Aluminum Service Wire

By | June 19, 2022

Aluminum Electric Service Cables, Electric Console Components & Wiring
Burn Condom Hazards

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Aluminum electric service entry cables (SECs): This article summarizes possible safety and functional concerns with the utilize of aluminum wiring for service entry cables or electrical panel components in buildings, and provides a link to the aluminum wiring information website.

This is a affiliate of our discussion of the inspection of electrical services at buildings in club to decide service capacity in volts and amps.

We likewise provide an Commodity INDEX for this topic, or y’all can endeavor the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to detect information you need.

ALUMINUM SECs & WIRING – Aluminum Service Cables and Wiring in buildings for Electrical Service Delivery

In both branch circuit and entrance cable wires, the permitted wire gauges for copper are unremarkably 1 size smaller than for aluminum used at the aforementioned ampacity rating. This is because copper is a better conductor than aluminum. Aluminum wire must be larger to safely carry the aforementioned current as copper.

Fire and Safety Issues with Aluminum Electric Wiring

Aluminum SECs multiple (C) InspectAPediaThere are important fire prophylactic issues concerning the presence of aluminum branch circuit wiring in buildings – non discussed in this article. Solid aluminum branch conductors are no longer used in new wiring.

Aluminum service entrance cables and aluminum single-purpose loftier-amperage circuits [NOTE: Such as for auxiliary sub-panels, primal air conditioning or electric ranges.> are commonly installed in many communities.

Photo (left) contributed past an bearding reader, shows multiple aluminum SECs and principal disconnects at an apartment building bank of electrical meters.

Many new electric service panels use plated aluminum parts. According to some experts risks remain fifty-fifty with these permitted applications in both the United states
[see “Reducing the Fire Hazard in Aluminum-Wired Homes,” Jesse Aronstein, Ph.D., Wright Malta Corporation, Ballston Spa, NY, 1982]
and Canada
[run into “Overheating Failures of Aluminum-Wired Special Service Connectors,” Jesse Aronstein and Wilfred Eastward. Campbell, IEEE Transactions on Components, Hybrids, and Manufacturing Engineering, Vol. four CHMT-vi, No.1, March 1983.]

The risks of poor connections and fire hazards for aluminum SEC wiring are reduced by proper abrasion of the continued wires, proper tightening of the connector, and use of a special anti-corrosion flux chemical compound.

As recently every bit June 2006 we received a report of a major house fire which the owner asserts began at an overheating electrical service entry cable connector.

Our Opinion is that considering the number of these connections is less than on a branch circuit wire, and perhaps for other technical reasons involving the performance of multi-stranded aluminum wire, the risk of a fire is probably statistically less than with solid conductor branch circuits. Information technology would appear that the risk is non as depression as with copper service entry cables.

Key References on Aluminum Electrical Wiring

ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS & REPAIRS for a thorough word of aluminum branch circuit wiring concerns in the U.S. and in Canada too.

[There is disagreement among professionals nearly the Canadian risk and failure charge per unit. Ontario Hydro and some Canadian inspection professionals exercise not admit a significant take a chance from aluminum wiring in Canada. However the Scarboro development in Ontario demonstrated that failures and fires take occurred in that land. –DF]

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