Connecting CU & AL wiring together

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On Sat, 03 Apr 2010 20:48:15 -0800, David Nebenzahl

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On Sat, 03 Apr 2010 23:18:40 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Aluminum wasn't used much for branch circuits until about 1965 when copper prices went up. There were enough problems that about 1971 UL removed the listing for wire, switches, receptacles, wire nuts, ... then put out new standards. The new switches/receptacles are marked CO/ALR. The vast majority of installed wire is the "old technology" stuff. Use died out about 1973.
Because of the problems the CPSC started an investigation, and tests were done which included thousands of connections in various combinations. The engineer that was behind the testing has a paper on aluminum connections at: http://www.kinginnovation.com/pdfs/ReducingFire070706.pdf One of the major problems in making connections, with both the new and old wire, is thin oxide which is an insulator and rapidly forms on 'clean' aluminum. Many of the connection techniques involve both antioxide paste and abrading the wire to remove the oxide.
For splices he recommends Alumicon connectors: http://www.kinginnovation.com/products/electrical-products/alumiconn / they are UL listed for aluminum (also in gfretwell's post).
The only other UL listed connector I know of is Ideal #65 wire nuts. The author specifically is not fond of them. One reason, if I remember right, is the metal the spring is made of. Details are in the paper.
Before Alumicon, the author had an older paper: http://www.inspectapedia.com/aluminum/alreduce.htm#1C which describes using other wire nuts and why he likes them better. Since the other wire nuts are not listed for aluminum an inspector may have problems. On the other hand, the recommendations are based on comparative research using the wire that is actually out in the field.
The problems were only with 15 and 20A branch circuits. Aluminum is often used in larger sizes like service wires. The connectors bite into the aluminum, which as gfretwell notes is similar to what happens with Alumicon.
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bud--

bud--

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Yes, that Ox Gard (I fondly call it Ox Gored) is good stuff. Also helps with copper connections, like outdoor electrical work. I use it in my work, repairing outdoor equipment.
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Christopher A. Young
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On 4/4/2010 6:07 AM Stormin Mormon spake thus:

Getting biblical here, it all depends on whose ox is being gored, right?
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You were wrong, and I'm man enough to admit it.

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But, of course. I'd have thought that the ox is the creature doing the goring. The victim, naturally would be someone like a Mexican torreador, or the american tax payer, or someone relatively innocent.
In any case, it's good for aluminum wire, and many other applications. I've been known to put a shot of Ox Gored on copper connections, when exposed to the weather. I do work on outdoor equipment. It's some what protected, but not totally.
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