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Discussion Starter #1
Noticed today in an apartment building wired with aluminum some regular wire nuts were used on a Cu/Al splice for a pigtail to a switch.

Surely this isn’t up to code even if you use Penetrox? I am curious what the difference is between the purple Al/Cu wire nuts - I guess some think it is okay to use regular wire nuts with Penetrox.

aside from a complete re-wire what is favored for replacing devices - rated wire nuts with copper pigtails or Al rated devices?

been a while and having a rough time finding specifics on this in the code
 

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Arsholeprentice
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I typically use AlumiConn connectors, but sure if they are listed up North.

Edit: They are listed up North.

 
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That is definitely not to code. NEC states that you must follow manufacturers instructions. I'm sure CEC has something similar. Regular wire nuts are for copper only. I have had no issues with the purple wire nuts or the Alumiconns. I don't do this much so I usually use what ever is available for the few connections I run into. All the connectors are expensive.
 
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There are a few things I don’t like about the purple wire nuts:

1) Most guys tend to overfill the wire nut. If you look at almost all the photos of their failures are from too many wires. Easy fix is educating your crew.

2) The aluminum branch wiring they installed back then, it was super soft. The nut tends to bite in deeply to the aluminum and that coupled with twisting the wires, I’ve seen it cause failures too.

Both take up a good amount of space. So be prepared to possibly R&R the boxes or install those Wiremold extensions.
 

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Are you certain that it was regular wire nuts and not 63 or 65 marettes?

Your code reference would be use of approved equipment or use as per the manufacturers instructions. Regular wire nuts will say copper only...

Also, I know you've been here for 11 months already, however I would appreciate it if you followed the link below on how to fill out your profile. It's required. Thank you.

 

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Cu/al marrettes are 55 cents each. An aluminum rated single pole switch is $6.41. Copper switch is $1.13. And do you really want penatrox all over the side of your device? At least it's contained in a marrette.
 

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Cu/al marrettes are 55 cents each. An aluminum rated single pole switch is $6.41. Copper switch is $1.13. And do you really want penatrox all over the side of your device? At least it's contained in a marrette.
t
I like Alumicon connectors if you have room and the money for them.
 

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Cu/al marrettes are 55 cents each. An aluminum rated single pole switch is $6.41. Copper switch is $1.13. And do you really want penatrox all over the side of your device? At least it's contained in a marrette.
Where are you getting them for that price? Bulk? Around here the purple 65's are around $2-3 US each. Maybe it's because I only use a handful at a time but a 10 pack here is anywhere from 20 to $30
 

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Where are you getting them for that price? Bulk? Around here the purple 65's are around $2-3 US each. Maybe it's because I only use a handful at a time but a 10 pack here is anywhere from 20 to $30
Up here the marette brand 63 are 1$/each if you buy a 50 pack...
 

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Where are you getting them for that price? Bulk? Around here the purple 65's are around $2-3 US each. Maybe it's because I only use a handful at a time but a 10 pack here is anywhere from 20 to $30
Supply house price on a 100 pack of dark brown 63P. The dark brown 65P are 70 cents each. Switch price was individual from home depot.
 

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63P are 59¢ at the wholesaler.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
63C are $13 for 25 which isn't bad I guess. I think the purple ones are like $3 each

Another thing I noticed is they didn't pigtail the ground wire - straight aluminum on the ground screw..

Anyway thanks for the replies
 

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63C are $13 for 25 which isn't bad I guess. I think the purple ones are like $3 each

Another thing I noticed is they didn't pigtail the ground wire - straight aluminum on the ground screw..

Anyway thanks for the replies
How is a screw any different than a mechanical lug? As long as its got antiox on it I would be fine with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
How is a screw any different than a mechanical lug? As long as its got antiox on it I would be fine with it.
I suppose it's not carrying current. I was specifically saying an aluminum ground wire on a copper ground screw terminal on a plug. The existing wiring had the copper pigtails but the grounds were straight up.
 

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I suppose it's not carrying current. I was specifically saying an aluminum ground wire on a copper ground screw terminal on a plug. The existing wiring had the copper pigtails but the grounds were straight up.
Oh sorry my bad, thought you were talking about the ground screw on the box, not the receptacle.
 

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There are several old threads on this (thank you you for filling out your profile). The problem is AL expands at a different rate than CU, so, you must use an approved method. Pigtail everything. If you read the purple wirenut instructions closely all combinations require a CU wire in the mix. Also, don't overfill them just don't. One of my pet peeves is overfilled wirenuts & as a service electrician I made sure I had large gray & large blue wirenuts. Just cut all your wires a tad shorter & fold it all into the box. If not, as others suggested, R&R box or use wiremold extensions.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
There are several old threads on this (thank you you for filling out your profile). The problem is AL expands at a different rate than CU, so, you must use an approved method. Pigtail everything. If you read the purple wirenut instructions closely all combinations require a CU wire in the mix. Also, don't overfill them just don't. One of my pet peeves is overfilled wirenuts & as a service electrician I made sure I had large gray & large blue wirenuts.
Yeah I have the 63B Marrette's and I'm going to pigtail everything. Glad I realized this before I left them all scabbed in on the ground screw.

I guess they are designed not to require the anti ox as well - I got some just in case but from what I've read most of them already have some inside.
 

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Yeah I have the 63B Marrette's and I'm going to pigtail everything. Glad I realized this before I left them all scabbed in on the ground screw.

I guess they are designed not to require the anti ox as well - I got some just in case but from what I've read most of them already have some inside.
They should have the anti ox in them. Don't reuse these wire nuts, because, the spring acts like a lock washer which you don't reuse.
 
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There are a few things I don’t like about the purple wire nuts:

1) Most guys tend to overfill the wire nut. If you look at almost all the photos of their failures are from too many wires. Easy fix is educating your crew.

2) The aluminum branch wiring they installed back then, it was super soft. The nut tends to bite in deeply to the aluminum and that coupled with twisting the wires, I’ve seen it cause failures too.

Both take up a good amount of space. So be prepared to possibly R&R the boxes or install those Wiremold extensions.
Are you quoting a 22cu box in every receptacle and a deep cut in on every switch box?
 

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Working With the Tools
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Noticed today in an apartment building wired with aluminum some regular wire nuts were used on a Cu/Al splice for a pigtail to a switch.

Surely this isn’t up to code even if you use Penetrox? I am curious what the difference is between the purple Al/Cu wire nuts - I guess some think it is okay to use regular wire nuts with Penetrox.

aside from a complete re-wire what is favored for replacing devices - rated wire nuts with copper pigtails or Al rated devices?

been a while and having a rough time finding specifics on this in the code
Some of the worse fires that I have seen were in structures wired with AL Romex... Usually mobile homes. Even if you use all the right connections and devices, the HO's will come along splice it to copper. A total re-wire could very possibly save lives.
 
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