Protecting aluminum wire not in use

Hi,
I have #2 aluminum wire going to a fuse panel. I need to disconnect the
wire for a few months and then reconnect it to a circuit breaker panel.
How do I protect it when it is not connected say, from oxidation, to be
able to reuse it. Also when I reconnect it do I just coat it with a
antioxidant?
Thanks.
Reply to
js5895
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Wrap it with electrical tape. In several months not much is going to happen. By all means use an antioxidant when reconnecting. However, if this is a service the utility company may require crimp on copper to aluminum pigtails. They do here and we are in a relative dry climate.
Reply to
electrician
| | js5895 wrote: |> Hi, |> |> I have #2 aluminum wire going to a fuse panel. I need to disconnect the |> wire for a few months and then reconnect it to a circuit breaker panel. |> How do I protect it when it is not connected say, from oxidation, to be |> able to reuse it. Also when I reconnect it do I just coat it with a |> antioxidant? |> |> Thanks. | | Wrap it with electrical tape. In several months not much is going to | happen. By all means use an antioxidant when reconnecting. However, | if this is a service the utility company may require crimp on copper to | aluminum pigtails. They do here and we are in a relative dry climate.
Is there space in today's circuit breaker panels to do that?
Reply to
phil-news-nospam
Aluminum is quite reactive. A "clean" aluminum surface will fairly rapidly oxidize to a self-limiting layer. It should be assumed a wire has an oxide surface layer. The last lug installation instructions I saw said to wire bursh the wire and apply antioxide paste. My understanding is that for any but the smallest gauges, the setscrew or crimp process deliberately deforms the wire to break the oxide layer. I don't think there is any point to trying to protect the wire from oxidation.
bud--
Reply to
Bud--
There is usually sufficient space to meet the Code's 75 per cent rule for splices in panelboards. If there isn't use a block of wood or the hammer handle to push the wire snug in for a tight fit. Believe me that is the way it is done. Not too many pay attention to the 75 per cent rule since it is very difficult to determine the dimensions and perform the calculations. Besides at 75 per cent it looks stuffed anyway.
Reply to
electrician
I should add where the 75 per cent rule comes from. So here it is from the 2005 NEC:
408.1 Scope. This article covers the following: (1) All switchboards, panelboards, and distribution boards installed for the control of light and power circuits (2) Battery-charging panels supplied from light or power circuits 408.2 Other Articles. Switches, circuit breakers, and overcurrent devices used on switchboards, panelboards, and distribution boards, and their enclosures shall comply with this article and also with the requirements of Articles 240, 250, 312, 314, 404, and other articles that apply. Switchboards and panelboards in hazardous (classified) locations shall comply with the requirements of Articles 500 through 517.
312.1 Scope. This article covers the installation and construction specifications of cabinets, cutout boxes, and meter socket enclosures.
312.8 Enclosures for Switches or Overcurrent Devices. Enclosures for switches or overcurrent devices shall not be used as junction boxes, auxiliary gutters, or raceways for conductors feeding through or tapping off to other switches or overcurrent devices, unless adequate space for this purpose is provided. The conductors shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 40 percent of the cross-sectional area of the space, and the conductors, splices, and taps shall not fill the wiring space at any cross section to more than 75 percent of the cross-sectional area of that space.
Reply to
electrician
Phil, this guy is a troll. No PoCo will make you pigtail copper so they can crimp it on their aluminum drop! Laterals land on a lug somewhere and that is CU/AL.
... unless you are in a mobbed up union town.
Reply to
gfretwell
.
That is why any listed "AL" lug or splicing device does rude things to that oxide layer. If you strip the required amount of fresh conductor you are as good as the first run off a new spool of wire.
Reply to
gfretwell
| Phil, this guy is a troll. No PoCo will make you pigtail copper so | they can crimp it on their aluminum drop! | Laterals land on a lug somewhere and that is CU/AL. | | ... unless you are in a mobbed up union town.
I left New Jersey long ago.
Reply to
phil-news-nospam
Golden Valley Electric Coop in Fairbanks, Alaska will not accept aluminum terminations at a service. If you use aluminum conductors you have to pigtail copper to the aluminum. I suggest you broaden your scope of knowledge and stop the personal attacks. I was a State of Alaska Electrical Inspector based in Fairbanks, Alaska for 8 years from 1988 to 1993. One of my tasks was to inspect commercial services outside the city limits prior to Golden Valley hookups. Additionally, I am an IBEW journeyman electrician with over 30 years experience licensed in Alaska as an electrician and electrical administrator, and licensed in Washington as a General Electrician. Your anti-union bias makes you look like a fool, now doesn't it. Or, are you drinking in which case I might excuse you.
Reply to
electrician
I'm sorry. I have just never heard of that. We don't ever see copper on the utility side. Again no offense intended.
Reply to
gfretwell
| Golden Valley Electric Coop in Fairbanks, Alaska will not accept | aluminum terminations at a service. If you use aluminum conductors you | have to pigtail copper to the aluminum. I suggest you broaden your | scope of knowledge and stop the personal attacks. I was a State of | Alaska Electrical Inspector based in Fairbanks, Alaska for 8 years from | 1988 to 1993. One of my tasks was to inspect commercial services | outside the city limits prior to Golden Valley hookups. Additionally, | I am an IBEW journeyman electrician with over 30 years experience | licensed in Alaska as an electrician and electrical administrator, and | licensed in Washington as a General Electrician. Your anti-union bias | makes you look like a fool, now doesn't it. Or, are you drinking in | which case I might excuse you.
I'd love to see some pictures of pigtails on a 350 kcmil service.
At what point are we talking about this? At the transformer on the pole, or at the meter?
Reply to
phil-news-nospam
You're getting it reversed. It's copper on the customer side, aluminum on the utility side. They want to use copper to aluminum pressure crimps, then have the customer land copper on the meter terminals.
Reply to
Matthew Beasley
I'm assuming at the meter. Beyond the meter is the customer's world, on the pole is the utilities world.
350kcmil implies 400A service, doesn't it? I have that, but there is a _LOT_ of room in a 400A meter main or 400A meter box. I have the CH 400A "house panel" meter main, and the meter section is 15" wide, 44" tall and 6" deep. Lots of room to make a splice if needed.
Reply to
Matthew Beasley
Correction: That should have been from 1988 to 1996.
The fact is we have very cold temperatures in interior Alaska and there is a problem with aluminum connections loosening even with Cu/Al rated terminals. Also, UL and other testing laboratories do not test for extreme cold temperatures. Likewise, Carlon for instance, does not manufacture cold temperature rated PVC products because as I was told at an IAEI Section meeting the market simply is not there. So in cold climates we learn that aluminum is a liability, XHHW insulation works while T insulation becomes brittle and breaks, Al/CU rated terminals do not stand up when used with aluminum, and PVC conduit expands so much that an expansion joint is required for as little as a five foot run per code.
Reply to
electrician
Again I was wrong Sorry. I am a lower 48 guy and I prefer the 27th parallel or lower. I have been to Fairbanks and I understand you have a 140-150 degree swing. In most of the US you will always see aluminum on service conductors up to the service point and usually all the way to the service disconnect. I am surprised you have a problem with aluminum in lugs since they are usually aluminum too. They are telling us an alumnium lug actualy tests better with aluminum wire than copper.
Reply to
gfretwell
|
|> |> |> | Golden Valley Electric Coop in Fairbanks, Alaska will not accept |> | aluminum terminations at a service. If you use aluminum conductors you |> | have to pigtail copper to the aluminum. I suggest you broaden your |> | scope of knowledge and stop the personal attacks. I was a State of |> | Alaska Electrical Inspector based in Fairbanks, Alaska for 8 years from |> | 1988 to 1993. One of my tasks was to inspect commercial services |> | outside the city limits prior to Golden Valley hookups. Additionally, |> | I am an IBEW journeyman electrician with over 30 years experience |> | licensed in Alaska as an electrician and electrical administrator, and |> | licensed in Washington as a General Electrician. Your anti-union bias |> | makes you look like a fool, now doesn't it. Or, are you drinking in |> | which case I might excuse you. |> |> I'd love to see some pictures of pigtails on a 350 kcmil service. |> |> At what point are we talking about this? At the transformer on the |> pole, or at the meter? |> | | I'm assuming at the meter. Beyond the meter is the customer's world, on the | pole is the utilities world. | | 350kcmil implies 400A service, doesn't it? I have that, but there is a | _LOT_ of room in a 400A meter main or 400A meter box. I have the CH 400A | "house panel" meter main, and the meter section is 15" wide, 44" tall and 6" | deep. Lots of room to make a splice if needed.
I'd like to see how that splice is made up and how the bending is done to minimize stress on the splice.
But I don't see why they can't have aluminum going to one set of terminals and copper on the other, when the customer and utility use different metal.
Reply to
phil-news-nospam
Check on this link:
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Look on page E49 to E51 for splices. The connectors are fairly compact and they have insulating covers.
If you look on page E70, they have terminals that are meant to go into copper only connections for putting on the ends of aluminum wire.
Normally they would. I don't like screw down terminals on aluminum. I prefer compression connectors. Conveniently so does my utility - they require meter bases with bolt holes, and they land their aluminum wire on the meter base using compression lugs for underground service when they run their wires all the way to the base.
Reply to
Matthew Beasley
| Normally they would. I don't like screw down terminals on aluminum. I | prefer compression connectors. Conveniently so does my utility - they | require meter bases with bolt holes, and they land their aluminum wire on | the meter base using compression lugs for underground service when they run | their wires all the way to the base.
What about screw clamp connections?
Reply to
phil-news-nospam
| Check on this link: |
formatting link
| | Look on page E49 to E51 for splices. The connectors are fairly compact and | they have insulating covers. | | If you look on page E70, they have terminals that are meant to go into | copper only connections for putting on the ends of aluminum wire.
The splices on E67 look interesting.
Reply to
phil-news-nospam

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