After searching high and low I'm coming to the conclusion that an
Aluminum compatible GFCI outlet does not exist.
So I want to install GFCI breakers on the associated circuits as an
alternative to fishing new wire.
How do I know if a GFCI breaker can be used on a circuit that is wired
I would look around the internet to see if you can find a GFCI
compatible with aluminum wiring first. Fitting a GFCI in an existing
box is tough enough, but if you had to add pigtails, it's going to be
just about impossible unless it's already in an oversized box.
The issue is not the breaker itself, but the connection with the
aluminum wire. When using aluminum wire you need to ensure that all
connected devices are rated for use with aluminum.
This can be expensive. For instance, an aluminum-rated toggle switch
costs about four times as much as one rated for copper only.
Yeah, and that's the problem - I haven't yet found a Cu/Al GFCI outlet
for *any* price. Which is why I was thinking it might be better to
just do it at the breaker box. More inconvenient if you trip it, and
yeah, it might be hard to physically stuff one in the box too.
Or I could call an electrician and have them crimp-pigtail just the
offending receptacles and use a regular GFCI outlet on those.
"Kristen Caldwell" who doesn't know shit about wiring wrote
You should never connect a copper only rated device to aluminum wire because
it creates a serious fire hazzard. If you don't know that you shouldn't be
answering questions from people who obviously already know more than you.
GFCIs protect against L-E shocks and shorts, which have nothing to do
with the risk that ali wiring posts. Al oxidises at joints, heats up &
catches fire. A gfci doesnt make the remotest difference to that. An
AFCI however would.
I'm not that familiar with US practices, but I dont expect many modern
electrical parts will have al compatible connections.
yup. If you need to put an AFCI in each circuit, the AFCI can have a
copper tail leading to a purpose designed cu to al connector. Follow
the proper procedure in the instructions, al behaves differently to
AFCIs arent perfect, but they do reduce risk quite a lot.
On Apr 14, 1:55 am, email@example.com wrote:
I'm under the impression that current AFCIs don't protect against the
type of arc faults Al joints are prone to.
I'm not installing GFCIs to mitigate the Al risk, it's to mitigate the
general risk of operating electrical devices near water.
Switches and outlets do, actually, but GFCI outlets seem to be an
Do you have any references that show currently marketed AFCIs to
reduce the risk of bad Al connections?
All wiring devices like receptacles, switches, GFCI breakers etc. are marked
for Alum. and or copper usage.
Some are copper only some are will work with both.
If in doubt you could make a short jumper. If your circuit conductor is #
12 or #10 alum. use a copper
#12 conductor spliced to the circuit conductor using a copper/alum. butt
splice A compound such as peremetx
could also be used to coat the conductors. Permitex is a paste like
compound that contains both copper and
I read that the butt splice method is not a good idea and that is why
the COPALUM pigtail splice exists. Same deal with the Ideal purple
wire nuts vs Scotchlok wire nuts that are spring loaded. In both
cases the latter exerts more force on the aluminum wire keeping it
from loosening as it inevitably expands and contracts.
On 17 Apr 2007 08:02:29 -0700, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
There is a new device out there called Alumiconn by King Innovation
that is as good as Copalum and you don't need any special tools or
It is a small terminal block with set screws in an insulating jacket.
On Apr 17, 10:30 am, email@example.com wrote:
Yeah, that looks like a good product and it's even UL listed. But
it's not listed by CPSC as an approved repair method (yet). This
might be the best way to go in the end, the product makes sense and is
not that expensive.
Do you have a suggestion where I could find such a nut? All the
Scotchlok nuts I have found on their site say Copper connections
only... though it certainly seems that CO/ALR spring nuts do exist
Even with the GFCI outlets, I'd install AFCIs (arc fault current
interrupters) at the circuit breaker panel. They're required by the NEC now
for bedroom outlets in new homes and arc faults are one of the failure modes
for aluminum wiring as the connections go bad.
You can also get combined GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers. Then you don't
need to worry about the AL connections at the outlet.
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