Aluminum Wire Repair

CAUTION: Many electricians, who are not COPALUM certified, recommend other repair methods. While these repair methods are less expensive than COPALUM crimp connectors, we agree with the CPSC that these repairs are considered unacceptable and "does not solve the problem of overheating present in aluminum branch circuits."

“Pigtailing with the Purples”

The most often suggested unacceptable repair; ("pigtailing") involves attaching a short piece of copper wire to the aluminum wire with a twist-on connector sometimes called a wire nut (IDEAL Purple #65); the copper wire is connected to the switch, wall outlet or other termination device. The Commission staff has evaluated the effectiveness of "pigtailing" as a repair. In CPSC-sponsored laboratory testing, some brands of twist-on connectors have performed very poorly. Accordingly, from what we have seen in the field, we agree with the Commission staff and can validate the laboratory testing in believing that this method of repair does not solve the problem of overheating present in aluminum branch circuits.

At best we consider the proper application of Purple Wirenuts a temporary repair. However, being that this wirenut is filled with a flammable oxide-inhibitor and the manufacturer has stated that this wirenut is NOT INTENDED FOR A COMPLETE HOME RETROFIT, (http://www.inspect-ny.com/aluminum/i65debat.htm) we believe it is best to leave aluminum wiring alone until such a time as it can be permanently repaired via re-wiring or COPALUM crimping.

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