Can I use #8 bare aluminum wire for a ground with 3 insulated #8awg wires in PVC pipe? I have this wire just lying around. Or should I use all insulated wires?

  • 1
    Is the "PVC Pipe" (it had better be actual electrical conduit) outside? If so, it's defined as a wet location. If it's entirely inside a building it (should) be dry.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 3, 2023 at 13:11
  • Indoors or outdoors? You know #8 neutral needs to be natively white wire, not re-marked, right? Oct 3, 2023 at 16:54
  • Where's the NEC verbiage about mystery meat in conduit? diy.stackexchange.com/questions/243586/…
    – Mazura
    Oct 4, 2023 at 1:08
  • Anytime I've done this in PVC it was SE cable. And if it's EMT... then it isn't. - Can I use a bare conductor for a ground in conduit? - 'Aluminum' comes later.
    – Mazura
    Oct 4, 2023 at 1:10
  • (exception 1 to 310.4) : "Outer coverings shall not be required where listed without a covering." up.codes/s/conductor-constructions-and-applications - IDK what "1" is referring to, nor what "listed without a covering" means.
    – Mazura
    Oct 4, 2023 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


Assuming you are in the US, the National Electric Code (NEC) allows bare aluminum equipment grounds and grounding electrode conductors.

For equipment grounding the relevant section is NEC 250.120, which prescribes corrosion protection for bare, covered, or insulated aluminum or copper-clad aluminum:

NEC 250.120(B)

For grounding electrode conductors, NEC 250.62 explicitly allows bare aluminum grounding electrode conductors:

NEC 250.62

with NEC 250.64 prescribing corrosion protection that doesn't differentiate insulated ground wire from uninsulated ground wire:

NEC 250.64

  • 6
    Please include text quotes here. It makes everyone's lives easier - not everyone can read text in an image.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 3, 2023 at 15:28
  • 3
    I don't think GEC rules apply to an 8 gauge circuit. Oct 3, 2023 at 15:35
  • in conduit? Can't put 'mystery meat' in conduit. But it's the ground.... uh
    – Mazura
    Oct 4, 2023 at 1:05
  • @Mazura, the OP's question was about PVC conduit.
    – popham
    Oct 4, 2023 at 1:14
  • This is all about grounds and material types, nothing about conduit. I've never seen a bare wire in conduit. But then again I don't ever see many ground wires at all; I'm in EMT land.
    – Mazura
    Oct 4, 2023 at 1:16

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