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I bought some Alumiconn terminals to connect 3 copper AWG 10 wires (more secure than wire nuts):

enter image description here enter image description here

There is corrosion inhibitor paste inside each hole. Amazon product description described it thus: "Ports of connectors contain a layer of corrosion inhibitor that provides resistance from oxidation."

Can these be detrimental to the conduction of the copper (maybe forming insulator layers)?

Also these can be used in all pure copper wires (all of the 3 wires) right?

  • Would they sell it if it screwed up the connection? Electrical parts are some of the most tested and regulated merchandise on the planet, just behind medical devices... – dandavis Feb 21 at 16:07
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    After having seen terminal blocks being made of (expletive deleted) pot metal, two wire three prong IEC leads, and other things... I would say that there is a big market in things that screw up connections. – rackandboneman Feb 21 at 17:29
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It depends on the type of anti oxide compound used, 2 of the 3 types I use are conductive 1 is not. Some folks say it is not needed but most lugs today are aluminum and a little deox on the wires will improve the long life especially if in a coastal region. I recently had to rebuild a panel that had all copper wire with aluminum lugs the lugs showed hot with thermal imaging camera. I removed the conductors and found a large amount of oxide on the lug to wire connection area, cleaned everything up and coated with deox. Let the system run for a day and rechecked it is now running 30°F (17°C) cooler.

  • Is the proper procedure for making the connection of the heavy stranded wire from the meter into the main lugs of the panel to separate the strands and put antioxidant grease between and around the outer strands, then abrade the lugs with the antioxidant grease, then twist or compress the strands together enough to fit the wire into the lugs. Then tighten the lugs hard? to a specific torque? My panel has no grease on this connection that i can see. Guess I need to buy or borrow an infrared imaging thermometer. What voltage should there be between lug and wire with a significant load? – Jim Stewart Feb 21 at 22:29
  • Just coating the wires with a thin coat will do but I usually also do the lugs also and the threads of the set screw, in damp or salt conditions the anti oxide paste keeps the threads in good shape, in my case saving multi port large lugs costing over a hundred $ each. – Ed Beal Feb 22 at 1:02
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The paste inside the AlumiConn does not negatively affect the electrical connection. When the screw is tightened the paste between wire and the metal screw and the metal body of the AlumiConn is squeezed out.

You can use these for copper wires, but it is really unnecessary. In the upper picture the end of the wire is stripped too long. The insulation on the wire is supposed to be inside the skirt of the insulation on the AlumiConn. I think there is a strip gauge on back of the Alumiconn.

EDIT Memory failure! Just looked at my stash of AlumiConns and there's no strip gauge on the insulation.

  • I was just testing them and pulled it a bit when I tried to remove the third wire but didn't have the screwdriver. See imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/8660/ctWiTe.jpg also I just received the Torque screwdriver and the Alumiconn just today from amazon – Jtl Feb 21 at 14:02
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    Good answer, but I'd add safety note that if you are going to rely on it to be an insulator, assume it is conductive, and if you are going to rely on it being conductor, assume it's insulator. For example, tighten screws for good contact, do not assume paste would help, but also do not touch paste in the empty receptacle, assume it may be "hot". – Mołot Feb 21 at 15:06
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    I assume that none of the various anti-oxidant pastes are conducting. The reason I think so is that the base is a nonconducting silicone grease (earlier ones perhaps petroleum) and so if it were conducting the current would be carried by ions moving in the base oil. At the metallic interface there would be corrosion if there was a current being carried from the metal to the gel. The purpose of the paste is to prevent oxygen from the atmosphere from reaching the reactive surface of aluminum wire or an aluminum fitting. – Jim Stewart Feb 21 at 17:51
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    Jim, they may not show conductive with a low voltage ohm meter but checking with a merger some are the clear anti oxide paste I use on 34.5kv lines to my transformers requires non conductive paste , got tapped by An inspector on that one and had to clean the lugs and wires, I did not realize that some were conductive prior to that time . – Ed Beal Feb 21 at 19:22
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    I have no specific knowledge about whether these anti-oxidant greases are in fact non-conductive. I was just going on my (elementary) understanding of electro-chemistry. Clearly some greases used to mount devices to heat sinks are designed to conduct heat. I can't imagine any antioxidant joint compound being electrically conductive, but I have no professional expertise in this. – Jim Stewart Feb 21 at 21:09

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