04:57PM | 01/11/00
Member Since: 01/10/00
3 lifetime posts
I just got done pulling out an old built in range and replacing it with a new stand alone one. The old range was hard wired to the electrical system and as part of pulling out all of the supports to make room for the new range, I installed the standard 3 pole, 4 wire 125/250 socket. Seems simple enough and everything works fine now but here is the problem:

After I'm done, I'm looking at some of the wire I cut out, and I realize that it is aluminum wire not copper like everything else in the condo (it is a bright silver color all the way through). I used a socket only approved for copper. I don't do this that often and because the unit was constructed in 1982 I didn't expect or even think to look at the wire beforehand. Now, I'm reading on the web that even after aluminum was no longer used for in-house resindential wiring (1972?), it was still used sporadically for some of the high voltage branches (dryer, range, etc.). Dooh!!

-Am I right about the wiring or is there a copper wire or something else that is silver all the way through?
-Is it OK to leave this wiring in place for a few days until I can get an AL\CU rated outlet or do I need to shut the circuit down ASAP?
-Should I just bite the bullet and call an electrician???

I am eternally grateful for any help!!!


04:31PM | 01/12/00
Member Since: 10/24/99
31 lifetime posts
-Am I right about the wiring or is there a copper wire or something else that is silver all the way through?
-Is it OK to leave this wiring in place for a few days until I can get an AL\CU rated outlet or do I need to shut the circuit down ASAP?
-Should I just bite the bullet and call an electrician???

Well, Pumpman .... was the wire very easy to cut or did it offer you some resistance when you cut ... I have seen some tin coated copper wire in my years but only incased in BX shielded cable and when you go to cut this wire the tin smears over where you had made the cut making appear like it's shiny all the way through. So most likely it's Aluminum.
How large is the wire, what's the "AWG" rating? Is it large enough to handle the new appliance? These things are a must to know.
There is a special compound that you must use when splicing dissimilar metals such as your copper rated receptacle and your aluminum wire.
Personally I would change it (the wire) to all copper
" Bite the Bullet "


06:36PM | 01/16/00
Member Since: 01/10/00
3 lifetime posts
CHOLE4ELECTRIC, thanks for answering my post.

First, the wire is very soft and pliable so I don't think there is much question it is aluminum.

Second, I'm not in such a panic anymore because the BOX that the recepticle came in says do not use with aluminum wiring, however the RECEPTICLE is clearly marked CU\AL. Damn quality control...

Third, the AWG rating is smeared and unreadable on the wire I pulled out. Each wire has seven strands to it and is about 5/8 of an inch thick if that helps at all. The fuse at the box is 50 amps and the oven is only rated at 40. The cord I put on the range is also rated for 50. I did check this before putting everything in...the requirements between the old an new oven are pretty much the same so I'm making the assumption that this is not a problem for the circuit.

Fourth, the range has been working fine for the past week. If problems are going to occur, anything specific I should be looking for?

Thanks again!

[This message has been edited by pumpman (edited January 16, 2000).]


02:55AM | 01/17/00
Member Since: 10/24/99
31 lifetime posts
Mr. Pumpman:
There have been changes made in the NEC (National Electrical Code) for new installations regarding aluminum wire and the type of wire that was used in your application.
Today’s codes no longer allow us to use that type of cable in a modern installation, what I mean is by “that type of cable” is that the cable you have is mainly use for Electrical Service Entrance (used between the utilizes connection and the circuit breaker panel).
Here are some 1999 Codes that pertain to your situation (Please read them all)
“Have a Great Day”

Section 422-32. Disconnection of Cord- and Plug-Connected Appliances:
(a) Separable Connector or an Attachment Plug and Receptacle. For cord- and plug-connected appliances, an accessible separable connector or an accessible plug and receptacle shall be permitted to serve as the disconnecting means. Where the separable connector or plug and receptacle are not accessible, cord- and plug-connected appliances shall be provided with disconnecting means in accordance with Section 422-31.
(b) Connection at the Rear Base of a Range. For cord- and plug-connected household electric ranges, an attachment plug and receptacle connection at the rear base of a range, if it is accessible from the front by removal of a drawer, shall be considered as meeting the intent of Section 422-32(a).
(c) Rating. The rating of a receptacle or of a separable connector shall not be less than the rating of any appliance connected thereto.
Section: 550-8. Receptacle Outlets
(a) Grounding-Type Receptacle Outlets. All receptacle outlets (1) shall be of grounding type; (2) shall be installed according to Section 210-7; and (3), except where supplying specific appliances, receptacles shall be 15- or 20-ampere, 125-volt, either single or duplex, and shall accept parallel-blade attachment plugs.


06:14PM | 01/17/00
Member Since: 01/10/00
3 lifetime posts
I have followed all the codes you have listed here. And as far as I see, there is no mention of Aluminum wiring.

Also, this is not a new installation. This wire was pre-existing...only the recepticle is new. I have a book on the 1999 NEC and no where does it mention that I have to replace Aluminum wiring. All it says is that you must be careful that outlet is CU\AL rated.



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