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ELECTRICAL INSPECTION, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR
ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS & REPAIRS
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Aluminum wiring repair junction box space problems: this article describes options for fitting copper pigtail wires and wire connectors into electrical junction boxes where solid conductor aluminum electrical wiring is installed. Here we explain the acceptable methods to repair aluminum wiring, including which aluminum wire connectors to use for safest results. Readers should be sure to see ALUMINUM WIRING REPAIR METHODS.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Technical note on limited space in electrical boxes when pigtailing copper to aluminum electrical wiring: Both the AlumiConn™ and the COPALUM™ connectors (as well as the not-recommended Ideal65 purple Twister™) occupy about the same volume of space during aluminum wiring repair by pigtailing copper to aluminum wires.
In some cases there may be so little free space inside the electrical box that it is difficult to push the pigtailed wires and device back into the wall safely and without damaging or loosening connectors.
Our photo (left) shows an improper "aluminum and copper" wire repair using double-tapping under a single circuit breaker screw. The CU-AL rating stamped into the circuit breaker may itself not have been based on independent testing but more, it is unlikely that the manufacturer intended the circuit breaker to handle both AL and CU wires at once.
There was plenty of room in this electrical panel to use one of the recommended copper-to-aluminum connectors to repair this aluminum wire. But in electrical boxes for wire splices, switches, and receptacles in a building, space may be more limited. Options to handle the limited space for copper to aluminum pigtail wires and connectors include:
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