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Old 02-27-2018, 11:49 AM   #1
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Couple questions about aluminum wiring


Hey all. My wife and I are buying a home built in 1968, and unsurprisingly the home was originally wired with aluminum wiring. The main level is original aluminum wiring and the downstairs, which was finished probably in the late 90s or so, is copper. Iíve got a couple questions about potential fixes/additional safety measures for the aluminum wiring.

1. The switches and outlets are NOT CO/ALR, and yes, I am planning on changing these to switches and outlets that are approved to be used with aluminum wiring. I understand the switches and outlets need to be correct, and antioxidant paste should be used on pigtails. My question is about how tightly I should torque down the screws. I know the aluminum is more brittle than copper and Iíve read that incorrect installation of CO/ALR switches and outlets can cause problems of their own. I am willing to buy a torque screwdriver but Iíve not been able to find a recommended torque rating or instructions for installing outlets and switches rated for aluminum. Another related question-should I use antioxidant paste when connecting the wire to the screws on the outlet/switch?

2. Would it make sense to have all the breakers changed over to GFCI or AFCI breakers? I know there is some disagreement over whether these devices protect against failures that are more common with aluminum wiring, but Iím just looking for professional opinions.

I understand that re-wiring the entire house is the ďgold standardĒ fix, but I am looking to do some reasonable upgrades that will hopefully add another layer of protection in lieu of rewiring the entire house. Thanks for any input.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:57 PM   #2
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Re: Couple questions about aluminum wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by daheld View Post
My wife and I are buying a home built in 1968, and unsurprisingly the home was originally wired with aluminum wiring. The main level is original aluminum wiring...
A 50year old install and everything is working correctly. Yes?

Quote:
I am planning on changing...
switches and outlets, antioxidant paste pigtails.
Plan on having the seller pay to do this work
or getting a price deduct to pay an electrician to do it.

Actually doing it? Meh. Whenever.

Quote:
Would it make sense to have all the breakers changed over to GFCI or AFCI breakers?
No.
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:05 PM   #3
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Re: Couple questions about aluminum wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
A 50year old install and everything is working correctly. Yes?


Plan on having the seller pay to do this work
or getting a price deduct to pay an electrician to do it.

Actually doing it? Meh. Whenever.

No.
We got a sellers credit that will pay for all new CO/ALR outlets and switches. The price to have an electrician do it would be exorbitant and there is no way the seller would've agreed to this. I feel like I can change out the switches and outlets.

Yes, the house is 50 years old and everything appears to work just fine. Kitchen has new dishwasher, cooktop and garbage disposal and I was able to talk to the contractor who did it, and he confirmed that he used purple wire nuts and antioxidant paste. I am planning to checks all light fixtures, fans, etc. in time.

Why do you say the AFCI breakers aren't worth it? Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:14 PM   #4
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Re: Couple questions about aluminum wiring


Take a look at this thread

The document @Gregsoldtruck79 posted is a must read for you.
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