Aluminum wiring pigtails and AFCI/GFCI

billybandit

Member
Location
Greensboro NC
When adding copper pigtails to existing receptacles/switches via Alumacon/Copalum/Ideal connectors in a house having aluminum wiring, is there any NEC requirement to replace/add AFCI or GFCI protection to the receptacles or switches? I was not planning to replace any devices. The house was built in 1974.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
The NEC uses the word replacements. Technically since you're not replacing anything AFCI, GFCI and TR or WR receptacles would not be required. Take a look at 406.4(D).
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
The NEC uses the word replacements. Technically since you're not replacing anything AFCI, GFCI and TR or WR receptacles would not be required. Take a look at 406.4(D).
Then there is (D)3 & (D)4 that says if the receptacles are in an area that requires GFCI/AFCI then you have to use them.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Then there is (D)3 & (D)4 that says if the receptacles are in an area that requires GFCI/AFCI then you have to use them.
It says if the receptacles are being replaced, he's just removing and reinstalling the existing ones not replacing them.
 

billybandit

Member
Location
Greensboro NC
Is adding a pigtail considered a circuit modification? Seems to be a possible "gray" area and might be subject to AHJ interpretation and application of 210.12(D).

Thanks for great answers!
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
I would say that it's extended by the pigtails but you're allowed up to 6' of extension before the requirements kicks in.
 

ramsy

Owner/Operator
Location
LA basin, CA
Occupation
Service Electrician 2017 NEC
Thanks for great answers!
Ideal Purple wirenuts with #10 AWG?
Re-use 46yr old plugs?
To avoid safety devices?
What customer tolerates this?

Electricians trained in commercial-building wiring methods, often attempt dwelling wiring methods with aluminum branch circuits, or AFCI requirements, never encountered in commercial buildings.

This is how unqualified person's trash your house, with instruction from the Internet.
 

al hildenbrand

Senior Member
Location
Minnesota
Occupation
Electrical Contractor, Electrical Consultant, Electrical Engineer
What customer tolerates this?
There is a whole class of customers who are trying to improve the safety of their Premises Wiring (System) that will choose to go only as far as getting the copper pigtails installed. Simple economics of limited funds will lead to this choice.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
There is a whole class of customers who are trying to improve the safety of their Premises Wiring (System) that will choose to go only as far as getting the copper pigtails installed. Simple economics of limited funds will lead to this choice.
Good point. Full upgrade to TR, AFCI, GFCI, WR might mean that they will do nothing.
 

billybandit

Member
Location
Greensboro NC
Ideal Purple wirenuts with #10 AWG?
Re-use 46yr old plugs?
To avoid safety devices?
What customer tolerates this?

Electricians trained in commercial-building wiring methods, often attempt dwelling wiring methods with aluminum branch circuits, or AFCI requirements, never encountered in commercial buildings.

This is how unqualified person's trash your house, with instruction from the Internet.
I look forward to reading your answer and recommendation as it regards to the aforementioned “residential dwelling” application, and I hope that yours will be the solution that wins over this customer’s financial heart.
 

flashlight

Senior Member
Location
NY, NY
I have almost zero experience with aluminum, haven't seen it around NYC and nearby. I remember when I was first working in Arizona years ago, (don't ask how many !) we occasionally had to remedy incompatibility problems with AL conductors and CU lugs.

You are adding copper pigtails for same reason?
 

ramsy

Owner/Operator
Location
LA basin, CA
Occupation
Service Electrician 2017 NEC
I look forward to reading your answer and recommendation as it regards to the aforementioned “residential dwelling” application, and I hope that yours will be the solution that wins over this customer’s financial heart.
Most contractors know NRTL's failed #12 back-stabbed plugs over 30yrs ago, call backs from burn up failures are not compatible with warranty call backs, while old plugs in general fall apart when removed.

Further, complete remodel wiriing is different from service repairs. This has been discussed before on this forum.

My work is limited to minor repair only. My forum profile, website link, shows how unlicensed contractors are legally disgorged of all payment, if total invoice exceeds $500, per State law.

My business advertises this unlicensed limit for minor repairs, along with CEU's, and commercial general liability coverage for repair of power failures, 1 circuit at a time. My clients don't have a choice to violate code, or void their insurance policy.
 

hotneutral

Member
Location
Florida
I have not done an alumiconn job which did not involve replacing the receptacles with new TR duplexes. Reinstalling the old receptacles is a safety hazard especially since aluminum was terminated on them or copper pigtailed from aluminum improperly was. My understanding of the code is that all these replacements should be AF protected but most inspectors in my area do not enforce that unless there is more work being done in the house. The extra $ for the AF breakers or devices can discourage customers and remedying the aluminum terminations of obvious importance.
Side note: I thought I read somewhere that the Ideal purple aluminum wire nuts are not accepted by many insurance companies. Anyone heard the same?
 
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