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Old 04-05-2009, 11:41 AM   #1
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GFCI for ALuminium wire?


I am in a 35 year old home with AL wiring. I have several outdoor and shaver r ceptacles I wish to upgrade to GFCI. Is there one out there rated for aluminium wiring or can I pigtail copper and paste with alu rated connectors ?
Every GFCI I have seen says not for aluminium wiring

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Old 04-05-2009, 11:48 AM   #2
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GFCI for ALuminium wire?


Find out which circuit it is and install a ground fault circuit breaker , your covered all the way.

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Old 04-05-2009, 11:59 AM   #3
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GFCI for ALuminium wire?


Good plan thanks, but my other concern is weather exposure on the contacts outside so I thought an outside GFCI receptacle would work best.
So is there an AL rated GFC breaker that fits an FPE Stab Lok panel
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:34 PM   #4
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GFCI for ALuminium wire?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemist1961 View Post
Good plan thanks, but my other concern is weather exposure on the contacts outside so I thought an outside GFCI receptacle would work best.
So is there an AL rated GFC breaker that fits an FPE Stab Lok panel
you may want to seriously think about changing that FPE panel!!...the breakers are infamous for NOT working!...also, i prefer to usea gfi at the point of use as opposed to gfi breakers...
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:39 PM   #5
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GFCI for ALuminium wire?


FPE and AL, AL is ok if done right, fpe is not ok.

In the most recent independent tests of FPE Stab-Lok equipment, using a larger pool of FPE Stab-Lok circuit breakers than the older CPSC and Wright Malta tests found significantly higher failure rates of FPE Stab-Lok circuit breakers, including a look at critical safety failures (breaker failed to trip at 200% of rated current or jammed) which found up to 80% failure rate for FPE Stab-Lok GFCI circuit breakers (n=4), 12% failure rate for double pole FPE Stab-Lok circuit breakers (n=120), and a 1% failure rate for FPE Stab-Lok single pole circuit breakers (n=345).

http://www.inspect-ny.com/fpe/fpe.htm
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Old 04-05-2009, 02:50 PM   #6
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GFCI for ALuminium wire?


!) Use copper pigtails on the GFCI.

2) Find GFCI receps with pigtails instead of terminals (if they still make them)
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Old 04-05-2009, 03:46 PM   #7
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GFCI for ALuminium wire?


Please note that this poster lives in Ontario where FPE=Federal Pioneer not Federal Pacific.

It is a trade joke(with some truth) that federals do not trip. The newer breakers apparnetly don't have this issuse.
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:59 AM   #8
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GFCI for ALuminium wire?


Thanks for making that point Darren.
Yes I forgot to post that info. I had heard feed back about Fed Pac before. Thanks to all of you for the concern.
I would like to rewire the entire house over the next while since some insurance companies are now opting out of coverage. I have been here 19 years and had one incident of a new microwave overheating at a receptacle. I ran a fresh circuit as required by code and had the entire system inspected by a senior inspector who's been around ALR for quite awhile.
In addition, as a precaution I have replaced every connector with ALR rated ones and paste and inspected and applied paste and or pigtailes throughout the house at lighting , etc. But I'm still concerned about future insurability
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:49 AM   #9
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GFCI for ALuminium wire?


I thought in Canada the only acceptable method for copper to aluminum was the copalum crimp?

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Old 04-06-2009, 04:04 PM   #10
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GFCI for ALuminium wire?


Stubbie,
Not according to my inpsector who works the Provincial Hydro Authority, We have CSA approved and I believe UL approved CO/AL connectors from MARR and IDEAL makes a gel filled one as well. Both are sold in this area.
Never seen this crimp device or heard of it. Looks like a product from AMP if I am reading the heat shrink. I have their crimpers. Good tools and terminals in my experience. Thanks.
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:10 PM   #11
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GFCI for ALuminium wire?


I performed a search awhile back for GFCI receptacles that were rated for use with aluminum wire and I found that none of the common manufacturers make an Aluminum compatible receptacle. The only solution I found was to use copper pigtails.

Use of the Copalum devices requires that you locate a trained contractor that is certified to install the devices with the leased AMP equipment. Another good solution for connecting copper pigtails to aluminum wire is to use Alumicon aluminum to copper lugs. The lugs are small, insulated, terminal bars that are rated for both aluminum and copper wires, so there is no issue about twisting aluminum and copper wires together as when you use an Ideal 65 twist connector. The alumincon connectors are expensive ($5+ each) but they work great with no downside other than the cost.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:31 PM   #12
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GFCI for ALuminium wire?


An aluminum crimp doesn't seem like a good idea. The stuff is too fragile/soft.

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