I remember some time ago that Al wiring has bee discussed by this learned group,however I don't remember the details. I received a call from a home owner that has Al wiring through out their 2500 sq ft house(with a FP panel)built in Florida(concrete block exterior walls with interior wood stud walls) in the 1970s.She has discussed rewiring with 4 other Electricans.Her mind set was to pull out all the Al and replace it with Cu.I asked if she was having problems with the Al and her reply was that she did not want to pay to "maintain" a house with Al wire,like going around every few years and tighting all the screws on the recpt,switches etc.I asked for an example of problems that she had had.She immediately pointed to the TV and blamed the intermittent operation on Al wiring.I proved to her in the next 2 minutes that the problem was the TV.It appears that the original installer did not use an oxidation reducer paste but all else loked OK. I have worked on houses with Al wiring but was never asked to do a rewire. What are some of the other issues with Al wiring? Chris
Like Ryan said, People screwing with it. If somebody goes around tightening screws, they will eventually cut right through the wire. Aluminum shouldn't be just tightened up but, if and when the need arises, should be reterminated completely. There's nothing inherently wrong with aluminum as a conductor (or the utilities are in a lot of trouble). It's just poor installation and maintenance practices...S
Back in 1973 my cousin's house in Kearns had a fire. Seems the receptacle behind the drapes sparked and caught them on fire. It was traced to aluminum wires. I, being the electrician in the family, was enlisted. I discovered that all the switches and receptacles were connected to aluminum pigtails, but the devices were rated for copper only. We couldn't afford to gut and re-wire the house, so I pig-tailed all the Al wiring with copper, splicing with Scotch-Locks, Penetrox and Tape. I used Scotch-Locks because they were more flexible than Wire-Nuts. I taped to keep moisture out. There have been NO problems since. (31 years) Looking at the UL approved Al/Cu spring-nuts, I see that their design is similiar to mine.
I've installed the outlets and switches that are designed to accept AL wiring. I believe that Leviton makes them. They come in brown and ivory. If you pig-tail with the proper methods, can't forget about those ground wires too. The wire nuts that accept AL to CU with the built in penetrox are good also. It's funny when we see #10 AL speed wired into the back of the outlets years ago. It's ashame that guys used AL wire years ago, to save a few bucks on material. You have to treat each box like a doctor, when you start a repair job on that stuff.