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Old 01-18-2009, 08:37 AM   #1
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Aluminium Wiring Several Questions


I am in a 2 storey cutsom home built late 70`s with Aluminium wiring. My panel is in my unfinshed basement. Over the past 19 years I have gone throughout the house and upgraded to Aluminium rated Marr Connectors, applied paste, etc. Have also used copper pigtails on newer recptacles, with paste and proper connectors and light fixture upgrades.

I have found that HD now carries standard receptacles rated for aluminium but have not found much in switches or decora style products.

1.Does anyone know of decora style switches and receptacles which are aluminium rated.

2. Does anyone have any experience with spray foam insulation or other sealants Dos and Donts used to stp drafts and seal receptacles and or devices utilising aluminium wiring. Any chemical interaction to be concerned with

3. Any other pointers or tips as I retrofit as in circuit overload issues, things to watch for versus copper etc.

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Old 01-18-2009, 10:53 AM   #2
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Aluminium Wiring Several Questions


I have a 1960's ranch with alluminum wiring. I dont have any info as far as decor switches, but i have used basic switches and receptacles that HD carries that are AL approved. The main thing I had concerns with was the wiring in the attic and any outdoor light fixtures. Here in western NY we get a lot of moisture and I think this speeds up the corrosion process when copper and alluminum are connected.

While adding insulation into our attic I decided to add ceiling fans into various rooms and was going to tap off 2 boxes in the attic. Luckily I checked in these boxes because the wire nuts had melted and started to char black wherever there was CU to AL. Im sure this would have started a fire at some point in the future, so I had to clip,strip and rewire them all and paste them up. I checked all other boxes in the basement and found no issues with CU to AL yet pasted anyway, so I think the outside moisture accelerated the process. Just my 2 cents from my experience with AL and CU connections.

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Old 01-18-2009, 11:44 AM   #3
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Aluminium Wiring Several Questions


Thanks nieghbour. I havenn't found any corrosion issues so far.
Are you aware that their are aluminium rated twist connectors, plain and gel paste inside? In Ontario we have MARR which makes AL rated and IDEAL has a new one with the paste inside I believe.

I have replaced all the ones with copper coils or brass screw socket inside and then done the entire house with the AL rated ones and paste.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:23 PM   #4
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Aluminium Wiring Several Questions


I have seen the purple wire nuts that are pre pasted and AL rated yet these were very expensive. The paste was alot cheaper to buy and apply myself.
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:06 PM   #5
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Aluminium Wiring Several Questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by creamaster View Post
I have seen the purple wire nuts that are pre pasted and AL rated yet these were very expensive. The paste was alot cheaper to buy and apply myself.
The issue is not the anti-oxidant paste. The spring is made for the greater variation in sizing between an expanded conductor and the size it is when it is not expanded. AL has a greater expansion ratio compared to CU.

Using regular twist-on connectors and applying the paste is not an approved method of pigtailing.
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:11 PM   #6
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Chemist,

I hope that you followed any warning about not using newer fixtures with wiring with insulation rating less than 90 degree C. At least in the US that would mean the wiring would have been installed after 1984 and would be labeled NM-B.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:40 PM   #7
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I'll check. Thanks for the tip.

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