How to Safely Repair Aluminum Wiring in Your Home

How to Safely Repair Aluminum Wiring in Your Home

Aluminum wiring can be concerning for homeowners, but with the right precautions it can be repaired safely. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to safely fix aluminum wiring in your house.

Dangers of Aluminum Wiring

Aluminum wiring was used in many homes built between 1965 and 1973. Compared to copper, aluminum is a less ideal material for electrical wiring because:

These factors make aluminum wiring more prone to overheating, arcing faults, flickering lights, and even electrical fires. However, with proper maintenance and repair, the risks can be mitigated.

Signs You May Have Aluminum Wiring

Here are some signs that suggest your home may have aluminum wiring:

If you suspect your home has aluminum wiring, consulting with an electrician is highly recommended.

Inspecting & Testing for Aluminum Wiring

Before attempting repairs, the wiring should be thoroughly inspected and tested. Here are the steps:

Thorough inspection and testing will confirm if aluminum wiring needs to be repaired or replaced.

Safely Repairing Aluminum Wiring

If your home does have aluminum wiring, here are methods for safely repairing it:


This involves attaching a short piece of copper wire to the aluminum wire branch circuit. The copper "pigtail" is attached to the switch/outlet. This provides a copper to copper connection which is far safer than copper to aluminum.

COPALUM Crimp Splices

These special twist-on wire connectors are designed and UL-listed for splicing copper and aluminum wires. Proper technique is crucial.

AlumiConn Connectors

These connectors completely avoid copper-aluminum contact through a mechanical pressure connection separated by a plastic insulator.

Replace Individual Branches

For problematic circuit branches, you can replace just that section of aluminum wiring with new copper wire.

Full Rewiring

If aluminum wiring is too widespread, a full rewire with copper may be warranted. This is the most expensive option.

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)

Installing AFCIs provides advanced protection from dangerous electrical arcing faults.

Regular Maintenance

Ongoing inspections, testing, and tightening connections helps keep aluminum wiring in a safer state.

No matter the repair method, only utilize licensed electricians when working with aluminum wiring. Follow all electrical codes.

Preventing Electrical Fires

Because aluminum wiring carries higher fire risks, it's also wise to take fire prevention measures:

With vigilance and proper maintenance, aluminum wiring can be retained safely. But it's wise to take extra precautions due to its risks. Contact a qualified electrician immediately if you suspect any wiring issues in your home.