Aluminum Wiring Pigtails
Aluminum wiring pigtails has shown to be effective at protecting homes against hazards of aluminum termination risks. Many homes in Ottawa and across Canada remain wired with aluminum or a combination of aluminum and copper. The pigtails fix the potential problem of overheating that arises from weaker connections and/ or the use of incompatible devices. Aluminum wiring is allowed with proper installation techniques and materials.
It was widely used in homes in Canada from the mid-1960s through the late 1970s. It was favored over copper wiring because it was a good conductor of electricity and was cheaper at the time. Aluminum is also softer than copper, so it gets nicked easily. It can become misshapen, resulting in wires disconnecting from terminals. Loose connections and electrical arcing can lead to brunt plugs & wire connectors.
We regularly hear that aluminum wiring got recalled and that it is no longer approved or permitted in homes. Neither of these is true. It is safe to use aluminum wiring in homes as long as it is installed in the proper manner and with the appropriate materials and installation methods. It is also a cost-effective alternative to copper wire rewiring.
Aluminum to Copper Wire Pigtail
Pigtailling aluminum to copper is the most common repair done by electricians to reduce issues caused by aluminum wiring. This is a more conservative method of repair. It saves homeowners time and money, and is generally possible as long as the wiring itself isn’t damaged.
The copper and aluminum wires get spliced together using an appropriate connector dual rated and an antioxidant compound. The antioxidant compound gets used to prevent the aluminum from becoming corroded. Corroded connections can become loose over time. Corrosion can lead to overheating and sparking of nearby combustible materials.
An electrician with experience in older aluminum wire installations should inspect the entire electrical system and do any of the corrective work necessary. Make sure the installation is safe and that the electrical system does not become destroyed due to the aging of the aluminum wire.
Aluminum Wiring Pigtail Safety
Studies performed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission suggest that homes with aluminum wiring “are 55 times more likely to have connections that reach “Fire Hazard Conditions” than are homes wired with copper.” With the increased fire hazard risks, many insurance associations in Ontario are not prepared to provide insurance for homes that use aluminum wiring. The insurance provider may require a Certificate of Inspection by the Electrical Safety Authority before they will provide coverage.
Aluminum wiring is secure as long as proper terminals and contacts get made without damaging the wire. Aluminum is more malleable than copper, and precise care is needed to evade damage such as scratches, nicks, or hairline cracks. Cracks and damage can produce overheating. Aluminum wiring requires obeying specific procedures. A mounted box extension ring is needed if there is not enough room for new connectors in the electrical box. Aluminum wiring pigtails accepted by the electrical safety authority are the most prevalent solution to make aluminum wiring safe. A do it yourself attempt to pigtail aluminum wiring is likely to make matters worse.
A professional electrician is needed to ensure proper connections and that the connections do their job properly. A home with aluminum wiring doesn’t always need a complete home rewire. Often a smaller scale repair after an inspection by a Licensed Electrical Contractor can be done. A repair removes the risks and allows a home to pass inspection by the ESA. The Ontario Electrical Safety Code still allows for the use of aluminum wiring, even in residential homes.
Aluminum wiring Assessment
After an assessment, aluminum wire pigtailing your home may not be feasible. You may need to convert the wiring of your home from aluminum to copper. This process is a more expensive solution, but it also provides more benefits. When it comes to selling your home and general peace of mind especially. Homeowners may also be able to negotiate deals with their insurance providers to obtain lower-cost insurance. After the upgrade their insurance provider may cover some of the costs of replacement. Your electrician will work with you to minimize disruption to your home life during the replacement process.
Always seek help from a professional electrician before attempting any work yourself. Contact Mike Fuller Electric today for your aluminum wiring inquires.
Tel: (613) 225-3249
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Mike Fuller Electric Ltd.
1692 Ortona Avenue
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