Aluminum Wire/Copper Pigtailing

One of the biggest issues we come across in residential electrical work is Aluminum wiring. Some houses built or remodeled between the early 1950s and late 1970s were wired with aluminum.There are basically three reasons why aluminum wiring may be of concern:

  1. It has a tendency to oxidize which increases the wire’s resistance resulting in the wire overheating at the receptacle.
  2. It is more malleable (softer) than copper and therefore easily nicked and
  3. Because of its high thermal expansion, it has a tendency to change shape at the terminal screws and thus become loose or creep off.

Given its incompatibility with fittings designed for other metals in the electrical system, improper connections may cause electrical resistance which in turn may cause overheating and fire. To overcome the incompatibility, the aluminum wiring should be “pigtailed” with copper using proper copper to aluminum wire nuts. Montana Electric can inspect your home for Aluminum wiring and correct any issues using proper pig tailing techniques.

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