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Old 11-10-2012, 10:34 PM   #16
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


He asked if he could somehow redo the connections. If he uses the paste and uses the different wire caps, he will have done that. Finished. Done. Pigtailing would make no sense to him, or to any electrician.

All pigtailing does is introduce added and unnecessary connections, without getting rid of the original problem. lol. Why would you introduce more connection points to an electrical circuit? The aluminum doesn't go away. You still need the paste and the special cap. And since you have to remove the device to work on it, "checking it" is nothing more than reading it. lol. If he pigtails everything, that device has to be pulled out anyway. And since the house is at least 40 years old, if he has to replace the devices, for a few bucks each, that is the smart thing to do anyway. What you don't do is pigtail, then nolox and cap, then cram the boxes, just so that you can keep the old devices! No electrician would ever do that or recommend that and no DIYer who knows what he is talking about, would ever recommend that either.

And finally, introducing three extra lengths of 14 gauge copper wire and three more wire caps into boxes that may have additional connections, will make the job extremely difficult to stuff back into the box - if not making it outright illegal. You can't crowd device boxes.

Finally, the stamp on the device will say CO/ALR on the ear if it is designed for aluminum or copper termination.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:49 PM   #17
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Newmarket View Post
All pigtailing does is introduce added and unnecessary connections, without getting rid of the original problem. lol.
You have NO clue what you are talking about and you prove this with every post.

Quote:
He asked if he could somehow redo the connections. If he uses the paste and uses the different wire caps, he will have done that. Finished. Done. Pigtailing would make no sense to him, or to any electrician.
Pigtailing is by far the best way to remedy the situation without having the re-wire the house.

Quote:
Why would you introduce more connection points to an electrical circuit?
There are many connection points in a typical circuit. The point that we are talking about is very important since it will completely eliminate the issues with aluminum wiring.
Quote:
The aluminum doesn't go away.
You're right, it doesn't. But the PROBLEM with aluminum wiring (the connection to a device terminal) "goes away".
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You still need the paste and the special cap.
No, for the third time, you do NOT need "paste".

Quote:
And since you have to remove the device to work on it, "checking it" is nothing more than reading it. lol.
Why would you have to check it? That is the point that I made from the beginning. It doesn't matter if the device is rating for Al or not since he will be using a copper pigtail.

Quote:
If he pigtails everything, that device has to be pulled out anyway. And since the house is at least 40 years old, if he has to replace the devices, for a few bucks each, that is the smart thing to do anyway.
Replacing the devices is a goo idea, but it is another situation in which he doesn't have to worry about the rating. All typical devices will be rated for his CU pigtails.
Quote:
What you don't do is pigtail, then nolox and cap, then cram the boxes, just so that you can keep the old devices!
Why would someone want to keep the old devices? What are you talking about??

Quote:
No electrician would ever do that or recommend that and no DIYer who knows what he is talking about, would ever recommend that either.
You are the only person here who suggested it

Quote:
And finally, introducing three extra lengths of 14 gauge copper wire and three more wire caps into boxes that may have additional connections, will make the job extremely difficult to stuff back into the box - if not making it outright illegal. You can't crowd device boxes.
No, for the second time, it will NOT make it illegal nor will it make it "hard". This is an extremely common thing to do, this has been done MILLIONS of times to remedy the millions of devices that have been wired with aluminum branch circuits. No one else has a problem, so i am sure the OP will be fine, even if you can't handle it yourself.
Quote:
Finally, the stamp on the device will say CO/ALR on the ear if it is designed for aluminum or copper termination.
It doesn't matter what the device says, since copper pigtails will work with them all. And, as I stated, this is the perfect time to upgrade to new CU only devices.

Last edited by Regination; 11-10-2012 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:04 PM   #18
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


I'm sorry I can't help you understand. But I don't need to. I'm addressing the original poster.

You go ahead and pigtail your own house if you like.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:06 PM   #19
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


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Originally Posted by Newmarket View Post
I'm sorry I can't help you understand. But I don't need to. I'm addressing the original poster.
And THAT is the problem. It's a shame that people like you are allowed to give bad and dangerous advice
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:13 PM   #20
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


I definately replaced this AL with copper ..all the way to the box-such a bad connection.
Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?-imag0107.jpg

I still see 4 (looks like#6)AL in the neutral bar but all hot to breakers are copper
Is that ok as long as they(AL) are in neutral bar/and correct connector is used for neutral connection.
Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?-imag0116.jpg

Last edited by hidden1; 11-10-2012 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:22 PM   #21
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


I could go point by point as to why what you just typed so laboriously completely misses the point or makes no sense, but I'd be wasting my time, because you just don't understand what the original poster is trying to ask and you are more concerned with quote-laced rebuttals for reasons of intransigence. I explained it as clear as it can be explained. You don't get it. I'm okay with that.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:04 AM   #22
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


Actually pigtailing is the best way to remedy this as alr rated devices are hard to find and very expensive. In addition he will need to put nolux in the copper/aluminum marrette connections and use aluminum rated marrettes. Your both sort of right. The marrettes are about ten bucks a box. The nolux is a code requirement.
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Last edited by andrew79; 11-11-2012 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:39 PM   #23
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


I edited my original post if anyone is still listening.

Ok... here's a link that has a blurb on pigtailing (4th para):

http://joneakes.com/jons-fixit-datab...cal-connectors

I'll summarize:
There is an organization in the US that says pigtailing is still only a temporary solution unless you connect the copper pigtails to the AL wire with special connector using a special crimping tool operated by a trained professional. A pigtail done this way is basically a "cold weld" and it's the only way to make things permanent and "safe" lol.

Note that the CSA and UL in the US do approve the use of those special marets for copper to AL pigtail connections.

So far the way I see it is I have two options to replacing all the AL wiring:

1. I could pigtail everything and the only worry then would be the copper/AL pigtail connections themselves and of course the over crowded box... all other connections would be copper to brass.

2. I could replace my switches/outlets/fixtures/marets with new AL compatible ones but I still have screw connections where the AL wiring is exposed to oxidation and likely have to deal with this AL wiring problem down the road.

That's what I've come up with so far.
I haven't started anything... still gathering info.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:45 PM   #24
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


Here's some information from the CPSC in the US.

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/516.pdf

They do not recommend the use of marets (twisted pressure connectors) for pigtail connection type repairs. Now I don't know if they're referring to the specialized twisted connectors or just regular marets. Hard to tell.

Any thoughts on this?
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:14 PM   #25
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


The problem isn't the aluminum. It's connecting of dissimilar metals together that creates the oxidization process. Other than the expanding and contracting properties of aluminum its just as safe as copper. Aluminum won't oxidize if the correct materials are used.
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:51 PM   #26
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


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The problem isn't the aluminum. It's connecting of dissimilar metals together that creates the oxidization process. Other than the expanding and contracting properties of aluminum its just as safe as copper. Aluminum won't oxidize if the correct materials are used.
If that's true and the inspection of all my branch circuits reveals that I have all AL compatible light fixtures, connectors, receptacles and switches then there would be no need for me to do anything.

According some material I've read the skin of the wire can oxidize, reducing its electrical conductivity, particularly at a connection from an aluminum wire to a copper wire.

That to me sounds like you can't rule out AL oxidation in spite of using all compatible AL devices. Otherwise they would have said NO oxidation occurs when connecting AL to AL... only when AL is connected to dissimilar metals. Maybe I'm getting to anal on the whole issue.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:40 PM   #27
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Newmarket
He asked if he could somehow redo the connections. If he uses the paste and uses the different wire caps, he will have done that. Finished. Done. Pigtailing would make no sense to him, or to any electrician.

All pigtailing does is introduce added and unnecessary connections, without getting rid of the original problem. lol. Why would you introduce more connection points to an electrical circuit? The aluminum doesn't go away. You still need the paste and the special cap. And since you have to remove the device to work on it, "checking it" is nothing more than reading it. lol. If he pigtails everything, that device has to be pulled out anyway. And since the house is at least 40 years old, if he has to replace the devices, for a few bucks each, that is the smart thing to do anyway. What you don't do is pigtail, then nolox and cap, then cram the boxes, just so that you can keep the old devices! No electrician would ever do that or recommend that and no DIYer who knows what he is talking about, would ever recommend that either.

And finally, introducing three extra lengths of 14 gauge copper wire and three more wire caps into boxes that may have additional connections, will make the job extremely difficult to stuff back into the box - if not making it outright illegal. You can't crowd device boxes.

Finally, the stamp on the device will say CO/ALR on the ear if it is designed for aluminum or copper termination.
My home is wired with AL wiring, I did what any smart electrician would do and bought AL to CU marrettes (2.50$ for a pack of 8,do not overly expensive) brought home some scrap wire as penetrox, made pigtails an installed CU devices. A receptacle for AL wiring is like 6 bucks, where as CU receptacles are 98cents a pop. For the amount of money you would spend on AL plugs and switches, your Better off making pigtails just sayin
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:58 PM   #28
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


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Originally Posted by Rochsolid View Post
My home is wired with AL wiring, I did what any smart electrician would do and bought AL to CU marrettes (2.50$ for a pack of 8,do not overly expensive) brought home some scrap wire as penetrox, made pigtails an installed CU devices. A receptacle for AL wiring is like 6 bucks, where as CU receptacles are 98cents a pop. For the amount of money you would spend on AL plugs and switches, your Better off making pigtails just sayin
Check out this link if you got time...
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/516.pdf

They don't like pigtails with marets, say they're a temporary fix. So I'm a little hesitant. Plus how am I gonna fit all those marets in those little boxes without damaging the existing frail AL wire that's still there? Unless they make bigger boxes?
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:22 PM   #29
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


http://joneakes.com/jons-fixit-datab...cal-connectors

It's home inspectors that consider it a temporary fix. It is perfectly allowable in both the US and Canada
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:22 PM   #30
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Aluminum wiring - should I replace it?


When I built my house back in the 70s, aluminum wire was all the rage because the price of copper was out of sight!
I used AL wire as it was allowed by code.
A problem ensued at the electrical panel. The fuse terminals were copper and the screws were iron.
These connections failed, and in fact melted the insulation back from the terminals for several inches.
In this case I was forced to use pigtails using CU/AL Marretts.
The switches and receptacles had iron screws also. Although I found no damage, I replaced everything with CU/AL devices.
I still live in the same house, more than 35 years later and have never experienced any more problems.
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