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Old 08-08-2011, 05:40 PM   #1
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Connecting 4 aluminum wires in a junction box


My house was built in 1971 and has aluminum wiring.

I want to install a ceiling fan in the master bedroom.

When I removed the existing light fixture, I see that the box in the ceiling is also a junction box. There are three lines coming in, plus the line from the switch.

While the box *is* braced between the joists with a metal bracket, it only has the smaller mounting lugs, which apparently aren't approved for the weight of a ceiling fan. So I'm planning on replacing the box with a heavier duty one with a larger brace.

The problem that I'm facing is that the current wiring in the box has two giant wire nuts, with 4 aluminum wires in each. All of the ground wires are just twisted together and pushed to the back of the box.

I really don't want to re-use the old wire nuts but I can't find anyone who makes wire nuts that are rated for aluminum to aluminum connections, let alone anything that can handle 4 wires at once. The best thing I've found are the AlumiConn connectors, but they can only handle three wires each.

I'm thinking about connecting two AlumiConn connectors with a jumper like this, if you can follow what I mean from this diagram...

AlumiConn AlumiConn
(3 ports) <--> (3 ports)

AL,AL,CU<-->CU,AL,AL

This will join all 4 aluminum wires together. I'm not sure if I need to use something larger than 12 gauge copper for the jumper.

Hopefully, I'll be able to fit all these AlumiConn connectors in the box. If not, I might need to look for a larger box. The largest fan-bracket box I can find online is 21.5 cu. in. Westinghouse Saf-T-Box Support Fan Brace Model #0140000

Any thoughts?

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Old 08-08-2011, 07:49 PM   #2
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Connecting 4 aluminum wires in a junction box


You can get the right stuff at a Electrical supply house. Your local DIY brick and mortar will not have the right stuff. Since you are working on this one connection, and the house has not probably been looked at for connections being tight & good, you may want to go through and do so, along with possibly upgrading to AFCI breakers that are rated AL/CU for the panel you have.

If you have never worked with AL wiring before, you may want to get an electrician, not a handyman that can do the work to make sure the house is not going to cause any problems with the wiring.

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Old 07-21-2012, 02:04 PM   #3
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Connecting 4 aluminum wires in a junction box


Quote:
Originally Posted by krick View Post
My house was built in 1971 and has aluminum wiring.

I want to install a ceiling fan in the master bedroom.

When I removed the existing light fixture, I see that the box in the ceiling is also a junction box. There are three lines coming in, plus the line from the switch.

While the box *is* braced between the joists with a metal bracket, it only has the smaller mounting lugs, which apparently aren't approved for the weight of a ceiling fan. So I'm planning on replacing the box with a heavier duty one with a larger brace.

The problem that I'm facing is that the current wiring in the box has two giant wire nuts, with 4 aluminum wires in each. All of the ground wires are just twisted together and pushed to the back of the box.

I really don't want to re-use the old wire nuts but I can't find anyone who makes wire nuts that are rated for aluminum to aluminum connections, let alone anything that can handle 4 wires at once. The best thing I've found are the AlumiConn connectors, but they can only handle three wires each.

I'm thinking about connecting two AlumiConn connectors with a jumper like this, if you can follow what I mean from this diagram...

AlumiConn AlumiConn
(3 ports) <--> (3 ports)

AL,AL,CU<-->CU,AL,AL

This will join all 4 aluminum wires together. I'm not sure if I need to use something larger than 12 gauge copper for the jumper.

Hopefully, I'll be able to fit all these AlumiConn connectors in the box. If not, I might need to look for a larger box. The largest fan-bracket box I can find online is 21.5 cu. in. Westinghouse Saf-T-Box Support Fan Brace Model #0140000

Any thoughts?

I have this same issue. does anyone have the answere?
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:06 PM   #4
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Connecting 4 aluminum wires in a junction box


Quote:
Originally Posted by krick View Post
My house was built in 1971 and has aluminum wiring.

I want to install a ceiling fan in the master bedroom.

When I removed the existing light fixture, I see that the box in the ceiling is also a junction box. There are three lines coming in, plus the line from the switch.

While the box *is* braced between the joists with a metal bracket, it only has the smaller mounting lugs, which apparently aren't approved for the weight of a ceiling fan. So I'm planning on replacing the box with a heavier duty one with a larger brace.

The problem that I'm facing is that the current wiring in the box has two giant wire nuts, with 4 aluminum wires in each. All of the ground wires are just twisted together and pushed to the back of the box.

I really don't want to re-use the old wire nuts but I can't find anyone who makes wire nuts that are rated for aluminum to aluminum connections, let alone anything that can handle 4 wires at once. The best thing I've found are the AlumiConn connectors, but they can only handle three wires each.

I'm thinking about connecting two AlumiConn connectors with a jumper like this, if you can follow what I mean from this diagram...

AlumiConn AlumiConn
(3 ports) <--> (3 ports)

AL,AL,CU<-->CU,AL,AL

This will join all 4 aluminum wires together. I'm not sure if I need to use something larger than 12 gauge copper for the jumper.

Hopefully, I'll be able to fit all these AlumiConn connectors in the box. If not, I might need to look for a larger box. The largest fan-bracket box I can find online is 21.5 cu. in. Westinghouse Saf-T-Box Support Fan Brace Model #0140000

Any thoughts?

I have this same issue. does anyone have the answer?
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