New lights for aluminum wiring

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Old 05-27-02, 07:06 AM
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jdrcar
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Question New lights for aluminum wiring

I have a a house with aluminum wiring. I want to install new light fixtures but all the lights are labeled "for copper wire only". What is the correct way to install new light fixtures to the aluminum wiring?
 
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Old 05-27-02, 07:48 AM
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Get some copper romex cable, same gauge as used for your existing cable. Cut about 8" and remove sheathing. Use the black, white and ground individual wires to connect new fixtures. Then connect these pigtails to your aluminum wiring as so:
If you have enough old cable coming out of the box, strip wire back a little to reveal new (clean) wiring. If not, clean old wires to remove any oxidation. Connect copper pigtails to aluminum wires with special connectors (purple), containing anti-oxident solution. You should be able to find these wire nuts at home depot or other hardware store. Use the connectors only once. If you need to remove one for some reason, replace the wire nut with a fresh one. Do not use regular wire nuts to connect copper and aluminum wires. (as you know or you wouldn't be asking) The regular wire nuts can get hot and melt or worse.
Brian
 
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Old 05-28-02, 02:00 PM
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solipsist9
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i know this is probably unreasonable, but if i had bought a house with aluminum wiring, i would replace it all with copper. aluminum has been implicated in many problems/fires, which is why its use is limited. why is it allowed? because there are several members of alcoa and the aluminum manufacturers assoc. on the code making panels. i have never, in 20+ years as an electrician, installed aluminum wire, and never will.
but since you're likely going to do as handyone suggested, make sure you twist the splices together; do not just stick them in the wire nut side-by-side. you want to be assured of maximum contact between the conductors.
 
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Old 05-28-02, 03:11 PM
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jdrcar
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Thanks Handyone and solipsist9 for the inputs. I would love to replace all the wiring with copper but that is a task beyond my skill level and much to expensive in labor costs to hire someone. I agree that any builder that used aluminium should have been forced to replace it when the safety problems were identified over 30 years ago. The best I can do now is to replace all the outlets and switches with the correct type and make sure all other connections are installed properly using the correct methods for aluminium wire. Thanks again!!
 
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