Connecting Copper Wire To Aluminum Wire - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-21-2012, 11:41 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Washington
Posts: 37
Rewards Points: 25

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
StarStryker11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2012, 11:45 AM   #2
Licensed electrician
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 9,063
Rewards Points: 4,284

Connecting Copper Wire to Aluminum Wire

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


Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2012, 12:38 PM   #3
TTW's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 350
Rewards Points: 250

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.
#1 - If you don't know what you're doing - get a licensed electrician!
#2 - If you follow my advice and something bad happens see # 1
Electricity bites hard, and it could be the last thing you feel... Good Luck!
TTW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2012, 12:48 PM   #4
Lic Electrical Inspector
electures's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Great Police State of New Jersey
Posts: 1,814
Rewards Points: 1,106

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.
All responses based on the 2011 NEC.
If you live in New Jersey click here. All other states click here.
Please check with local, county and state officials as laws may vary.
Sizing motors here. Online motor calculator here. Online calculators here.
electures is offline   Reply With Quote

conductive , fire , house

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Connecting 4 aluminum wires in a junction box krick Electrical 3 07-21-2012 02:06 PM
Copper roof & aluminum siding Marcia Hamilton Roofing/Siding 4 04-24-2012 10:36 PM
ceiling fan wicked97 Electrical 4 08-21-2011 08:12 AM
How to Rewire aluminum to copper wall outlet. deepseathomas Electrical 1 10-20-2010 02:11 PM
Aluminum Wire Indoors NOTREALSURE Electrical 5 09-24-2010 04:39 PM

Top of Page | View New Posts