outlet trouble


Old 10-12-00, 09:42 PM
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our house has aluminum wireing. is it safe to replace outlet with one that has brass screws? also the outlet i previously replaced was melted for some reason , i believe it was one with brass screws with aluminum wire attached. because the wire was damaged at connection i cut it but had to attach a short piece of copper to that aluminum so it would reach the fixture. is this dangerous? oh yeah this outlet has three lines coming into the box. one from the other side of the room one from the bathroom switch and one from the laundry room light. isnt this to much for one box. help help help.
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Old 10-12-00, 10:51 PM
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Aluminum to copper connections should be made not only by a qualified electrician, but one specifically trained in this area. The metals will oxidize over time and create high resistance in the connection. With this high resistance present, the current will take the path of least resistance, which in this case is the tiny spiral wires in the wire nut, causing them to overheat and possibly melt the plastic cover and possibly starting a fire. There are wire nuts you can purchase (purple) for connecting copper to aluminum, they contain an oxide inhibitor, I recommend having an electrician look at it.
For more info on aluminum wire check out this very good website: http://www.inspect-ny.com/aluminum/piclib02.htm

[This message has been edited by Handyone (edited October 13, 2000).]
Old 10-13-00, 05:08 AM
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I agree with handyone. However, if you are attaching the al. wire to a device, just make sure the device terminations are rated for al. wiring, and that you install it correctly. The device will have a marking such as al/cu or cu/al on it. If there is no such mark, it is approved for copper only.

Good luck. RM

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