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Old 02-11-2008, 01:33 PM   #1
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Lubricant in Panels


What is the lubricant that is used on the main lugs of a service panel?

The reason I ask is a need to replace a MAIN panel on a remote barn on my property. I have access to a used, but in good condition panel that lacks the lube found in new panels.

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Old 02-11-2008, 02:01 PM   #2
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Lubricant in Panels


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Originally Posted by Randell Tarin View Post
What is the lubricant that is used on the main lugs of a service panel?

The reason I ask is a need to replace a MAIN panel on a remote barn on my property. I have access to a used, but in good condition panel that lacks the lube found in new panels.
That is an antioxidant used for aluminum conductors. Ideal sells it under the brand name Noalox, you can get it at any hardware store in the electrical section. It isn't so important with copper wire, but it is absolutely necessary for aluminum.

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Old 02-11-2008, 04:08 PM   #3
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Lubricant in Panels


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That is an antioxidant used for aluminum conductors. Ideal sells it under the brand name Noalox, you can get it at any hardware store in the electrical section. It isn't so important with copper wire, but it is absolutely necessary for aluminum.

InPhase277

Actually its not ever required for aluminum, but knock your socks off...
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:19 PM   #4
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Lubricant in Panels


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Actually its not ever required for aluminum, but knock your socks off...
Have you ever seen aluminum conductors that haven't been greased? My God, man! I have. It may not be required, but it is necessary. I even put it on large copper conductors.

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Old 02-11-2008, 04:25 PM   #5
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Lubricant in Panels


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Have you ever seen aluminum conductors that haven't been greased? My God, man! I have. It may not be required, but it is necessary. I even put it on large copper conductors.

InPhase277

If it was so important dont you think it would be in the NEC? or required by a manufacture? and how do you know the damage was not caused from a loose connection, I have never seen any proof or research that Noalox does anything... I would spend my money on a torque wrench before I wasted it on Noalox...
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:46 PM   #6
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Lubricant in Panels


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If it was so important dont you think it would be in the NEC? or required by a manufacture? and how do you know the damage was not caused from a loose connection, I have never seen any proof or research that Noalox does anything... I would spend my money on a torque wrench before I wasted it on Noalox...
If, as was stated, the lubricant is used to prevent oxidation how can you make the statement: "how do you know the damage was not caused from a loose connection?"

IMHO, I would think that damage from oxidation and damage caused by arcing are quite different from one another and easily distinguishable.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:51 PM   #7
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Lubricant in Panels


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If it was so important dont you think it would be in the NEC? or required by a manufacture? and how do you know the damage was not caused from a loose connection, I have never seen any proof or research that Noalox does anything... I would spend my money on a torque wrench before I wasted it on Noalox...
I just know that every time I've ever seen a connection without it, it always had signs of corrosion at the interface of the two metals. I've also spent alot of time rewiring homes with aluminum branch circuit wiring, not the same thing I know, but oxidized aluminum connections are most certainly a problem.

I've even used noalox on outside connections in flood lights and on the threads of buried rigid and IMC. Better safe than on fire!

How many other things does the code not require that you think should be in there? Anyhow, try passing an inspection in my area without it...

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Old 02-11-2008, 04:52 PM   #8
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Lubricant in Panels


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If, as was stated, the lubricant is used to prevent oxidation how can you make the statement: "how do you know the damage was not caused from a loose connection?"

IMHO, I would think that damage from oxidation and damage caused by arcing are quite different from one another and easily distinguishable.
Would you like to show me a picture of a damaged wire from oxidation?
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:56 PM   #9
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Lubricant in Panels


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I just know that every time I've ever seen a connection without it, it always had signs of corrosion at the interface of the two metals. I've also spent alot of time rewiring homes with aluminum branch circuit wiring, not the same thing I know, but oxidized aluminum connections are most certainly a problem.

I've even used noalox on outside connections in flood lights and on the threads of buried rigid and IMC. Better safe than on fire!

How many other things does the code not require that you think should be in there? Anyhow, try passing an inspection in my area without it...

InPhase277
Just so you dont hate me I do use Noalox on my AL. services... But its just a bad habit...., The stuff is just snake oil...

Last edited by chris75; 02-11-2008 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:15 PM   #10
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Lubricant in Panels


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Would you like to show me a picture of a damaged wire from oxidation?
I will if you'll show me a picture of how the damage is similar. Aren't we talking apples and oranges?

Besides, I can't show you a picture of any oxidized wire because all mine are lubricated.

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Old 02-11-2008, 05:20 PM   #11
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Lubricant in Panels


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I will if you'll show me a picture of how the damage is similar. Aren't we talking apples and oranges?
Yes, the thing is, I have never seen a bad wire from oxidation, just loose connections... so if you think it will make the installation more safe then use the stuff...
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:33 PM   #12
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Lubricant in Panels


Here are some service conductors that had been "temp spliced" for about 20 years. All things considered, I was amazed at their good condition.




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Old 02-11-2008, 07:47 PM   #13
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Lubricant in Panels


Thanks buddie...
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:06 PM   #14
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Lubricant in Panels


I don't believe antioxidant compound was ever required for the aluminum wire but for the termination lug and only if the manufactuer required it. Seems to me it was always stated that it was recommended. Also with the 'new' al alloys we use today it really isn't necessary... but to add noalox was the least liked by me whenever I used it... penetrox is a much better product IMO.

UL 486B (par. 7.5, p.12) "If specific instructions for assembling the connector to the conductor are furnished with the connector by manufacturer such instructions are to be followed in the preparation of the terimation except the conductor is not to be brushed or abraded and antioxidant is used only if the connector is pre-filled with the antioxidant.

"From the white book"
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Last edited by Stubbie; 02-11-2008 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:14 PM   #15
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Lubricant in Panels


I HAVE however seen MANY oxidized aluminum wires.

The last couple were feeders...... underground PVC to a 100 amp apartment panel....maybe 4 years old. A slight nick in the insulation on installation combined with sitting in a water filled portion of the conduit turns the Al wire to white powder.

I have not seen oxidized conductors in a dry location.

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