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Old 05-03-2009, 01:38 AM   #1
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Aluminum Wire Indoors


I recently found this site and the information I have gathered has helped me greatly in a project I have been considering. I can't seem to find out one last bit of info though. Can USE-2 Aluminum wire be ran inside a house in conduit for 20' to my main circuit breaker panel? In case this question doesn't make any sense here is what I am planning.

I am considering running a subpanel to a detached garage that is 60' from my house. I only want to run 50amps at 240 volts so I will be burying three 4awg Aluminum cables and one 6awg aluminum cable in 1.5in schedule 80 pvc conduit for my feeders and ground. I know the depth has to be at least 18" to the top of the conduit.

I have decided to buy a regular circuit panel with a 100amp main ( to serve as a shut off) for in the garage. I will only be running a dual pole 50amp in the main house's 200amp panel. I know how to make the electrical connections thanks to other posts I have read on here, and I also know NOT to use the neutral bonding screw on the garage's panel.

The electrical supply store here reccomended I use the above mentioned wire size/type and showed me the wire and it is marked as USE-2. Is this the correct wire for this setup. Also, and more importantly, is this wire allowed to be ran INSIDE a residence in conduit. I have 20' from my main panel to where I can exit the main building.

If I can not run this as stated is it allowable to run a different type (i.e. 6awg copper) from the main box to a junction box and make the connection to the aluminum wire there? Or should I stick with aluminum the whole way?

My area uses the 2005 NEC code and I don't have the book. I am in the planning stages right now and am just researching before I apply for a permit and get an inspector and all. Any info will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 05-03-2009, 02:35 AM   #2
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Aluminum Wire Indoors


USE stands for underground service entrance. You can put it in conduit but you don't have to. The only place your inspector is going to want to see the PVC is where the USE cable is subject to physical damage, like where it goes underground and where it comes up at the garage.

4-wire, check
No neutral/ ground bond, check
main disconnect for more than 6 circuit breakers, check

The only additional thing you'll need to do is to install a copper ground rod with a #6 copper grounding electrode conductor from the ground bar because this is a detached garage.

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Old 05-03-2009, 09:37 AM   #3
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Thank you for your reply and I will be sure to add a ground rod to my list of materials I will need.

The USE-2 wire I was thinking of using is in single pieces and not bundled together like in normal wire. It is one real long wire wound on a spool that I will need to cut for my feeders. I thought these types of conductors had to be in conduit where ever they exposed? Would it wrong to put it in conduit anyway? I am only concerned about the indoor section of my house for the 20' from the main panel to where it exits.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by NOTREALSURE View Post
Thank you for your reply and I will be sure to add a ground rod to my list of materials I will need.

The USE-2 wire I was thinking of using is in single pieces and not bundled together like in normal wire. It is one real long wire wound on a spool that I will need to cut for my feeders. I thought these types of conductors had to be in conduit where ever they exposed? Would it wrong to put it in conduit anyway? I am only concerned about the indoor section of my house for the 20' from the main panel to where it exits.

Thanks again!

Yes, you can put it in conduit. Make sure you get that factory twist out first, and seperate each wire. You might want to pick up some wire lube if you have any bends in the conduit.
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:03 PM   #5
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Nevermind, I misread.

Last edited by Gigs; 05-03-2009 at 01:04 PM. Reason: screwed up
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:39 PM   #6
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NOTREALSURE,
Did you end up running your USE in conduit the 20 feet to your panel? Did it pass inspection? I have been told you can't run it inside at all.
Brian

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Last edited by blorentzen; 09-25-2010 at 11:53 AM.
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