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[TowerTalk] Fwd: Using aluminum wire [or aluminum clad]

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Fwd: Using aluminum wire [or aluminum clad]
From: "Jim Thomson" <>
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2010 08:28:53 -0800
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Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2010 04:14:46 -0500
From: "Roger (K8RI)" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Fwd:  Using  aluminum wire [or aluminum clad

At one time there was a big push to use aluminum wiring in new homes, 
but that expansion and contraction was causing poor connections with the 
resulting fires is why Al wiring is now banned although as I said 
before, except between the meter and breaker box.  Even with 4 ought, 
you have to retighten the big connections at the top yearly for the 
first 3 to 5 years.

### Same deal here...AL is now toast...yet my last house  did  have
12 ga AL wiring all over the house. [built in 1972]. 

### We can't use  4 ought  AL  between meter  + breaker box.   It  has 
to be  3 ought CU.   Since the  distance from the meter  to the 200A  main 
panel is typ short... I see no savings  using AL.   AL is a pita..used 

##  2 ought AL  IS used  for the  drop wire from street into the input side of
the meter..and that's it.    Suck 50-100A... and the V drop on that  2 ought
AL  drop wire is bad news.  In my case, it's a mid span drop....which is also
on the other side of the street.  Then it goes down the street the
pole pig. It's a long piece of 2 ought  from meter  to  mid span.  From that 
to the pole pig... the AL wire is  shared  with my neighbours.   Dunno if it's 
still 2 GA  or not   from midspan to xfmr.   How the heck  9 x homes  can share
the same 50 kva xfmr...and all have  "200A"  service is beyond me.  That's only 
23 A  per home. 

##  BTW... I bought  several hundred feet of  10 ga  'alumoweld'  wire..on sale
from SSON  yrs ago for a project.   I also have 12 ga alumoweld.   The  12 ga 
is good for > 1000 lb tensile strength... and  the  10 ga stuff is 50%  
stronger  than the
12 ga stuff... 1600 lbs.  

later... Jim   VE7RF

  I use a long extension on the handle of the large 
allen wrench, a wee bit pf either noalox or never-seeze and really reef 
it down.  This is not a job for the Novice, As they say on the TV 
programs, "Do not try this at home",  but I've done it hot as well as 
watching electricians do it hot.  If you ever short out that 220 line 
where the only fuse is at the transformer on the pole you will be lucky 
to survive and not burn the house down.  That transformer in my case is 
supplying three 200 amp services.  I once saw one of the plant 
electricians slip and stick a LARGE screwdriver into an overhead buss 
with that kind of capacity.  There was a loud bang and then that whole 
buss was slowly burning back like a fuse while growling like a D7 Cat. 
Man, but that sucker was noisy, but at least I wasn't up there on the 
step ladder with the electrician. <:-))  No he didn't get hurt...except 
for maybe his nerves.

Their boss wasn't exactly happy either as he shut that whole room full 
of production equipment down which probably ran at least several hundred 
thousand dollars loss.


Roger (K8RI)


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