How to Splice Aluminum Wiring Without Pigtails


Splicing aluminum wiring can be challenging, but with the right materials and technique, it is possible to make safe and reliable connections without pigtails.

Dangers of Aluminum Wiring

Aluminum wiring was commonly installed in homes built between 1965 and 1973. While aluminum is a good conductor of electricity, it has some drawbacks:

These factors can lead to overheating and fire hazards if aluminum wires are not properly installed and maintained.

Reasons to Avoid Pigtails

Pigtails are short lengths of copper wire that are spliced to existing aluminum wire to mitigate the risks mentioned above. However, there are some downsides to pigtails:

That's why I prefer splicing aluminum to aluminum when possible.

Recommended Materials

To safely splice aluminum wiring without pigtails, you need:

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to properly splice aluminum wiring without pigtails:

1. Turn Off Power

Shut off power to the circuit at the breaker box. Verify it is off using a non-contact voltage tester.

2. prep The Wires

Use sandpaper or emery cloth to rough up the last 1/2 inch of each wire. This cleans off oxidation and creates a better connection surface.

3. Apply No-Ox Grease

Twist the strands of each wire tightly together. Apply a thin coat of No-Ox grease to each wire end. This prevents future oxidation.

4. Join The Wires

Hold the wires together with their ends aligned evenly. Twist a CO/ALR rated wire connector clockwise until tight. Give each wire a firm tug to ensure a solid connection.

5. Check Your Work

Restore power and use a multimeter to check continuity across the splice. Verify there is no excess resistance.

Tips for Reliable Connections

Follow these tips for optimal aluminum wire splices:

Warning Signs of Unsafe Aluminum Wiring

Watch for these warning signs of deteriorating aluminum wire and connections:

If you notice any of these, disconnect power and inspect all wiring and connections. Consult an electrician if you have concerns.


Splicing aluminum wiring without pigtails is safe and reliable if done properly using the right materials. But problems can still occur if original installations were faulty. Any home with aluminum wiring should be thoroughly inspected by a qualified electrician. Replacement with copper wiring may be recommended in some situations.