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Old 03-01-2017, 01:48 PM   #1
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Default AFCI ok with Copper clad AL?

I just attended a seminar where vendors were pushing CU/AL for use in branch circuits.

I asked if AFCI's were evaluated for use with AL/CU since CU to CU arching was a big concern.

Anybody know?
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:35 PM   #2
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For existing cu/al wiring? Looks to me, depending upon what code cycle you are on, that if you were doing pig tailing and installing new receptacles, you'd have to install AFCI anyway.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:37 PM   #3
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I have never, ever even seen copper clad aluminum. I have read about it in the code. I saw an ad for it in a 1940s electrical book. But of all the oddball installations I've seen, none of them ever had any copper clad wiring.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:55 PM   #4
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There was some copper clad aluminum Cat 5e / Cat 6 out there, Chinese manufacture, sold by low quality web sites, eBay bandits, etc. - counterfeit UL listing stamp and everything. Supposedly it was bad enough that guys got stung pulling it out and replacing it, getting their money back for the cable if they were lucky, but eating the labor.

For branch circuits - I'll wait and see ten years or so

I wonder if there's just a glut of recycled Al on the market, or a shortage of Cu, or both - I think @TGGT said there was a strike in Chile and there aren't a lot of other sources?

Did the vendors say whether it was going to be US manufacture or Chinese?
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:18 PM   #5
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If new, what brand? Is it just an experiment? A while back, a vendor was experimenting with paperless romex and gave me roll to try.
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Old 03-01-2017, 04:06 PM   #6
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AL and CU clad AL are treated the same. I have a Condo wired with AL romex. I wouldn't rewire with the stuff if it were available.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:31 PM   #7
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It would have to be radically cheaper and then there's the larger size conductors and making sure you have enough room for 12's and 10's, bigger boxes. Need to know it will be more reliable.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:38 PM   #8
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It would have to be radically cheaper and then there's the larger size conductors and making sure you have enough room for 12's and 10's, bigger boxes. Need to know it will be more reliable.
Also, have to CU pigtail every thing with Ideal purple twisters (I don't trust Alumicons).

Municipalities would have to allow it & that might be the real kicker.
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:44 PM   #9
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Had a bad experience with those? I have only used them once and didn't have any trouble. Spent the money for the torque screwdriver.
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:54 PM   #10
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Had a bad experience with those? I have only used them once and didn't have any trouble. Spent the money for the torque screwdriver.
No bad experience, but, I feel the twisters make a far better electrical and mechanical connection even after you push them into the box.
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:27 PM   #11
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For existing cu/al wiring? Looks to me, depending upon what code cycle you are on, that if you were doing pig tailing and installing new receptacles, you'd have to install AFCI anyway.
It's not very well known but appears in 2011 & 2014 (didn't go back any further) in Table 310.104 (A) Type Z

Big article in this month's IAEI

Can be terminated just like CU, big savings claimed.

UL 83, 44, 719 & 1581
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:34 PM   #12
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It's not very well known but appears in 2011 & 2014 (didn't go back any further) in Table 310.104 (A) Type Z

Big article in this month's IAEI

Can be terminated just like CU, big savings claimed.

UL 83, 44, 719 & 1581
Are you going to the IAEI shindig in Phenix City this month?
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:33 PM   #13
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Are you going to the IAEI shindig in Phenix City this month?
As in Alabama?
I missed the announcement, what is the name of their section?
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:39 PM   #14
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If new, what brand? Is it just an experiment? A while back, a vendor was experimenting with paperless romex and gave me roll to try.
Believe it was Southwire, but was a major brand and the seminar was sponsored by IAEI.

They talked like it was the real deal.

But, as already mentioned it takes #10 for 20A so yes, box fill could be a problem
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:13 PM   #15
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Also, have to CU pigtail every thing with Ideal purple twisters (I don't trust Alumicons).

Municipalities would have to allow it & that might be the real kicker.
you dont trust Alumiconns but you use Ideal purple twisters?

I use Alumiconns exclusively when doing aluminum repairs......why mix dissimilar metals under a wire nut when the alumiconns keep them separated and torqued properly?
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:42 PM   #16
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As in Alabama?
I missed the announcement, what is the name of their section?
The Alabama Chapter. It's the 67th Annual Meeting & Education Conference. I'm going for the CEUs. There will be booze also, so that's a plus.
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:52 AM   #17
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I looked briefly on their site and didn't see it, but that doesn't mean they aren't developing it.
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:56 AM   #18
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When I did residential Garden Apartments we used Coper Clad Aluminum, the terminations were handled just as you would copper as the exterior of the conductor is copper.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:37 AM   #19
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The copper clad aluminum that was slipped in the communications cable was supposedly more brittle than regular copper cable. I don't know if that would be a problem with the much bigger gauge cable for power.
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:42 PM   #20
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The Alabama Chapter. It's the 67th Annual Meeting & Education Conference. I'm going for the CEUs. There will be booze also, so that's a plus.
I go to every IAEI meeting in B'ham and have already been to the 2017 Analysis meeting which is half of the Phoenix meeting so I'll pass on this one since I already have all the CEU's for my 2017 renewal.

Enjoy it's a great place.
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