Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

Aluminium electrical problems

Senna's picture

Aluminium electrical problems (post #214700)

 I went to replace the cover on an outlet and noticed dark charring. Pulled it open to reveal that the plug had disintegrated and that the insulation on the wiring had melted off. The wiring is aluminium.

I will eventually pull all the wiring and replace it , as it is in only the one room, an addition built in the 70's.

In the meantime how can I make it safe? Can I put heat shrink tubing on the wire and replace the outlet with one rated for aluminium?

What would an electrician do?

Depends on the particulars, (post #214700, reply #1 of 7)

Depends on the particulars, but probably you should cut back the wires and pigtail them.  You can use either wire nuts or the special crimp-on pigtails made for this duty.  Be sure to put the aluminum connecting glop on the splices.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Al-Cu wire nuts. (post #214700, reply #2 of 7)

 

You have to strip the Al wires back and use copper pig tails, But you have to use special wire nuts made specificly for Aluminum to Copper connections. They contain anti corosive paste. These are available at HD. Nothing else should be used. This will make the outlet safe. In the meantime the whole house is unsafe. Either do this to all electrical connections in the house or rewire it ASAP. 

There are also alumicon (post #214700, reply #3 of 7)

There are also alumicon connectors. They are basically like a small bus bar, listed for aluminum or copper. You pigtail s short copper wire onto that.

If the wire is still solid you could just use your shrink tube, maybe 2 layers and put a CO/ALr device.

Greg

The problem with the shrink (post #214700, reply #4 of 7)

The problem with the shrink wrap approach is that the overheating of the wire is apt to have made it brittle.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Annealing the wire might end (post #214700, reply #7 of 7)

Annealing the wire might end up making it less brittle. Certainly ripping it all out might be the best option but that was not the question.

Greg

"I will eventually pull all (post #214700, reply #5 of 7)

"I will eventually pull all the wiring and replace it "

Now would be a good time to get that done.

Another vote for fixing it (post #214700, reply #6 of 7)

Another vote for fixing it now. As in new wire.

.