aluminum wiring


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Old 07-24-04, 10:00 PM
R
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aluminum wiring

Call me an idiot, but I never knew aluminum wiring was dangerous! (I'm not happy at my home inspector for not disclosing this info to me) Anyways, I found out when we were going to install a GFCI outlet/switch in my bathroom. Curiously, the package said "do not use with aluminum wiring" so we called an electrician who said it was dangerous to attach aluminum wiring to copper or brass (I'm SURE you already know this) and why.

I'm posting because we looked at our other outlets and switches and they are all brass connections to our aluminum wiring. Reading what I'm reading online, I'm now afraid My home will burn down from electrical fire!!! (I'm such a girl...) How bad is this really? Am I over-reacting or should I be getting an electrician in here fast to change the connections to something safer? The worst part is that I'm in a garden style condo, which means I may help my wires, but all my neighbors above and below have the same stuff I have now.

Any input would be greatly appreciated on the matter.
KELLY
 
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Old 07-24-04, 10:59 PM
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Properly installed aluminum wiring is safe. Unfortunately, at the time most aluminum wire was installed, they didn't know how to do it safely. So it usually takes a retrofit of all the receptacles, switches and wire nuts to make it safe. Fortunately, this can all be done within the existing boxes without any work inside the walls.

You should be upset with your home inspector. It is common practice for a home inspection to report this condition. I suggest you check to see if the home inspector is regulated in your state, or is associated with any professional organization. You may have a legitimate malpractice claim against your home inspector.

If your existing receptacles are not rated for aluminum connections, then the situation is bad and you should have it mitigated as soon as possible. Many would say that this is best left up to professionals, but I believe that it can be done by a homeowner who is willing to do some research and study about how to do it properly. If you search http://www.cpsc.gov for information on aluminum wiring, you will find some excellent information.
 
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Old 07-25-04, 11:10 AM
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Recepticals rated for aluminum wiring

Is there such a thing as recepticals rated for aluminum wiring?
I certainly will not put in anything that is not, and will follow advice, but I was just wondering if there was "any such animal".

And yes, I will report the home inspector considering they do huge business here in massachusettes. I think not letting us know the government warnings on this wiring was wrong. Now that I know better too, I know they should have opened every receptable to check the connections with this wiring.

THANKS!
KELLY
 
  #4  
Old 07-25-04, 11:17 AM
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If you cannot find a GFCI receptacle rated for aluminum, then just buy some wire nuts rated for copper to aluminum connections. Then pigtail a short piece of copper wire from the wire nut to the receptacle.
 
 

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