Home remodeling - Aluminum wire and NEC 2002 Code questionquestion

My friend is remodeling a house she bought as a rental. It is an older home with Aluminum wiring. While over there helping her paint I watched the “contractor” she hired connect new outlets w/pigtails to the existing aluminum wiring with standard wire nuts. As an aspiring Electrician and still taking classes I mentioned it and was given the brush off. Now my friend is worried and I think she should be. Am I right in thinking that this is not acceptable under the 2002 code?

IIRC the problem with Al wires is that the connections have a tendency to go bad due to several factors like Al being softer than Cu, expnasion with temperature changes etc. This does not mean Al is dangerous though and seeing that the cost of replacing all the wirring is substantial I would just make double sure all the connections and splices are extra good. IIRC the ones that tend to fail more are the screw type but a good splice to copper should be OK. Just make sure you know how to make a good splice and then make it double extra good.

Regarding the code I am guessing it would not allow for new wiring installed to be Al but I doubt it would require replacing old Al wires.

Here’s a comprehensive site:


I’m not an electrician, but the accepted method seems to be to use a Aluminum to copper pigtail (that is, a specially constructed pigtail that has one aluminum and one copper end). Aluminum should never be connected directly to an outlet that’s not rated for aluminum.

I had a breaker box burn up because some body ran some aluminum in to it just as if it were copper, I would really be carefull using it even with the right connectors.