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Old 01-05-2019, 05:13 PM
Jack99 Jack99 is offline
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Default Replace Aluminum with copper....

A few years ago, I bought a cottage built in 1964 and ALL of its main floor outlets, switches and lighting was using aluminum branch circuits. Since buying, I've been converting its heady load End Device's outlets to brand new dedicated copper circuits. re: Kitchen outlets, bathroom outlets, microwave, TV Cluster area, etc. And, we've installed low amp LED bulbs in light sockets - to reduce connection heat points for items using aluminum wiring as well. I'm now at the phase of replacing ALL remaining Aluminum branch wiring with 14-2 Copper wiring. Likely, my cottage uses outside wall wiring design as well. Based on your experience, what is the best way to install (and cover) this future 14-2 copper wire? And, what would pass future ESA inspection as well?

thanks.

See attachment for my Plan A.
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File Type: pdf New Copper visual - Plan A.pdf (379.1 KB, 57 views)
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2019, 06:27 PM
kbs2244 kbs2244 is offline
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The real question is
How far do you have to go?

http://www.ismyhomesafe.ca/aluminum-wiring-repair/

Note that this does address the peace of mind factor.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:59 PM
Jack99 Jack99 is offline
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Thanks for your URL. Good read.... But it clearly lacks the big picture...

Currently, I must pay higher monthly insurance rates for my cottage containing "aluminum" branch wiring. Even if I apply mentioned mitigation tricks (like copper pigtails, use LED lights, etc, etc.) they continue to charge the same monthly high insurance rate. And when I plan to sell my cottage in 2 years, the possible buyer will use its existing "aluminum" wire to low-ball me as well. re: It only takes $200-$250 of today's materials and my free time to convert remaining aluminum wire to copper but they will try to drop me $5K-$10K for the work. And yes, future buyers use every trick up their sleeves to "low ball" someone - for even mentioning the word "contains some aluminum" wiring.

How far do I go to replace the existing branch aluminum wiring at 18 wall outlets, 2 x outside lights and 6 inside lights? I go "all the way" - to save monthly insurance payments and get much better future selling price. ROI is 100 times positive.... Its about future money saved - not about today's minor material costs....

Last edited by Jack99; 01-05-2019 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:36 PM
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GWIZ GWIZ is offline
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I'm not to date with the codes.
In the US the kitchens required 12-2 with ground, no less than 2 GFI receptacle circuits.
Bath room 12-2 w ground, GFI, I think the bathroom lights may have to be on some other circuit. Idea if you trip the receptacle breaker you still have lights.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:34 AM
Norcal Norcal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWIZ View Post
I'm not to date with the codes.
In the US the kitchens required 12-2 with ground, no less than 2 GFI receptacle circuits.
Bath room 12-2 w ground, GFI, I think the bathroom lights may have to be on some other circuit. Idea if you trip the receptacle breaker you still have lights.
The bathroom receptacle must be 20A, and the circuit can serve other bathrooms, but if that is done, can only serve the receptacles, it can be used to supply the lights & such, if done that way can only supply that bathroom. GFCI protection for the receptacles is also required, A kitchen also requires GFCI protection, for the 2 required 20A small appliance branch circuits, depending on the adopted edition of the NEC, AFCI protection is also required.

The CEC is a bit different then the NEC, kitchens were 15A split wired receptacles rather then the US norm of 20A circuits, the CEC method works because each half of a duplex receptacle is on another leg so if a electric griddle was plugged into a duplex receptacle and a large microwave was plugged into the other half of the duplex receptacle it would not overload.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:17 AM
Jack99 Jack99 is offline
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I'm aware of electrical standards in Canada. Been applying Canadian ESA standards for years - for dedicated copper lines under normal studded wall and outside wet/damp environments for years. And yes, Canada uses much higher electrical standards compared to USA. And if wondering, split 15A circuits in kitchens are no longer used as "new install" in Ontario Canada. And, home generator switch setup is completely different in Canada as well. USA generator bypass switches would never pass the Canadian ESA inspection either...

The intent of my original post was to inquire if others replaced "outside" wall aluminum wiring and how they covered it (the new copper wire) - to obtain an ESA inspection pass. re: See the .pdf file I included in my 1st post.

Was hoping for a direct / simple answer of "wiring covering" only.

Based on everyone's feedback, I now have a "tentative" onsite pre-work inspection with a Canadian Masters Certified Electrician this coming Saturday. If not Jan 12/13, he plans an onsite visit Jan 19/20 instead. I need his pre-approval / setup ideas before I start the work. And at the end of my DIY work (in Oct/Nov 2019), he will also provide the ESA Inspection "pass" certificate as well - that I then give to my insurance company - for long term cost savings.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:15 PM
Jack99 Jack99 is offline
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Phase 1 upgrade:

For "before" (old unprotected) vertical copper wiring to receptacle outlet, see attachment.

For "new upgrade" using steel armour coated vertical copper wire with faceplate with 2 x screws, see attachment.

As per my ESA inspection buddy, this upgrade will pass future ESA inspections. Especially after I cedar paint the protected wire and apply brown caulking in its floor hole opening.

Note: Only 15 more wall receptacle boxes to go....

Afterwards, I'll perform phase 2 - which is to replace with old Aluminum wire runs with new copper protected wire runs, copper rated switches as well - which is targeted this fall 2019.

Hope this helps others - who are planning the same Phase 1....

.
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Last edited by Jack99; 01-13-2019 at 11:58 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2019, 09:26 AM
Jack99 Jack99 is offline
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A few more completed wall outlet conversions completed. These ones with proper colouring....

Another 12 more outlets to convert... Ya. Slow - like a retired racing turtle. But its getting done....
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Last edited by Jack99; 03-02-2019 at 09:31 AM.
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2019, 11:31 AM
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Ironman Ironman is offline
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Hi Jack,
You don't say where you are, I suspect Onterrible, as the rules here in Alberta are different. Aluminum compatible plugs and switches have been around forever, as that was the most common source of corrosion and ignition.
Here aluminum is de-rated for current carrying capability. In other words a #14 in aluminum is too small for a 15 amp circuit.
A rule of thumb is 1.5A/sqmm for aluminum cable & 2.5A/sq.mm is for copper.
This means a 50sqmm Al cable will carry at least 75A and same size copper cable will carry 125A.
I have aluminum #000 wire feeding my shop, it is de-rated compared to copper, and you use a anti oxide grease on the wire and terminal.

You have a real advantage in that your wiring is on surface, if it was in the walls, it would be painful.
In Alberta, any wiring below 4 ft has to be armored or in conduit, I noted yours are not all, unless that second wire is an aluminum one.
In your circumstances, I would certainly replace it all with copper.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:36 AM
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I am in a house of the same vintage as your cabin, and although the wiring is copper, at least 1/2 of the circuits are 2 wire without a ground. Upgrading is a good thing.
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