Rated 4.6 out of 5Â by 17
Rated 4 out of 5Â by BigG A less expensive option than rewiring the house
I started with a small order of these and ended up with the 100 count bag. They worked and are one of the only options for pig tailing aluminum house wire to copper only switches and plugs. I purchased a home in which all switches and plugs had cu or copper only stamped on them. The aluminum house wire was connected to these. (Fire Hazard). After much investigation I found out that you should install copper pig tails because most commonly found switches and plugs are copper only. This product is approved for aluminum (AL) to Copper (CU) connections. The wire connectors have anti corrosion gel in them to prevent the aluminum wire from corroding. The only issue I encountered was that the screw terminals were a little soft, make sure you use the right size screwdriver. Also they recommend using a torque screwdriver. The larger bag had optional instructions if you didn't have a torque driver.
January 1, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5Â by Doug The do-it-yourselfer solution to mitigating aluminum wiring risks
My family moved in to a 1968 home about 6 months ago. Within the first month, we experienced two separate electrical issues, one of which was an outlet that was audibly and visibly arcing due to a loose wire connection. Concerned for my family's safety, I immediately began reading up on aluminum wiring. Not being at all experienced with electrical work, I then bought the Black & Decker Complete Guide to Electrical Wiring. Having read that cover to cover, I bought my first batch of Alumiconns, along with the reasonably priced Neiko torque screwdriver, and new receptacles and cover plates while I was at it (hey, they're cheap, and my time is valuable).
My house is just over 2000 square feet, and after going top to bottom, I determined that I have about 120 electrical devices (receptacles, switches, and light fixtures). Doing the math, that's a pretty hefty investment in Alumiconns, but I consider it worth it for my family's safety. Doing the work a little at a time on the weekends, and having started about 45 days ago, I'm probably about halfway done now, maybe a bit further. Here's what I've learned:
Yes, the Alumiconns are big, but if you make a point of bending both the existing and new wires in V's, you can stuff the Alumiconns pretty far back in the box.
If you have more than 3 existing connections in a box, you can save space and money by using the Ideal Insure connectors for the Aluminum wires, then run an aluminum pigtail to the Alumiconn, and run copper to the device from there. The Insure connectors are TINY, taking up very little space. Technically not rated for aluminum connections, but neither are the wire nuts that were on there before, and the bigger concern is where the aluminum meets the copper devices, not where the aluminum meets additional aluminum. I've only run into this situation twice thus far, so not a common occurrence in my house at least.
If necessary for space purposes, a remodeling box is surprisingly easy to install in finished drywall.
You can achieve much greater efficiency by first cutting and stripping a whole bunch of 6" pigtails, and then just carrying them around in a bag with you. Having done that, I can do a receptacle or switch in under 15 minutes, and a light fixture/fan, depending on complexity, in 30-45 minutes.
Tools like the Irwin Industrial self-adjusting Wire Strippers go a LONG way toward making wire stripping much easier.
For the minimal additional cost, you might as well go ahead and replace the devices and cover plates while you're at it. I went with the newer TR style receptacles, as I have a toddler and another one on the way.
If you're going to be putting in the time to take down a light fixture and put it back up again, are you happy with it? If not, now would be a great time to replace it.
I hope this helps!
March 12, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5Â by MAR01 GOOD
PRODUCT IS PERFECT FOR THE JOB, AS STATED. A SAFE METHOD OF ATTACHING ALUMINUM WIRE TO COPPER WIRE.
December 25, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5Â by Dupcheck It is a good solution to Aluminum Wiring pigtails
UL and CSA approved. Home depot should make them available to all of their stores. If you can not find them look up King Innovation, they make them.
May 4, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5Â by Rick This is the best and only alternative to having a professional fix aluminum wiring dangers
I have done a lot of research on the topic of aluminum wiring in homes and it turns out it is a very big potential fire danger. Many insurance companies will specifically not insure homes with aluminum wiring so if you have it ask if they do because you can potentially be left in a situation that they would not cover.
The only other repair method for pig tailing copper wire to aluminum is called copalum which can only be performed by an electrician certified by the manufacturer. The special crimp tool for it is only leased and is quite expensive so the electrician that can do this repair method is quite expensive as well. The benefit to it is that it's a small cold weld crimp which is heat shrink wrapped so it fits inside existing electrical boxes easily.
Alumiconn by comparison is a more do it yourself method. Basically it's a small three place bus bar which separates dissimilar metals so they can be electrically connected together in a safe manner. The manufacturer claims zero fires with this repair method. It has also carried both UL and US consumer product safety commission approval.
Installation is straight forward. You remove a switch, outlet etc., clip the end of the aluminum wire off and strip some fresh material, insert in to one port and tighten the screw. Insert a small piece of copper wire in to another port and tighten, connect it to the device. If there is an out going wire it goes to the remaining port. The alumiconn connectors are only a little larger than a wire nut, but the entrance method does add some size and fitting three in to a standard box can be a challenge, but it doable.
I had areas where there were seven wires joined in to one large wire nut. This type of connection requires the box to be cut out from the wall and a larger old work box to be installed in its place. This type of junction required eight alumiconn's to be used.
Price wise these do add up quickly. As mentioned three are needed per box at least, possibly more. Still, it's cheaper than copalum and cheaper than a re-wire. There is a list on the manufacturers web site with a list of insurance companies which recognize alumiconn as a repair method so it theoretically is possible to get a discount on home owners insurance.
I will say that it would have been nice if these were carried in stores, they are very difficult to come by, but ordering from the Home Depot's web site is easy and they can be returned unlike other sites which sell this product.
April 23, 2013