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Old 12-21-2012, 11:41 AM   #1
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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?


Last edited by StarStryker11; 12-21-2012 at 11:42 AM. Reason: Spelling Error
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:45 AM   #2
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Connecting Copper Wire to Aluminum Wire


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

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Old 12-21-2012, 12:38 PM   #3
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Connecting Copper Wire to Aluminum Wire


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.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:48 PM   #4
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Connecting Copper Wire to Aluminum Wire


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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