Aluminum Wiring Refit Approach

House, circa 1970, has aluminum wiring. Outlet recently arced and overheated. Electrician pig-tailed on some copper wire using wire nuts. Another outlet is giving problems and we are motivated to fix the whole house.
Internet research suggests that the CPSC recommends only COPALUM fittings from Tyco. However, Tyco tells me that it has no certified installers in Virginia. (We're in Richmond.)
CPSC also says that using wire nuts and pig-tails may be worse than the original. This is a fine pickle...
Has anyone done are aluminum wiring repairs any other (safe) way?
Sam
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They are trying to sell you something...........
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Al is used every day by every utilitiy in the US. Here in Phoenix every new house with a circuit over 30 amps has AL conductors.
CU to AL connections, wire nuts has been the standard for some time IF you can not get the AL- CU devices. My home has AL circa 1971 and pigtails on some devices and AL-CU devices every where else. Most AL devices do not have a "stab in"connection. They use screws for the connection. Finding the devices at a decent price is the real trick. That is why people pigtail.
A tight connection is necessary with AL. Wirenuts when twisted together properly are acceptable.
This is the third home I have owned with AL wiring.
Do you know anyone who owns a meggar? You can test the circuits one by one or the whole house at once. (power off NOTHING plugged in). Some one who is familar with a meggar can tell you if you have any problems with the insulation. I have even found loose connections using a meggar.
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SQLit wrote:

Service entrance conductors connections use Aluminum rated lugs and connectors and an antioxide paste. Branch circuits are more problematic.

I agree that wirenuts should be reliable if they are rated for aluminum and copper.
Aluminum connections have 2 problems. Aluminum expands more than most metals. When an aluminum wire in a lug made of another metal conducts current it gets warm and expands and it may be compressed in a lug that does not expand as much. This makes the connection looser with a higher resistance so on the next heating cycle it gets a little hotter and looser. Lugs used with aluminum should be listed for this use as referenced above with CuAl devices. I would trust a wirenut more than a device if the wirenut has a "live spring" that deforms when twisted over the wires and maintains a spring compression on the connection.
The second problem is that aluminum is very reactive. A clean surface will rapidly oxidize. This keeps the aluminum shiny since aluminum oxide is clear, but aluminum oxide is an insulator. This problem is solved by coating the conductor surface with a paste made for this purpose. A common one is Noalox (no-aluminum-oxidation). I would suggest coating the wire before wirenuting it.
Note that these problems can occurr at any aluminum connection including original wirenut connections and at connections to circuit breakers.

A megger measures high resistances using a relatively high voltage. In this case I presume you would be measuring the resistance to ground. I don't see how this would find problems or loose connections unless there is a carbon path to ground. A megger will probably destroy GFCIs.
Bud--
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