Copper-clad aluminum wire splices.

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Old 03-27-18, 04:36 PM
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Copper-clad aluminum wire splices.

Most receptacles and switches I have seen are compatible with copper clad wires and as far as I know I can connect CCA wire to them without a issue.
However, I'm not sure about splices.
NEC 110.14 states
Conductors of dissimilar metals shall not be intermixed in a terminal or splicing connector where physical contact occurs between dissimilar conductors (such as copper and aluminum, copper and copper-clad aluminum, or aluminum and copper-clad aluminum), unless the device is identified for the purpose and conditions of use.
I cannot seem to be able to find information on whether regular wire nuts are approved for copper to copper-clad aluminum. They only specify wire size, not type of wire.

Do I need to use special connector for splicing these with copper?
 
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Old 03-27-18, 04:49 PM
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That information will be found on the connectors manufactures website
 
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Old 03-27-18, 05:17 PM
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I looked up at Ideal website and it only states wire sizes and quantities. Doesn't mention wire type.

With UL listing, now it is even more confusing.

https://standardscatalog.ul.com/stan...tandard_486c_7

UL 486C states:
1.3 These requirements cover splicing wire connectors intended for:

a) Copper-to-copper;

b) Aluminum-to-aluminum;

c) Copper-clad aluminum-to-copper-clad aluminum;

d) Copper-to-aluminum or copper-clad aluminum and aluminum-to-copper-clad aluminum conductor combinations intended for intermixing of conductors and dry locations only; or

e) All of the above.

But, this would mean regular wire nut is allowed even for aluminum to copper as long as they are in dry locations..
 

Last edited by lambition; 03-27-18 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 03-27-18, 06:23 PM
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Regular wire nuts are for copper to copper only.
 
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Old 03-27-18, 06:30 PM
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Not a single manufacturer of wire nuts (at least major ones) mentioned copper clad aluminum.
Since the only concern (at least what I know of) of connection between copper clad and copper wire is different thermal expansion coefficient, perhaps a push-in connectors are the better choice?
 
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Old 03-27-18, 07:12 PM
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How many connections do you need to make ?
Push-in type devices have never been well suited to any type of aluminum wiring.
 
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Old 03-27-18, 07:17 PM
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Push in wire connectors would be a WORSE choice and are certainly not rated for copper clad aluminum. Something like this would be your best option: https://www.homedepot.com/p/AlumiCon...FRJqwQodC4oOgg

Or these: http://www.idealindustries.co.uk/ind...k=12702&fk=304

Or replace the wire/cable.
 
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Old 03-27-18, 07:22 PM
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I will make about 4 connections (3 per connection).
This is for installing recessed lights.

Dimmer switches I will be using states copper or copper-clad.
All information I'm finding about copper-clad aluminum suggests that it is just as good as copper wire and can be used in devices designed for copper only. However, I cannot find any information about copper to copper-clad splices other than NEC states that cannot be intermixed.
Also unable to find any connectors specifying copper-clad wire.
I'm pretty sure copper-clad to copper-clad will be find with regular wire nut. Not so sure about copper to copper-clad.


Push in wire connectors would be a WORSE choice and are certainly not rated for copper clad aluminum. Something like this would be your best option: https://www.homedepot.com/p/AlumiCon...FRJqwQodC4oOgg

Or these: http://www.idealindustries.co.uk/ind...k=12702&fk=304

Or replace the wire/cable.
While I'm sure AlumiConn will work fine, it also is not rated for copper-clad since it doesn't mention it at all.
Aluminum wire and copper-clad aluminum is very different type of wire.


NEC also states

Screwless pressure terminal connectors of the conductor push-in type are for use only with solid copper and copper-clad aluminum conductors.
The reason why I though push-in connectors many be a better option.
 

Last edited by lambition; 03-27-18 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 03-28-18, 10:33 AM
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I cannot seem to be able to find information on whether regular wire nuts are approved for copper to copper-clad aluminum.

I would treat copper clad aluminum wire as aluminum wire and use the AlumiConn connectors. If you use traditional wire nuts, the zinc plated spring will cut through the copper cladding into the aluminum and create the same old problem aluminum wire was always known for.
 
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Old 03-28-18, 06:34 PM
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Checking existing splices, I did not see any damage to the copper cladding with regular wire nuts. However, I have decided to use alumiconn for copper to copper-clad connections and regular wire nut for ground and copper-clad to copper-clad splices.

As for the switches, they do say it is for copper or copper clad, so I'm just connecting them directly. I haven't seen damage to the copper clad under screws either. Cladding is pretty thick.

I haven't found a single article about copper-clad causing problem, but did find article saying it is just as safe as copper. So, I guess they are good as long as no damage to the cladding occurs.
 
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