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Aluminum wiring pigtailing or AL/CU outlets and switches?

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Posted by: from Calgary
11/12/2014 at 2:55:56 PM

My home was built in 1975 and has aluminum wiring on the main floor (basement was done later and has copper). House is approx. 1,000 sq feet. Pig-tailing was done on the outlets and switches but I am not sure if they were all done or done properly.

I am looking to sell my home and the question has come up a few times. So I am wondering what the cost would be to get the pigtailing done properly or to put in the proper AL/CU outlets and switches. Only looking for estimates at this time.

Thanks

REPLIES (12)
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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time11/12/2014 at 4:53:47 PM

This sometimes can be a lengthy process and should be done by a trained electrician who knows how to work with AL and who will use proper materials and care to ensure the aluminum is not damaged causing hot spots and fire risk.

Some people think this work can be done by any DIY guy, truth is, it is not as easy as people think, even for trained people, and must avoid causing stress on the AL. Strippers, pliers and marrettes will all damage the aluminum conductors.

Here are 2 picture examples of what I mean, The first is a standard marrette twisted on AL/CU joint, that blue marrette melted from the inside outwards. The black mess on the bottom of the box was the marrette used on the white wires, totally disintegrated. The next of the switch is a result of using AL wires directly on a light switch not approved for AL wire!


Aluminum wiring pigtailing or AL/CU outlets and switches?

Aluminum wiring pigtailing or AL/CU outlets and switches?
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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time11/12/2014 at 5:18:42 PM

Oh, and cost could be from $15-$30 per unit, dimmers extra.

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Brad in Calgary
Date/Time11/12/2014 at 6:07:11 PM

Thanks - So $15-30 per outlet or switch, and then labour on top of that? What would the time be to get each one done? I'm assuming that if there is already pigtailing done, the cost per unit goes down but the amount of labour increases.

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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time11/12/2014 at 7:01:36 PM

If each one only needs to be checked and does not require work, 2-3 minutes per unit. Other than that, that price quoted is labor and materials total. 7-12 minutes per unit.

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Mirek from Mirek Electric in Mississauga
Date/Time11/12/2014 at 8:17:09 PM

Hi Brad,

In your situation where the copper tailing was already done, I would charge you by the hour.

We would check all the existing work and corrected all the mistakes as we go.

You looking at $67.00/hour per electrician and $42.00/hour per apprentice plus materials.

I imagine 5 to 7 hours would do it.

Mirek

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Brad in Calgary
Date/Time11/12/2014 at 9:29:10 PM

Thanks for the input.

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Aseel from Ison Electric in Toronto
Date/Time11/12/2014 at 11:55:18 PM

I usually charge per hour for this type of job, plus any material used.my hour charge is $75. from my experience this will take 3-4 hours.

Also I would like to command Robert for his professional advise.

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Date/Time11/13/2014 at 8:09:40 AM

Hi Brad

Robert has provided some good advice (he always does), but there are a couple of things that he did not mentioned that I often run into when doing this type of work.

When doing the "pigtailing" there is a couple of different methods that are used for this; regardless of the method you have situations where you get into a box fill situation where the existing device box is too small and has to be changed out.

The second is a formal written report that you need for your insurance company or real estate agent to verify the work was done correctly by a certified electrical contractor.

Insurance companies tend to put unnecessary fear out there about AL wire and they should not be doing that; AL wire is perfectly safe if it is properly installed and maintained.

Here is a link to an article I wrote for Trusted Pros on the topic....

https://trustedpros.ca/articles/electrical/aluminum-wire---whats-all-the-hype

Cheers

John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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Brad in Calgary
Date/Time11/13/2014 at 10:42:37 AM

Thanks for that, the link is not working for me however. Good info so far.

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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time11/13/2014 at 4:34:55 PM

John is a great electrician, his web link skills are sometimes challenged though (lol), try this:

https://trustedpros.ca/articles/electrical/aluminum-wire---whats-all-the-hype

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Robert from Electrilight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time11/13/2014 at 4:38:02 PM

Seems the link is dead, but search the trusted pros data articles - electrical - https :// trustedpros.ca / articles / electrical / aluminum wire whats all the hype.

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Date/Time4/22/2015 at 11:19:37 AM

Hi Brad,

I have helped 2 customers with the same issue: AL wiring in their older home. I changed out all of the receptacles, switches and inspected/repaired lighting fixture terminations.

I reviewed the work with both Customers and we agreed to my quote of $40.00 per outlet, labour and material included. I was asked to write a report on the AL/CU joint wiring on the new AL/CU rated devices, for the Customer's Home Insurance Policy to be amended.

These Customers were in Edmonton and Sherwood Park. I had also checked with the Electrical Authorities in both cities, to ensure my work was in Compliance with the Alberta Safety Codes Act. I had met compliance.

Thank you,

Randy

Master Electrician

RGP Consulting and Electric Ltd.

Ardrossan, AB.

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