GFCI Outlets and Aluminum Wire

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Safely Wire GFCI Outlets: Creating a Copper Pig Tail with Aluminum Wire, Working with Aluminum Wire, Splicing Aluminum Wire, Anti-Corrosion Ointment for Aluminum Wire, Attaching Aluminum Wire, AL/CU Rated Outlets and Switches.

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Wiring GFCI Outlets

Electrical Question: Are GFI outlets compatible with aluminum wiring, or do I need to make pigtails?

  • I’m changing all the plugs and switches in a house and need to pass a electrical inspection.

This home electrical wiring question came from: Ed, in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Ed.

How to Safely Wire GFCI Outlets

Application: Wiring or Replacing a GFCI Outlet.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the number of outlets that will be replaced.
Precaution: Identify the GFCI outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.

Creating a Copper Pig Tail with Aluminum Wire

  • Working with Aluminum Wire
    • Special methods must be applied when working with aluminum electrical wiring in order to prevent corrosion and loose connections which can be caused by heat as a result of the amperage load which is placed on electrical circuit wiring and components.
  • Splicing Aluminum Wire
    • When installing or replacing 120 volt 15 amp or 20 amp switches and outlet receptacles where¬† aluminum wiring has been installed,¬† the aluminum wires should be spliced together and a copper wire pigtail should be added.
  • Anti-Corrosion Ointment for Aluminum Wire
    • The splice must be coated with approved AL/CU anti-corrosion ointment and approved AL/CU wire connectors of the appropriate size must be used.
  • Attaching Aluminum Wire
    The copper pig tail will then be attached to the outlet or light switch terminal depending on the device or the application.
  • AL/CU Rated Outlets and Switches
    In locations where it is allowed, aluminum wire may be attached directly to outlets and switches that are identified and labeled with the approved AL/CU wire type designation.

More about Wiring GFCI Outlets

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  • The features and benefits of GFCI outlets and receptacles will give you a clear understanding of the importance why these safety devices are required by code to help protect you and your family against accidental electrical shock hazards.

GFCI Wiring
GFCI Wiring

  • This list of articles will help you learn about the features and benefits provided by GFI and GFCI Receptacles and how they are wired.

Electrical Outlet Wiring

Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home

  • Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.

Learn How to Wire it Right with my
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “GFCI Outlets and Aluminum Wire”
  1. Toby Singleton says:

    I live in Hampton Roads,Virginia and would like to know where to buy a GFI outlet for outside. Thank you


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