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.© By: Dave Rongey
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
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:
- The wire gauge of aluminum wire must be sized sized correctly.
- The insulation type must be approved for the application.
- Aluminum wire must be installed properly.
- Aluminum wire must be for approved or permitted for the project or applications.
- Corrosion inhibitor must be applied when making connections.
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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