The aluminum winding wire should be evaluated by a qualified electrician who is experienced in evaluating and correcting aluminum wiring problems. Not all licensed electricians are properly trained to deal with defective aluminum wiring. The CPSC recommends the following two methods for correction for aluminum wiring:
Rewire the home with copper wire. While this is the most effective method, rewiring is expensive and impractical, in most cases.
Use copalum crimps. The crimp connector repair consists of attaching a piece of copper wire to the existing aluminum wire branch circuit with a specially designed metal sleeve and powered crimping tool. This special connector can be properly installed only with the matching AMP tool. An insulating sleeve is placed around the crimp connector to complete the repair. Although effective, they are expensive (typically around $50 per outlet, switch or light fixture).
Although not recommended by the CPSC as methods of permanent repair for defective aluminum wiring, the following methods may be considered:
application of anti-oxidant paste. This method can be used for wires that are multi-stranded or wires that are too large to be effectively crimped.
pigtailing. This method involves attaching a short piece of copper wire to the aluminum wire with a twist-on connector. the copper wire is connected to the switch, wall outlet or other termination device. This method is only effective if the connections between the aluminum wires and the copper pigtails are extremely reliable. Pigtailing with some types of connectors, even though Underwriters Laboratories might presently list them for the application, can lead to increasing the hazard. Also, beware that pigtailing will increase the number of connections, all of which must be maintained. Aluminum Wiring Repair (AWR), Inc., of Aurora, Colorado, advises that pigtailing can be useful as a temporary repair or in isolated applications, such as the installation of a ceiling fan.
CO/ALR connections. According to the CPSC, these devices cannot be used for all parts of the wiring system, such as ceiling-mounted light fixtures or permanently wired appliances and, as such, CO/ALR connections cannot constitute a complete repair. Also, according to AWR, these connections often loosen over time.
alumiconn. Although AWR believes this method may be an effective temporary fix, they are wary that it has little history, and that they are larger than copper crimps and are often incorrectly applied.
Replace certain failure-prone types of devices and connections with others that are more compatible with aluminum wire.
Remove the ignitable materials from the vicinity of the connections.
The ECCA wire is the color of aluminum and are easily discernible from copper and other metals.