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Electrical Wire and Cable

Is It Safe To Install Aluminum Wire?

I have heard people say bad things aluminum wire, is it safe to use? Safe Practices When Installing Aluminum Electrical Wiring.

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Aluminum Wire
Electrical Wiring Question: I have a few questions concerning moving my service and increasing the load center size.
The service will come into the garage where the main load center will be. From there a 100 to 125 amp sub-panel in the house will be fed. There will also be a 100amp sub-panel in the shop fed from the main load center. From the main load center I want to have circuits for the garage, pool equipment, and a sump pump. The existing service is pretty piece-milled together and currently overhead; it will be changed to underground.
What size and type wire do I need coming into the meter for a 200amp load center?
Also, what size non-metallic conduit do I need? If I need more than a 200amp main panel, could I have a 200amp and say a 100amp side-by-side coming off one meter can?

I have heard people say bad things aluminum wire,  is it safe to use?


Additional Comments: Awesome!
Background: Mark, a Homeowner from Spring, Texas

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your Electrical Wiring Question Mark.

Installing Copper verses Aluminum Electrical Wire

Copper Wire is my first choice, however I do install Aluminum Wire as well.

Safe Practices When Installing Aluminum Electrical Wiring
Aluminum wire is safe when the materials and methods of installation are correct as described in this list:

Interesting Note:
Most all high voltage electrical utility services are aluminum wire or an aluminum alloy wire because it would be cost prohibited to install copper.

Applications Where Aluminum Wire Is Not Allowed

Please note that there are some restrictions that prohibit the use of aluminum wire.
For example: mobile homes, air conditioners and in some locations or other applications.
Check with your local building department or jurisdiction.

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House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers

This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.

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Using Electrical Testers and Voltage Meters

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Information about GFCI Wiring, which you might find useful:

GFCI Wiring
GFCI Wiring

GFCI Wiring

This list of articles will help you learn about the features and benefits provided by GFI and GFCI Receptacles and how they are wired.

The following may also be helpful for you:

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A Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Be sure to get your copy of my BIG Book:
Perfect for Homeowners, Students and Electricians
Home Electrical Wiring - Room by Room
120 Volt Circuits
240 Volt Circuits
Multi-Wired Circuits
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
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