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Old 07-05-2012, 01:27 PM   #1
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aluminum wiring

I have a 67 Safari I was thinking I'd update the wiring. Mine currently is wired with 10/2 aluminum wire. Is there a reason it was done that way? I would want to switch to copper if possible at a lower gauge to be easier to work with.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:48 PM   #2
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I used 12. I also prefer to run separate ground wires...my choice. Then I go to a central bus for both power and grounds. If the trailer is already wide open its a great idea to change the wires....and improve where you want (more outlets and switches.)
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:30 PM   #3
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Aluminum was the wire of the future in the late 60s. Then they discovered its propensity to expand and contract when it warms up due to load. Perhaps the 10/2 was to help counteract that issue - it would handle the same load better and maybe not expand as much. I'd definitely go to copper wire, especially in a trailer that's constantly exposed to heat and cold.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmcmike View Post
I have a 67 Safari I was thinking I'd update the wiring. Mine currently is wired with 10/2 aluminum wire. Is there a reason it was done that way?
Cost, driven by a copper shortage. During that era aluminum wire was being used for residential construction as well.

Quote:
I would want to switch to copper if possible at a lower gauge to be easier to work with.
12/2 would be the copper wire with equivalent current carrying capacity.

You may find the Alumnicon connector mentioned in this article to be a possible alternative:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/516.pdf
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:07 PM   #5
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To switch you will have to drop or take off all the inside skins. A lot of work. I opted not to do this even though I wanted to change the wires form Aluminum. Instead I bought some paste to put on any connections to help stop any melt downs. I figured it hasn't caught fire in 44 years it probably won't in the next 44.
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:20 PM   #6
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As long as you have switches and breakers and wall outlets rated for aluminum wires you should be ok. They make a grease to put on the junctions that is supposed to reduce oxidation that leads to arching. Most of the wires from the pole to houses is aluminum. It is not a bad idea to check electical connections periodically for loose connections. 10/2 should be plenty if that is what runs to the wall receptacles. Don't get wall outlets with the push in connections. Those are crappy and prone to problems even with copper wire.

Perry
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