Homeowner questions aluminum wire repair

Lack of special connectors raises concern

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Dear Barry, My home was built in 1970 and has aluminum wiring for the wall outlets. My home inspector said this could be unsafe, so I hired an electrician. He connected short copper wires to all of the aluminum wire ends and secured these with regular wire nuts. I thought code required special connectors for this kind of repair, but the electrician assured me the connections are very tight and will not be a problem. Does this sound OK? –Harry Dear Harry, You are right to be concerned. Aluminum wire connections sometimes pose a fire hazard, and special connectors are needed when retrofitting them with copper ends. Aluminum wiring was installed for lights and outlets in many homes from the late 1960s through the early '70s. Its use was curtailed when loose or improper connections were discovered to cause fires. Homeowners often assume that aluminum wiring must be replaced, that total rewiring is necessary for fire safety. But this is a costly and needless over-reaction. Instal...