Return to the Electrical Wiring Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Transition from aluminum to copper

Posted by alan_s_thefirst (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 15, 13 at 1:35

Looking at buying a place with some aluminum wiring. Insurance shouldn't be a bother but I do see outlets have been replaced with Decora style, which aren't (I believe) AL rated. Assuming they've been done right, there will be a transition via pigtail to copper.

If not, I will be replacing them and doing them properly (vendor or predecessor PAINTED the outlets. Looks stupid.)

Just wondering - haven't seen info online to confirm this or not - can I use regular Marrettes (I prefer Cantwist) on the aluminum to copper transition, with the appropriate paste, or are there special connectors?

Also, can grounds be crimped? I'm assuming not, since the crimps I'm familiar with say copper only.

I should note, I'm in BC, Canada, so the rules are somewhat different, but the principles should be the same.

This post was edited by alan_s_thefirst on Mon, Apr 15, 13 at 1:47


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Transition from aluminum to copper

Looks like I need these:

No pretwisting? Really? Is that optional, or actually preferable?

Looks like they're pre-treated with antioxidant paste, which is handy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Twister Al/Cu


 o
RE: Transition from aluminum to copper

Edit: Never mind, looks like I found my own answer. I am curious about the pre-twisting, though. I'd think it's a more reliable connection, but given the different expansion coefficients, I wonder it it's wise if it's a Cu/Al mix?


 o
RE: Transition from aluminum to copper

Hi alan. Those wirenuts are still CSA rated, but they are not recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If you can possibly find AL or ALR rated devices, use paste and a torque screwdriver, that's the way to go. Use AlumiConns
http://kinginnovation.bmobilized.com/?url=http%3A//www.kinginnovation.com/products/alumiconn/
for the grounds.

The old AL alloy gets brittle too fast when bent or squeezed too hard. Squeezed not hard enough and you get arcing. That's why the torque screwdriver. And why pretwisting is problematic. You can't twist away with wild abandon like you can with copper. Go gentle. If you don't pretwist, the instructions still say, turn the wirenut until the wires twist two times.

This post was edited by glennsparky on Mon, Apr 15, 13 at 3:34


 o
RE: Transition from aluminum to copper

No crimping for you. There's only one listed crimping system. You have to take the manufacturer's training before they will RENT you the crimper. It's mucho dinero per month.


 o
RE: Transition from aluminum to copper

Hi! I am no expert, but I know that my parent's house original wiring is aluminum, and the house was built in 1971. All of the all-aluminum connections, the aluminum-copper connections and the connections with a fixture's wiring have worked flawlessly with the Marrette 63 and Marrette 65. I bought some of the Ideal purple twisters for the kitchen chandelier, and it took about 4 months before the connection failed to the point it melted the wire nut.


 o
RE: Transition from aluminum to copper

Wow re the melting. Thanks for the tips. Ironic that I have a crimper now, but won't have copper to use it on.

Have you seen how much those torque screwdrivers cost? $200-$300 - wow.

This post was edited by alan_s_thefirst on Tue, Apr 16, 13 at 0:15


 o
RE: Transition from aluminum to copper

There are two ways to solve the cable connector. First, You can get an "Right Angle F Adapter" at Radio Snack that will probably fix you right up.

They also make replacement cable wall plates that recess (often tilting downward) the jack. These are popular to install behind flat panel TVs. Just google recessed cable wall plate.

Here is a link that might be useful: Right Angle F Adapter at Radio Snack


 o
RE: Transition from aluminum to copper

Ignore that last one it was for the other thread.


 o
RE: Transition from aluminum to copper

"Have you seen how much those torque screwdrivers cost? $200-$300 - wow."
Use a small 1/4 inch drive inch-pound wrench and the correct hex drive adapter and bits.

The smaller wenches are a lot less expensive, and the adapters have no affect on torque readings.

You can even use 1/4 inch drive extensions to make reaching easier (I usually keep about a 3 inch one on my wrench).


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Electrical Wiring Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here