aluminum wiring


Old 12-13-01, 10:43 AM
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aluminum wiring

I wanted to field a second opinion before I bring somebody on site to review my issue. My range requires a 4 wire plug so I was already planning on replacing the existing 3 wire. The surprise occured when I looked at the receptacle and found that it was aluminum wiring. This lead me to the breaker box and there I found the main wiring leads from the outside are aluminum. All other inside wiring appeared to be copper with the exception of the range wiring mentioned before.

1. Would you mess with the main lead aluminum wiring if there are no visible issues - ie flickering lights, etc. If done properly are there any safety concerns. Any danger signs I should look for?

2. To try to keep labor costs down - I plan to run the 8 ga - 4 wire from the 50 amp circuit breaker to the range. The distance will be 75 ft. I will bring a licensed electrician in to do the final wiring to the breaker box to insure safety. Will I need a new circuit breaker to replace aluminum with copper or 3 wire to 4 wire? Is the 8 ga OK in your opinion or should I consider 6 ga.

Also the range says it requires a minimum 40 amp circuit- Is it normal to have a 50 amp breaker for ranges?

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Old 12-13-01, 02:18 PM
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It is not uncommon to have aluminum incomming service conductors. Don't sweat it.
Does the range state what the maximum amperage cirucit is permitted? Stick with what ever limitation is listed from the manufacturer on circuit amperage.
You said that it requires a 4 wire plug, is that 120/240V single phase with a ground? Volt drop with a #8 AWG cable for 32 amperes, 240V, 75 Ft, copper is 3.75 volts or 1.5%. max voltdrop allowable from service entrance nominal is 5%.
Old 12-14-01, 02:51 AM
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The recommended circuit is a single phase 120/240V 60HZ. I see now that they recommend a 50 amp MAXIMUM circuit breaker.
It appears that they do allow for aluminum wiring and 3-way wiring but I think I will still replace the aluminum wiring and update from a three wire to a four wire.

Thanks for advice
Old 12-14-01, 05:37 AM
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All incoming power lines today are aluminium. At least all I have come in contact with.

Smart choice to upgrade to 4 wires for your stove.

75ft is a rather long run. Wire gauge should be larger for the longer runs. (based on resistance per ft) to keep the wire from getting warm (ie voltage drop) I would recommend the 6 gage wire.

You can use aluminum wire which is cheaper. Be sure to put some compound on the wire at each joint. The place where you get the wire will have the compound.

The 50amp breaker will be fine so that saves some cost. The stove did say 40amp minium.
Old 12-14-01, 11:59 AM
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220-19 of the NEC requires that the minimum branch circuit serving one free standing range is 40 amp rated.

Table 310-16 requires that minimum sized 40 amp branch circuit conductor to be an # 8 awg copper or 6 awg aluminum.

Most electricians install 6 awg copper or 4 awg aluminum using a 50 amp breaker.

250-140 requires that branch circuit serving a range to be a four wire branch circuit with a four prong receptacle and a 4 wire pigtail on the range. The only exception allowing the three wire branch circuit using a three prong receptacle and a 3 wire pigtail to serve a range is if that branch circuit is existing and is an SE [service entrance] type cable, no other existing cable is allowed to remain as existing and serve a free standing electric range.

If you have an existing branch circuit that meets the NEC for existing and use a three wire pigtail attached to that range then you must have a green bonding jumper installed between the center tap of the terminal block within that range to the metal frame of that range.

If you have a new branch circuit that is a 4 wire and 4 prong receptacle and a 4 wire pigtail attached to the range as required for new or replacement installations of that Range branch circuit then you must ensure that there is no bonding jumper connecting that center tap of the terminal block within that range to the metal frame of that range.

Hope this helps

Old 12-17-01, 01:17 AM
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I ran the 6 ga - (4) wire copper from the circuit breaker to the range. I am glad to be rid of the aluminum wire.

Thanks for expert advice
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