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Old 02-10-2011, 10:51 PM   #1
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Aluminum Wiring Connectors


I have read numerous postings on here about aluminum wiring, but recently had an electrician come in and pigtail my outlets. I left for the day and came back as they were just finishing up the work. As I examine my outlets tonight it appears that they did not use the correct connectors for pigtailing. They used what appears to be 3M™ "Performance Plus" Wire Connector with a Red top and yellow bottom. They did use noalox, but I am concerned that they neglected to use the correct connector with it. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 02-10-2011, 11:56 PM   #2
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Aluminum Wiring Connectors


Product sheet states that they are for Copper only. Call them back, and tell them to fix it before they burn your place down. Don't wait, call them first thing tomorrow.

http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawe...6EVs6E666666--

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Old 02-11-2011, 12:05 AM   #3
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Aluminum Wiring Connectors


I don't know where you are located but if you have an electrical inspector, I am certain he would like to be made aware of some "electrician" doing work like that. It is unsafe and illegal.

The "electrician" is really stupid to do work like this. If a fire started because of the incorrect work, he could be held liable for the cost of damages. If a person is injured or killed, he could be charged criminally.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:37 AM   #4
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Aluminum Wiring Connectors


Thanks for the info....can one of you tell me what exactly would be the main issue with having a copper rated connector on an aluminum line? Obviously overheating and fire, but what causes that on the connector?
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:01 AM   #5
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Aluminum Wiring Connectors


It's not just that is is a connector rated for only copper. It's that you have both copper and aluminum in the same wire nut. The connector must be rated to be able to deal with the different coefficients of expansion of the two materials. Even the purple wire nuts that are rated for the use have gotten some bad reports. It might be installer error but, in my opinion, it's a wire nut; you shouldn't be able to have an installation error that is a big enough problem that it will burn down your house.

Personally, I wouldn't use any wirenut style connectors for this application.

http://www.alwirerepair.com/burned_purples.htm

http://www.inspectapedia.com/aluminum/i65debat.htm

http://www.idealindustries.com/produ...ster_al-cu.jsp
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:59 AM   #6
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Aluminum Wiring Connectors


What would you use? A crimp method?
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:12 AM   #7
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Aluminum Wiring Connectors


There are few choices to deal with this. Copalum is a method that is available only to trained contractors and the tool is leased from AMP. There is some debate about the Ideal purples only being a temporary fix. King Innovations has recently brought out a terminal block type connector called the Alumi-conn. Its' use requires a torque screwdriver for proper installation. All of the fixes are expensive and take up a lot of space in the box. You could also install devices rated CO/ALR.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:48 AM   #8
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Aluminum Wiring Connectors


On Holmes Inspection's, there is a short graphic on Episode 17 (New Beginnings) as to what happens when you marry Aluminum & Copper wiring in a wire nut.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:05 AM   #9
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Can you give me an idea of the cost for using a non-wire nut method to update my aluminum wiring? How expensive is it?
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:59 PM   #10
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Aluminum Wiring Connectors


The Alumiconn connectors are about $350 ea http://www.alcopstore.com/order/
I have seen them advertised on Lowes on line
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hayewe farm View Post
The Alumiconn connectors are about $350 ea http://www.alcopstore.com/order/
I have seen them advertised on Lowes on line
um, maybe a decimal is in the wrong place? The link you provided shows they are $3.50 each.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:20 PM   #12
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Oops. Yep $3.50 ea.

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