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GFCI Outlets and Aluminum Wire


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Safely Wire GFCI Outlets: Creating a Copper Pig Tail with Aluminum Wire, Working with Aluminum Wire, Splicing Aluminum Wire, Anti-Corrosion Ointment for Aluminum Wire, Attaching Aluminum Wire, AL/CU Rated Outlets and Switches.


Wiring GFCI Outlets

Electrical Question: Are GFI outlets compatible with aluminum wiring, or do I need to make pigtails?

  • I’m changing all the plugs and switches in a house and need to pass a electrical inspection.

This home electrical wiring question came from: Ed, in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Ed.

How to Safely Wire GFCI Outlets

Application: Wiring or Replacing a GFCI Outlet.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the number of outlets that will be replaced.
Precaution: Identify the GFCI outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.

Creating a Copper Pig Tail with Aluminum Wire

  • Working with Aluminum Wire
    • Special methods must be applied when working with aluminum electrical wiring in order to prevent corrosion and loose connections which can be caused by heat as a result of the amperage load which is placed on electrical circuit wiring and components.
  • Splicing Aluminum Wire
    • When installing or replacing 120 volt 15 amp or 20 amp switches and outlet receptacles where¬† aluminum wiring has been installed,¬† the aluminum wires should be spliced together and a copper wire pigtail should be added.
  • Anti-Corrosion Ointment for Aluminum Wire
    • The splice must be coated with approved AL/CU anti-corrosion ointment and approved AL/CU wire connectors of the appropriate size must be used.
  • Attaching Aluminum Wire
    The copper pig tail will then be attached to the outlet or light switch terminal depending on the device or the application.
  • AL/CU Rated Outlets and Switches
    In locations where it is allowed, aluminum wire may be attached directly to outlets and switches that are identified and labeled with the approved AL/CU wire type designation.

More about Wiring GFCI Outlets

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  • Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.

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Wiring Home Electrical Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
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Troubleshooting and Repair Electrical Wiring
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “GFCI Outlets and Aluminum Wire”
  1. Toby Singleton says:

    I live in Hampton Roads,Virginia and would like to know where to buy a GFI outlet for outside. Thank you


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