Pick Our Brains
A: Homes built before 1973
~ Old Technology aluminum wiring
~ Consumer Product Safety Commision found these houses were 55 times more likely to have one or more
connections reach "Fire Hazard" conditions than homes wired with copper.
B: Homes built after 1973
~ New technology aluminum wiring
~ Less Thermal Expansion
~ Less bending & creep failure
Reducing The Risk
A: Pigtailing - Aluminum to Copper
This should be done by a trained electrical technician. It is important to make sure the connectors are UL listed and compatible with the type of wires being used.
* "Pigtailing", which involves splicing a short length of copper to the original aluminium wire for
use with devices not CO/ALR rated.
B: CO/LAR - Install CO/LAR recept
Why is it important to install only CO/ALR devices?
One of the reasons is that when the insulation is stripped from aluminum wire and the wire is
exposed to air, an insulating film immediately forms on the wire. This means that a poor
connection and overheating may result at the switch or receptacle unless the terminal or the
device is built with the right contacts designed to break through the film and ensure a good
connection at the device. Devices marked CO/ALR are specifically designed and approved to
ensure a good connection through the use of a larger contact area and compatible materials.
When connecting to switches and receptacles, the wire should be formed in a clockwise
direction around the screw into three fourths of a complete loop.
C: Completely rewiring the home with copper wire.