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My new house is wired with AL!

Timspeed

hsaWaknoW
Sep 18, 2021
46
16
Patterson, CA
So; upon further inspection; my brand new built house; was wired entirely with aluminum 6awg!
They actually labeled one of the “roughed in” outlets as “EV Charger”.
Is 6awg OK to use in ANY world for a Gen3 wall charger?
Also the “run” (from wall charger to main panel) is no more than 5’ (it’s literally on the other side of the garage wall)
my particular wire the builder used is:
Should I be returning my wall charger and just settling for a 14-50?
 
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paulk

Member
Jan 26, 2019
98
127
hartford, ct
6 gauge aluminum is rated for 50 amps, but i think the wall charger specifically states it should only have copper connections.

if its only five feet from the panel, id just run a new copper wire so you can connect a 60 amp breaker and max out the wall connector (a 60 amp breaker will allow the wall connector to supply 48 amps).
 
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Timspeed

hsaWaknoW
Sep 18, 2021
46
16
Patterson, CA
6 gauge aluminum is rated for 50 amps, but i think the wall charger specifically states it should only have copper connections.

if its only five feet from the panel, id just run a new copper wire so you can connect a 60 amp breaker and max out the wall connector (a 60 amp breaker will allow the wall connector to supply 48 amps).
I thought about that; but when I pulled on the wire already there; it wasn’t budging.
In doing reading; 6awg aluminum can handle 55amps @ 90c…so that should be OK right?
 
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Timspeed

hsaWaknoW
Sep 18, 2021
46
16
Patterson, CA
Ohh wow..so I was just talking to my uncle, (not an electrician but has been in the industrial electric things business for 40 years) he said I was confusing SINGLE strand aluminum with MULTI strand. He said multistrand is perfectly fine to use for 240v things, just to remember to use anti oxide paste
 
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paulk

Member
Jan 26, 2019
98
127
hartford, ct
Your breaker and panel likely don’t specify 90C wiring, which is where the 55 comes from. It gets downrated to 50 amps. Also, good luck finding a 55 amp breaker. The anti-oxide stuff is a good idea on any outdoor wiring, or any aluminum wiring, but it’s not going to certify the wire for 60 amp service (which is what you need for 48 amp charging). Also, I’ve already replaced two gen 3 chargers that had melted contacts after being installed with aluminum wiring in people’s homes. If you’re going to keep the wire, attach it to a 50 amp outlet that’s rated for aluminum.
In my home I’ve got two Tesla chargers, gen 2, each rated for 80 amps charging on a 100 amp circuit. They’ve got aluminum wiring to the garage, then they hit a box where they’re connected to copper before entering the chargers.
 
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Yope

New Member
Jul 21, 2020
1
3
San Francisco
If Tesla specifically says “copper only” conductors, you really shouldn’t use Al. There’s more than current capacity to consider, and you should assume that Tesla probably did. Corrosion of the wires due to interaction with the connector blocks may be a concern. The mechanical properties of aluminum are different from copper, and thermal expansion may cause the connection to fail over time.

If the connection does start a fire, you’re opening yourself up to liability, as your installation definitely isn’t to code if you’re not following manufacturer instructions. Not worth it IMO.
 

Timspeed

hsaWaknoW
Sep 18, 2021
46
16
Patterson, CA
I think I’m damned either way..as the “good” 14-50 outlets don’t necessarily say CUAL (only the cheap Leviton does)
I guess I’ll just grab some 6/2 romex and run it.
The crappy part is, romex is just “NM-B” which is way lower rated than XHHW-2..but I guess it doesn’t matter since it’s copper rather than AL
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,111
8,735
Boise, ID
Huh. Well, a few thoughts on this. First off, that's weird to do that for only a 5 foot run. Usually aluminum is done for cost savings on really long distance runs. For only 5 feet, it introduces those extra complexities where it doesn't need to be for not much benefit.

Is 6awg OK to use in ANY world for a Gen3 wall charger?
As far as amp capacity, sure, it could be. The wall connector can be used on circuits as low as 15A, so sure, 6 gauge aluminum could be fine on some mid level circuits like 30 or 40A or something.
but i think the wall charger specifically states it should only have copper connections.
Yeah, that is the main problem. It takes certain kinds of lugs to properly use and secure copper wire, and I guess the wall connectors don't use those. The decent option you could do is attach a small subpanel there where you can attach the AL wire, and then grab a short section of copper to do the final tie in to the wall connector properly. But that's extra annoyance and cost if it's just to avoid having to redo the 5 foot wire run through the wall.
In doing reading; 6awg aluminum can handle 55amps @ 90c…so that should be OK right?
You wouldn't get to use the 90 C temperature column, because every piece of the whole path, including the connection lugs the wire clamps into, would have to support that, and 1) residential circuit breakers are never rated for that and 2) the Tesla wall connector isn't either.
 

Fred42

Active Member
Dec 24, 2018
1,085
3,266
Pennsylvania
Huh. Well, a few thoughts on this. First off, that's weird to do that for only a 5 foot run. Usually aluminum is done for cost savings on really long distance runs. For only 5 feet, it introduces those extra complexities where it doesn't need to be for not much benefit.


As far as amp capacity, sure, it could be. The wall connector can be used on circuits as low as 15A, so sure, 6 gauge aluminum could be fine on some mid level circuits like 30 or 40A or something.

Yeah, that is the main problem. It takes certain kinds of lugs to properly use and secure copper wire, and I guess the wall connectors don't use those. The decent option you could do is attach a small subpanel there where you can attach the AL wire, and then grab a short section of copper to do the final tie in to the wall connector properly. But that's extra annoyance and cost if it's just to avoid having to redo the 5 foot wire run through the wall.

You wouldn't get to use the 90 C temperature column, because every piece of the whole path, including the connection lugs the wire clamps into, would have to support that, and 1) residential circuit breakers are never rated for that and 2) the Tesla wall connector isn't either.
In your 3rd paragraph, did you mean: It takes certain kinds of lugs to properly use and secure aluminum wire?
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,111
8,735
Boise, ID
In your 3rd paragraph, did you mean: It takes certain kinds of lugs to properly use and secure aluminum wire?
Oh, whoops, yes, I certainly did mix that up and meant aluminum there. I think every kind of outlet and breaker and things can use copper wire, but you do have to check and look carefully for ones that are designated for having the right lugs to use aluminum wire.
 
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