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Using Copper and Aluminum Wire for Home Circuits


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

When splicing aluminum and copper wires do the wire connectors need to be a special type? Wiring Methods for Copper and Aluminum Wires, Safe uses of Aluminum Wire for Larger Home Electrical Circuits.

Copper and Aluminum Wiring

Electrical Question: When splicing aluminum and copper wires do the wire connectors need to be a special type?
I am replacing a ceiling light fixture and I have questions about some aluminum wire I am working with.

CU/AL Splice Connectors for Copper and Aluminum Wire

  1. Do one or the other or both connectors need to be special CU/AL connectors such as Ideal Twister? For instance, can the neutral group remain within a standard connector?
  2. If standard connectors are OK, can I still use the current large black connector to twist the light’s neutral aluminum strands with the other four neutral coppers?

Thanks for any assistance you can give.
Joe

This electrical question came from: Joe, a Homeowner from Woodridge, Illinois.
Dave’s Reply: Thanks for your electrical question Joe.

Wiring Methods for Copper and Aluminum Wires

Application: Splicing Electrical Wires.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience and ability to work with tools and access to the wiring.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and inspected.
Materials: Properly sized wire connectors, anti-corrosion ointment, electrical tape, junction box and blank cover.

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MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC: Aluminum Wiring, Electric Wiring, Electrical Wire Splice





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4 Responses to “Using Copper and Aluminum Wire for Home Circuits”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Robert,
    You are correct, however I did mention that CU and AL wire splices should be done with the use of non-corrosive compounds, and of course there are a few approved brands available including the one you have mentioned.
    I always appreciate a fellow Sparky adding their comments – Thanks!
    Dave

  2. Robert says:

    Dave, I reading this response to CU and AL where code accepted I note that you did not mention the use of Noalux when wiring AL to CU?

  3. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Kiri,
    The electrical code states that either aluminum or copper wire conductors may be installed for cook tops. The size of the wire and amperage must be adequate for the specific cook top you have.
    That being said, there are manufacturers of equipment who specifically require a copper wired circuit, however I have only seen this on motor type equipment such as air conditioners, well pumps etc..
    I would consult the manufacturer directly to make sure as to not void the warranty and make sure the cook top will perform correctly.
    Dave

  4. Kiri says:

    We are remodeling our kitchen in Rochester, NY. We are replacing an electric cook top with an Induction cook top, also replacing a wall oven. The present wiring from the breaker panel is heavy gauge aluminum. Do we have to replace the aluminum wire with copper?. what is the code in effect.
    Thanks, Kiri