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Old 03-01-2009, 04:06 PM   #1
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adding copper pigtails to my aluminum wiring was worth it


I recently added copper pigtails to all my aluminum wiring on the switches and receptacles in my house. I used Alumiconn connectors, and was very happy with them - I ended up needing 100 connectors, which cost ~$300. I wrote it up here if you're interested.

I wanted to post this because I found a few outlets with obvious heat damage and I feel the house is much safer now. See the picture to see what I mean (sorry, didn't know how to make it smaller).

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Old 03-01-2009, 04:18 PM   #2
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adding copper pigtails to my aluminum wiring was worth it


It was worth pigtailing and replacing the devices but the connectors are a scam. In real life, regular wire nuts are fine. They lost their listing as a technical/legal issue. I have never seen a properly installed wire nut burn up.


The AL rated wirenuts are simply insurance. It's like buying a 5 year warranty on your car battery as opposed to a 3 year warranty. It's the same battery but you pay more for "insurance". If you provide a product like this to be used specifically for a hot topic like residential aluminum wiring systems, you are going to get sued a few times.


This of course in my opinion based on my years of experience and research.

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Old 03-01-2009, 04:27 PM   #3
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adding copper pigtails to my aluminum wiring was worth it


did you use no-lox or any other anti-oxidation lube?
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:46 PM   #4
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adding copper pigtails to my aluminum wiring was worth it


220/221 - One of the problems I had initially was deciding whether I thought it was a problem, but I've come to the conclusion that it was definitely a good idea to pigtail. But like you say, there are certainly lots of conflicting data and opinions on what methods work - lots of choices depending on how much money you're willing to throw at it.

patriot1 - the Alumiconn connectors and the purple wirenuts come with a white anti-oxidant paste already in place.
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:53 PM   #5
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adding copper pigtails to my aluminum wiring was worth it


ntomlin,

Thanks for posting this. I'm struggling with this same decision right now, and have reached the same conclusions that you've posted on your linked page. Just had a quick question. Did you end up springing for a torque screwdriver, or did you torque the alumiconns via the "alternate" method?

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:09 PM   #6
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adding copper pigtails to my aluminum wiring was worth it


I just used the alternative tightening method - no torque screwdriver, and it seemed to work just fine.
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:43 PM   #7
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adding copper pigtails to my aluminum wiring was worth it


Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
In real life, regular wire nuts are fine. They lost their listing as a technical/legal issue. I have never seen a properly installed wire nut burn up.
Take a look here :

http://www.alwirerepair.com/examples..._wire_nuts.htm
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:20 PM   #8
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adding copper pigtails to my aluminum wiring was worth it


These pics simply show burned nuts. I have seen many burned nut on copper applications. A loose connection causes arcing which gets progressivly worse.

It's not the aluminum, it's the bad connection. Think about it. How many millions of connections are NOT burned? Why are the rest of the splices in that house not burned? Why are there not burned nuts in every house?


Quote:
Take a look here :
Remember, both these links are from people selling product. They are advertisments. ALWAYS consider the source when doing internet research.

The first pictures (all the same connection) is obviously homeowner/handyman work and the connection was not secure. The wires were not even twisted together at all.

The second pictures show five #12's under a yellow wire nut.

The third pic?...who knows....I can't even tell it's AL.

I can pick apart most of the pictures there and I can honestly say that I've seen more that that many burned connections on loose copper joints.



My bottom line is: From a legal standpoint, use the rated methods. Mechanically there is no difference.

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