Nix aluminum wiring fire hazard

Copper pigtails to the rescue

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DEAR BARRY: My home has aluminum wiring. In one of your articles, you recommended copper pigtails on the wire ends to eliminate a fire hazard. So I called my local building department to get their advice. The building inspector I spoke to is a retired electrician who became a county building inspector. He told me that aluminum wiring is safe as long as it is not overloaded, and that connecting aluminum wire to copper "pigtails" is not advisable. He said the only way to eliminate the hazards caused by aluminum wire is to completely rewire the house. With two conflicting opinions, whom do I believe? –Nancy

DEAR NANCY: It is surprising that a professional building inspector and former electrician would be unaware of aluminum wire issues and the accepted method of correction. This has been widely recognized within the electrical profession for many years.