They do? The replacement i have doesn't, its just copper wire
 
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Old 07-15-15, 09:41 PM
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I corrected my post. My point was that copper is always used and many times it's plated.
 
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Old 07-16-15, 07:35 AM
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I don't really know why, but light fixture manufacturers frequently use that style of wire in fixtures and ballasts. It probably makes soldering or stamping the internal connections easier on an assembly line.
 
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Old 07-16-15, 08:20 AM
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thank you everyone for your help. out of curiosity, have ballast always been copper or tinned copper? Reason I ask is because my house has aluminum wiring, and not exactly sure how old my ballast is (basement was finished 2-3 decades ago)
 
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Old 07-16-15, 08:32 PM
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As far as I know..... aluminum wire has never been used in ballast construction.
 
  #10  
Old 07-17-15, 07:39 AM
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Wiring

I think the OP is saying his house wiring is aluminum.
 
  #11  
Old 07-17-15, 05:46 PM
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thank you everyone for your help. out of curiosity, have ballast always been copper or tinned copper? Reason I ask is because my house has aluminum wiring, and not exactly sure how old my ballast is
You should NEVER use any kind of wire nut or any other connector that brings copper wire into direct contact with aluminum wire. For that matter, you NEVER use any kind of wire nut on two aluminum wires either.
 
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