Client –

The seller’s disclosure states that the property has aluminum wiring that’s been pigtailed.  I plan to talk to management tomorrow about when this was done, and whether the entire development was included or whether this was done on a unit-by-unit decision basis.

Do you feel qualified to look at the box and tell us whether the pig tailing was done properly, and is still in good condition?  Or, do you feel we should contact an electrician to check it out?

Robert –

I always open and examine the electrical panel when accessible. I test all outlets for continuity but do open a few random outlets to identify if they are pig-tailed when wiring in the panel is aluminum.

The wiring in the panel should have antioxidant on the connections and one gauge larger wire used than if it were copper to the breakers.

Pig-tailing copper to aluminum wires is the preferred method when done correctly by the city of Plano. Attaching a strand of copper wire to the aluminum using a Al/Cu Wire Connector (these are usually purple for identification).

CPSC recommends COPALUM connector repair. CPSC does not support pig-tailing mentioned above.

Another standard method is to change out all receptacles and switches with a CO/ALR (works with copper or aluminum for expansion) device.

I don’t know what Dallas/Richardson requires.

Everything should be upgraded that includes all outlets, receptacles, switches, and junction boxes (in the attic or other), microwave, electric water heater, HVAC connections.

I will review the panel and a few random switches and outlets however you would need and electrician if you want someone to open each and every connection and make a list of anything observed that does not comply.