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Old 07-15-2014, 04:48 PM   #15
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Interesting thread on aluminum wiring. Does anyone know where I can read up on maintaining my 66 Trade Wind fitted with aluminum Romex wiring? How do I check my outlets for resistance and heat at the connections?

I thought I might replace all the outlets, clean the aluminum wire ends, and retighten. I could also check for evidence of heat melting the insulation at that time. Maybe this is not such a good idea.

I'm not at a stage where I can replace the 115v wiring. I just want to make sure I don't burn the trailer up with me inside while running an electrical space heater one night. I ASSUME my 15 amp circuit breakers will sense the high resistive load and open the circuit BEFORE things get exciting.

David
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:52 PM   #16
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Actually, the circuit breakers probably won't help. The circuit breaker only knows current. 15 amps through a high resistance connection can start a fire and the circuit breaker will be happy as a clam.

If you can't replace the aluminum, you should make sure all the connections are clean and tight. NoAlox is a corrosion preventative grease with good electrical properties. It is recommended where aluminum wire comes in contact with othe metals like copper or brass.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Interesting thread on aluminum wiring. Does anyone know where I can read up on maintaining my 66 Trade Wind fitted with aluminum Romex wiring? How do I check my outlets for resistance and heat at the connections?

I thought I might replace all the outlets, clean the aluminum wire ends, and retighten. I could also check for evidence of heat melting the insulation at that time. Maybe this is not such a good idea.

I'm not at a stage where I can replace the 115v wiring. I just want to make sure I don't burn the trailer up with me inside while running an electrical space heater one night. I ASSUME my 15 amp circuit breakers will sense the high resistive load and open the circuit BEFORE things get exciting.

David
If you want to run an electric heater, consider a new single outlet circuit to the location you want to use it, and run copper Romex back to the main panel. That way you will know you are safer.

No, the CB will not protect you against heat generated in an outlet by poor connections of Aluminum wire. As long as the load is under the rating of the CB, it will be happy and supply power to a fault, or overloaded cord or the like. Many fires are caused every year, and people die, because they tried to run some high load on an undersized extension cord. But the CB was happy.
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:06 PM   #18
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Thanks for the info. I was thinking loose connection, high resistance, high current draw and pop the breaker. I can understand how 15 amps can cause a fire, either in the appliance or the wiring.

I do have 12ga copper run to a new outlet for my heater. I used a conduit as I ran the wire inside the trailer under the center bed and under the galley cabinets.

I keep looking at those old, worn outlets in my trailer. I'd like to change them out, but I don't know if I can find any that are suitable for old aluminum wiring. I'm not even sure I should pull them out, clean and tighten the connections. This aluminum wiring stuff is a bit scary in our old Airstreams.

WCPAWN, I think the folks here all agree to run your new circuit in copper. I don't mean to highjack your thread.

David

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