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Old 01-19-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
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Default aluminium copper mix

I recently buyed a house and founds out there is a lot of aluminium and copper mix. I just wanted to replace outlets and all new decora outlet and switch but they are all cu only. Ive read about wirenut approved for aluminium/copper wiring but they dont get good reviews even with anti-ox paste. The copalum system is a lot too expensive and almost inaccessible. What would you do? I think i will have rewire the house

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Old 01-19-2011, 12:12 PM   #2
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I recently buyed a house and founds out there is a lot of aluminium and copper mix. I just wanted to replace outlets and all new decora outlet and switch but they are all cu only. Ive read about wirenut approved for aluminium/copper wiring but they dont get good reviews even with anti-ox paste. The copalum system is a lot too expensive and almost inaccessible. What would you do? I think i will have rewire the house

I've put in many a purple wire nut over the last 10 years. Never had an issue with any of them. You have to be very careful with aluminum and not over tighten your splice. And it's easy to overt tighten a wirenut too. I think it is usually a case of installer error not the purple wirenut.

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Old 01-19-2011, 12:16 PM   #3
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Some people get so twisted up over this whole, "what to do" scenario. I take a look at their house, and it would be dirt simple to rewire. Often, it's even cheaper or just a little bit more.

The first thing I'd do is have a competent person evaluate your home for rewiring. If you have a basement/crawl space and an accessible attic, that's a no-brainer. Just rewire the place. If it's a 2-story, has finished basement or on a slab, or some other screwed up floorplan, then maybe you want to think about partial rewring of the things you can get to, and alumicons on the things you can't get to without doing damage.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:08 PM   #4
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Some people get so twisted up over this whole, "what to do" scenario. I take a look at their house, and it would be dirt simple to rewire. Often, it's even cheaper or just a little bit more.

The first thing I'd do is have a competent person evaluate your home for rewiring. If you have a basement/crawl space and an accessible attic, that's a no-brainer. Just rewire the place. If it's a 2-story, has finished basement or on a slab, or some other screwed up floorplan, then maybe you want to think about partial rewring of the things you can get to, and alumicons on the things you can't get to without doing damage.


That is an option in about half the houses here. The other half you can't do without a panel change or addition due to them having to be arc fault protected.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:27 PM   #5
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thanx for suggestions, i just checked up again and i have only 6 runs of 12/3 aluminium (all the others wires are copper ,very weird they were all installed at the contruction of house in 1973) , i think ill rewire them or use alumicons,
i also opened a broken outlet in kitchen and there was a mix of aluminium and copper on same screw at outlet (this outlet is feed form 2 circuit and each screw had 2 wires (one on top of other!) on them except neutral)
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:43 PM   #6
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Make sure the "copper" wires are not copper coated AL.. they have the same problems as straight AL..

It just takes a bit longer for them to appear..
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:46 PM   #7
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Make sure the "copper" wires are not copper coated AL.. they have the same problems as straight AL..

It just takes a bit longer for them to appear..

Are you sure you are an electrician? A real electrician would know it's called copper clad aluminum.....
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:48 PM   #8
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Are you sure you are an electrician? A real electrician would know it's called copper clad aluminum.....
He is from Canada.. you got to speak in their language..
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:49 PM   #9
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I thought copper clad is tinned copper (used to prevent corosion). How do you coat alum with cu?
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:53 PM   #10
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I thought copper clad is tinned copper (used to prevent corosion). How do you coat alum with cu?
I would guess the same way.. it is still #12 AL even with the copper coating
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:54 PM   #11
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I thought copper clad is tinned copper (used to prevent corosion). How do you coat alum with cu?
I was just going to post a thread about this. I am about to rewire a single story ranch that has copper clad al. The homeowner took all the sheetrock down,it is going to be a very easy job.

Homeowner was down talking to the electrical inspector while she was getting a demo permit and the inspector told her " It is tin not aluminum you don't have to worry about that at all, Your electrician is just trying to scare you!!!" I am calling this a$$clown first thing in the morning to yell at him.

Don't you have to treat copper clad just like AL? It certainly acts the same!
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:10 PM   #12
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My own house? I'd take a look at the condition of the aluminum. If it looks good I'd dip it in noalox and land on my new device. Put any copper on the other screw on the device. Use noalox and wirenuts on the rest of the stuff. Now if it's a customer it all would get done with the special wirenuts and aluminum rated devices. Never see the stuff in our area anyways.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:14 PM   #13
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im still not decided yet since if i invest to remake wiring i could get more buyers for the house in few years, some people does not like the word aluminium when buying a house
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:57 PM   #14
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Make sure the "copper" wires are not copper coated AL.. they have the same problems as straight AL..

It just takes a bit longer for them to appear..
I 've never seen or heard of any problems arising from copper clad wiring.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:39 PM   #15
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The Canadian answer in BC is have an electrical contractor pig tail the aluminum and install normal copper approved outlets. We won't issue a homeowner permit for aluminum wiring repairs or alterations as it is a skill set of a qualified electrician. IE i would never trust a homeowner to do it right.
You can also buy devices approved for the termination of aluminum wire which are typically 10 time more money than copper approved devices.
I would not rewire as long as the connections are in reasonably good shape. The wire between outlets is not a problem. only the connections and devices.
This wire is still approved for installation in Canada but you would never find any stock of it. Typically aluminum wire is now larger than #8. or maybe #4 and larger.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:24 PM   #16
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I 've never seen or heard of any problems arising from copper clad wiring.
I have done a bunch of pigtailing because of burnt up copper clad wrapped around the screw..
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:01 PM   #17
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I have done a bunch of pigtailing because of burnt up copper clad wrapped around the screw..

I have also. The devices are not rated for copper clad anymore. That stuff is just as bad as AL
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:23 PM   #18
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If it were my house, I'd simply pigtail with regular wire nuts and call it good. Although I am 100% covfident in this installation, I'm not allowed to do that on my customers houses.

I have to shell out 5 bucks a piece for a wirenut, made from the same material as a standard one, with factory applied no lox, which is the same as the stuff in the tube.

It's an insurance driven scam.

And....copper clad is still aluminum


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