Any professional electricians here?
Friends have just moved into a beautiful house in a good neighbourhood, but have discovered that the original wiring is aluminum. This was commonly used in the '70s here, and one coworker told me years ago that when his house was built around '76 he asked for CU wire instead, willing to pay for the upgrade, but was refused.
I think that my friends' insurance company required that they have an inspection, and the AL wiring was discovered at that time. They have until the end of the month (November) to correct the wiring.
It seems that there are several ways to make aluminum wiring safe.
1. Replace all AL wiring with CU (Very costly, very invasive. Best for peace of mind, and a good choice if you're opening up walls to upgrade insulation and vapour barrier, but otherwise usually not done.)
2. Replace all devices (receptacles, switches, and lamps) with CU/AL-rated ones. This is apparently not effective, and doesn't meet address the existing AL-AL joints.
3. Add a CU pigtail to the AL wiring, so that all devices are connected to CU rather than AL.
We've elected to go with 3. (CU pigtails). I am working with my friend to do this work. I am not a professional electrician, but am reasonably competent at some of this work. I took a house-wiring course some years ago, take out permits, and get my work inspected. The inspectors have typically been happy with my work.
We done several receptacles and switches so far. We've been attaching the CU pigtails with AL/CU (dual-rated) Marrettes (twist-on connectors) and have been applying anti-corrosion paste to each connection.
So far so good ... however, I've been reading quite a bit online, and a preferred solution seems to be AlumiConn connectors:https://www.joneakes.com/jons-fixit-database/1183-Aluminum-to-Copper-electrical-connectorshttps://www.kinginnovation.com/products/20/3-port-alumiconn
The caveat seems to be that the AlumiConns work best IF the screws are tightened with a torque screwdriver (like a breakaway torque wrench I imagine).
The AlumiConns are readily available in the US, including at Home Depot, but don't seem to be available here. I thought that was because they weren't CSA approved, but they do seem to be.
So, my question is whether we're OK with the twist-on connectors and anti-corrosion paste, or whether we should hold out for the actual AlumiConns. (They are available online of course.)
There is the cost of the AlumiConns as well - they are expensive compared to the twist-ons.
The other thought is that there are online recommendations to replace conventional breakers with arc-fault-sensing breakers when a house has aluminum wiring. This would not be an alternative to the pigtails, but rather in addition to them.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this!