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-   -   Connecting Copper Wire to Aluminum Wire (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/connecting-copper-wire-aluminum-wire-167067/)

StarStryker11 12-21-2012 11:41 AM

Connecting Copper Wire to Aluminum Wire
 
I am no-where near an electrician, but I recently replaced a light fixture in my un-born babies room. After I disconnected the fixture I noticed that the wires connecting to the fixture are copper and the ground is a thick guage of something.... Aluminum? The NEW fixture is equiped with two smaller guage aluminum wires and a ground.
I have been getting split opinions on how I connected these wires together. I know I connected them correctly, but I am being told that I HAVE TO put some sort of compound on the wires since they are not matching material. If I dont my house will burn down from an electrical fire. The other people are saying, it's no big deal, nothing like this will happen.
I have attempted to do some research online and the only thing that I am finding is that the aluminum wire could lose conductivity when connected to copper. If I do need to put something on the wires, what is it?

Jim Port 12-21-2012 11:45 AM

The fixture wires are most likely tinned copper. I have never seen a fixture with AL wires.

TTW 12-21-2012 12:38 PM

As Jim said, tinned copper, just snip off an end with wire cutters and you will see the copper, just like our new pennies in reverse!

I would do the same on that ground wire coming out of the wall. Having copper conductors and an aluminum ground just doesn't make sense. It could be a makeshift jumper someone slapped in from a ground screw in the box, try to see what it is connected to.

electures 12-21-2012 12:48 PM

Regardless, no compound is required. What ever connectors are used, they have to be listed for use with the conductors that are being connected.


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