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Old 06-20-2021, 12:36 PM   #21
VitoJCongineJr
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At 100 feet you are right at the cusp of voltage drop. The issue at 100 feet and greater is the conductor size to prevent voltage drop. At 30 amps the conductor size is #10, once we go greater than 100 feet we would increase that size to #8. If you have a voltage meter and feel confident to do a voltage check, I suggest doing so prior to spending $ on a voltage booster. If you do not feel confident in doing so ask a neighbor, or contact an electrician. You do not have to remove a panel cover, or open up outlets to do voltage checks. The tool cost is much lower than the cost of a booster.
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Old 06-20-2021, 02:01 PM   #22
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Well I already bought the voltage booster and everything seems to be working by now, I am monitoring it all the time


But this makes me think that for the wire coming from the house pedestal over to the barn area which is closer to me we should probably put in six gauge wire or at the very least eight and then it’ll be like 40 feet to the camper I think

What do you guys think about that? Should I just go ahead and get six gauge?
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Old 06-21-2021, 06:54 PM   #23
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Economical Alternative

If you are creating a custom cord, a cheaper solution may be to use 2/2/4 Aluminum URD ($1.18 a foot) or 2/2/2/4 Aluminum SER ($1.50 a foot), current price at Lowes, less with Veterans discount, HD may have it also. It's good for 166 amps, has less resistance (voltage drop). Copper is ridiculously high.
Use cheap 60 amp boxes and breakers or cheaper 30 amp disconnects at either end for space to connect short 10/3 SJOOW copper to NEMA TT-30 male/female ends.
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Old 06-21-2021, 11:21 PM   #24
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This is good info, thank you
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Old 06-22-2021, 02:19 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainer View Post
If you are creating a custom cord, a cheaper solution may be to use 2/2/4 Aluminum URD ($1.18 a foot) or 2/2/2/4 Aluminum SER ($1.50 a foot), current price at Lowes, less with Veterans discount, HD may have it also. It's good for 166 amps, has less resistance (voltage drop). Copper is ridiculously high.
Use cheap 60 amp boxes and breakers or cheaper 30 amp disconnects at either end for space to connect short 10/3 SJOOW copper to NEMA TT-30 male/female ends.
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This is good info, thank you
No disrespect to Mainer..I would urge you to stay away from aluminum wire for this application..it’s best used by electricians not homeowners.
You need the knowledge and skill set to work with aluminum wire to safely make connections..
You have to go to a heavier gauge wire in aluminum vs copper..
6 gauge copper equates to 4 gauge aluminum.
Aluminum wire expands and contracts due to heat at a different rate then copper therefore you need very secure connections that do not get moved around a lot like what would happen with an extension cord.
The plug ends your using may not be rated for aluminum conductors
The plug ends probably will not fit the larger diameter aluminum wire
More fires and burned up connections happen with aluminum wire used in the wrong application.
You cannot join aluminum and copper wire without very specific connectors and practices.
Even “simple” l things like stripping the wire has to be done carefully…you can easily knick the wire causing it to break when you make the connection.
I would only use it for service entrance cable for a breaker panel with secure connection points.
I’m sure some electricians use aluminum wire for certain applications but IMO this isn’t one of them
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Old 06-22-2021, 04:41 AM   #26
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Aluminum Wire

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Originally Posted by jasin1 View Post
No disrespect to Mainer..I would urge you to stay away from aluminum wire for this application..it’s best used by electricians not homeowners.
You need the knowledge and skill set to work with aluminum wire to safely make connections..
You have to go to a heavier gauge wire in aluminum vs copper..
6 gauge copper equates to 4 gauge aluminum.
Aluminum wire expands and contracts due to heat at a different rate then copper therefore you need very secure connections that do not get moved around a lot like what would happen with an extension cord.
The plug ends your using may not be rated for aluminum conductors
The plug ends probably will not fit the larger diameter aluminum wire
More fires and burned up connections happen with aluminum wire used in the wrong application.
You cannot join aluminum and copper wire without very specific connectors and practices.
Even “simple” l things like stripping the wire has to be done carefully…you can easily knick the wire causing it to break when you make the connection.
I would only use it for service entrance cable for a breaker panel with secure connection points.
I’m sure some electricians use aluminum wire for certain applications but IMO this isn’t one of them
Your observations are correct, that is why I stated that at the ends of the aluminum to use a cheap disconnect box or sub panel to tie the aluminum to copper for the plug and receptacle. Those boxes have al/cu connections.
I failed to add that the aluminum needs no-ox or similar connection grease, also available at Lowes or HD.
Since this aluminum wire is very bulky and stiff, it certainly is NOT appropriate for use as a "portable" cord especially with boxes at each end. It would be appropriate as a semi-permanent installation.
With 50 amp breakers (al/cu) in a panel using 4/4/4/2 AL SER to a 50 amp pedestal is the only good way to do a long run economically with little voltage drop.
Son-in-law has almost 300 feet of 2/2/2 AL URD between his solar batteries/inverters and barn with 5 big freezers then another 400+ feet of it from there to his other barn with negligible voltage drop. It would have doubled the cost of the second barn to use copper.
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Old 06-22-2021, 04:49 AM   #27
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Back in the 1960-70's copper wire prices were crazy. They relaxed the electrical code and allowed aluminum wire in houses. Whole communities were built that way back in the days when Levitt was building entire communities it became the way to save money. Years later they started burning down at an alarming rate. Those houses have either been rewired with copper or the correct "pig tails" were installed on all fixtures.

Aluminum wire? Great for overhead service entrance cable, bad for "typical" connections.
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:44 AM   #28
sourdough
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I lived through the days of "aluminum" wire failures and it in fact was outlawed from mobile homes in 1971 IIRC. It was cheap to install but due to the reasons mentioned above prone to failure and causing fires. Personally I would not use aluminum wiring on anything anywhere. Like many other things, you get what you pay for and in this case you pay for safety IMO.
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Old 06-22-2021, 04:32 PM   #29
cvin
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Sounds like we probably are not good enough electrically to use aluminum wire

Of course the fires by flagstaff may get the trailer long before we get any other wiring done here

On another note, the Hughes watt meter that plugs into the wall is here and seems to be matched right up with what the kill a watt says
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