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Replacing electric panel in shed

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  • Apr 14th, 2021 9:11 pm
[OP]
Member
Sep 23, 2019
212 posts
276 upvotes

Replacing electric panel in shed

I recently bought a cottage that has an electric panel in the shed located about 50 feet from the main cottage.
I believe it is 60Amp sub panel, but it could be 30Amp.
My issue is that inside the shed there are aluminum wires used - ALOOMEX NMD-7 12/2.
- Should I change the wires if they are aluminum?
- Some of the wires are exposed and some are shielded. Should all wires in the shed be shielded, as they will be open (not under drywal)?
- Can you recommend DIY friendly sub-panel box with 30Amp. I will have in the shed - 1 outlet, 1 led light (30W) , and 1 led motion light (30W). So really at this point, I need just one, probably a 15A circuit.
- As this is a shed, should I get GFCI breakers?
shed1.jpg
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shed2.jpg
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TIA!
10 replies
[OP]
Member
Sep 23, 2019
212 posts
276 upvotes
koffey wrote: Why not keep your posts in the same thread?

old-electric-sub-panel-rewiring-2456676/

And no, you don't need to change your wires. Aluminum is fine.
I started a new thread because it is a very different sub-panel (shed vs bedrooms) and a set of different questions.

I am reading online that aluminum wires cause fire 55 times more often than copper, that is why I thought that most people change their aluminum wires.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10371 posts
5583 upvotes
Paris
RedFlagAlias wrote:
I am reading online that aluminum wires cause fire 55 times more often than copper, that is why I thought that most people change their aluminum wires.
I doubt most people change their wires. That would be a nightmare to tear down all the drywall.

I would leave the wires as is and exposed is fine unless you are blowing glass or heating steel in the shed.
[OP]
Member
Sep 23, 2019
212 posts
276 upvotes
Jerico wrote: I doubt most people change their wires. That would be a nightmare to tear down all the drywall.

I would leave the wires as is and exposed is fine unless you are blowing glass or heating steel in the shed.
Jerico - thank you for your answer. Would you recommend replacing switch and outlet/junction boxes to Aluminum compatible, as I read it was common issue before that switches/boxes where not designed for aluminum?
Or maybe just use special aluminum-copper wire connectors? Maybe apply Anti-Oxidant Compound on aluminum wire terminations?

Thanks!
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10371 posts
5583 upvotes
Paris
RedFlagAlias wrote: Jerico - thank you for your answer. Would you recommend replacing switch and outlet/junction boxes to Aluminum compatible, as I read it was common issue before that switches/boxes where not designed for aluminum?
Or maybe just use special aluminum-copper wire connectors? Maybe apply Anti-Oxidant Compound on aluminum wire terminations?

Thanks!
How old is this shed? Sometimes best to let sleeping dogs lie
[OP]
Member
Sep 23, 2019
212 posts
276 upvotes
Jerico wrote: How old is this shed? Sometimes best to let sleeping dogs lie
The shed is about 50-60 years old. As all cables are easily accessible and for now I am not considering rebuilding the shed, I thought that replacing electric panel and cables is something that I could easily do. Currently, there are like 4 outlets, 3 lights and I would simplify that with just one outlet I need.
In the cottage and bunky itself, all wires are copper and when insurance asked me about electric wires, I said that all wires are copper. But then I found that the wires in the shed are all aluminum. That is another reason I was considering rebuilding. Of course, if Aluminum wires are not as bad as I thought, I could just leave this as is and focus on many other problems this cottage has.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 6, 2010
14926 posts
9332 upvotes
Toronto
Maybe you need to review as to why insurance asked you about the type of wiring in the home. As you indicated, you goggled and determined its 55 times more likely to start a fire than copper. Research why this is the case and ask your insurance company why and is it really a problem? I already know the answer to both but like I said in my first post, it's fine.

Goggle I have a headache. OMG.... I HAVE BRAIN CANCER!!!

Internet is 100% accurate all the time, every time.
DYI difficulty scale:
0-joke
10-no joke

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10371 posts
5583 upvotes
Paris
RedFlagAlias wrote: The shed is about 50-60 years old. As all cables are easily accessible and for now I am not considering rebuilding the shed, I thought that replacing electric panel and cables is something that I could easily do. Currently, there are like 4 outlets, 3 lights and I would simplify that with just one outlet I need.
In the cottage and bunky itself, all wires are copper and when insurance asked me about electric wires, I said that all wires are copper. But then I found that the wires in the shed are all aluminum. That is another reason I was considering rebuilding. Of course, if Aluminum wires are not as bad as I thought, I could just leave this as is and focus on many other problems this cottage has.
You have bigger fish to fry. Leave the shed alone.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 13, 2004
11637 posts
3326 upvotes
Ontario
The only issue I see is that you told your insurance its copper & if there is a fire they may use that as a loop hole to not cover the damages from the fire. I would tell insurance you found aluminum in the shed and see what they say. You may be required to bring it up to code if insurance says, so be ready to call in a licensed electrician if that's the case as they will likely want proof.
RedFlagAlias wrote: The shed is about 50-60 years old. As all cables are easily accessible and for now I am not considering rebuilding the shed, I thought that replacing electric panel and cables is something that I could easily do. Currently, there are like 4 outlets, 3 lights and I would simplify that with just one outlet I need.
In the cottage and bunky itself, all wires are copper and when insurance asked me about electric wires, I said that all wires are copper. But then I found that the wires in the shed are all aluminum. That is another reason I was considering rebuilding. Of course, if Aluminum wires are not as bad as I thought, I could just leave this as is and focus on many other problems this cottage has.
Deal Addict
Jun 14, 2008
3386 posts
2188 upvotes
Montreal
RedFlagAlias wrote: The shed is about 50-60 years old. As all cables are easily accessible and for now I am not considering rebuilding the shed, I thought that replacing electric panel and cables is something that I could easily do. Currently, there are like 4 outlets, 3 lights and I would simplify that with just one outlet I need.
If that's all there is and no drywall, just replace everything, you can probably finish in an afternoon. If you have no plan to add drywall later I would use BX (remember to get the correct connector/box/anti-short bushing), you don't need much there and it'll cost you maybe $50 more over NMD. The parts used for splice aluminum and copper aren't cheap and no point doing a half assed job since you only have a few lines and they are all exposed in front of you.

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