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Thread: Install copper pigtails to aluminum

  1. #1
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    Install copper pigtails to aluminum

    Hello Fellow Electricians,

    I have an offer to install copper pigtails to existing aluminum wire on all switches,outlets and lights in 2 story home with basement. The lights are recess and some fans.

    There is approx 45 switches,50 outlets,7 fans, 15 recess lights and other lights.
    Give or take of course.

    Can someone please tell me how to estimate this job. Is it by device plus material? Is it hourly. Home owner asked me to get back to him no later than Wednesday afternoon and I just seen him. It's Monday afternoon.
    I'm a new business owner trying hard to learn the craft of estimating.

    Sincerely,
    Staticcontrol

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    If you are just going to pigtail with the proper connectors then I would figure at least 2-3 days labor (16-24 man hours) and about $5 per device. If you are replacing the device then you would have to add more money for the device and new plates.

    I guess it would depend on how fast you can work but 95 devices to take out pigtail and reinstall is going to take time.

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    make sure your estimate/contract clearly explains (and make them initial next to this section) that there may be additional work required that is not part of the estimate.

    As soon as you start pulling devices in an aluminum wired house, you are going to find all sorts of stuff you have to fix and HO isnt going to want to pay.

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    I agree with the other two post, with aluminum you should take extra time. Some of the wires may be corroaded, that is esspecially common with aluminum. I have had to go 18 inches above the box to find good non brittle insulation.
    And I have done jobs that went very quickly. A lot depends on if they had used electric space heaters or not.
    I done a 12 unit apartment building.
    Last edited by Buck Parrish; 06-29-09 at 09:57 PM.

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    In addition to what has been written above, I'd do a site (home) survey as well. Make sure the HO moves all of the furniture and other belongings out of your way.

    Long ago, I had a full-sized gun safe (~550lbs), bolted through the floor, in front of an outlet. Moving it would have (and did) take almost an entire day. Right now, I have two outlets and a switch that are blocked by heavy furniture (desks). My point is that there may be non-electrical related issues that can also affect your quote or bottom line.

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    What method of connection are you planning on using for CU to AL? I'm puzzled by the fan, recess and other lights. :-? Why pigtail copper to aluminum and then back to copper?

    Have you thought about changing the devices to AL instead of adding the pigtails?
    Last edited by 1793; 06-29-09 at 10:05 PM. Reason: More to think about
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1793 View Post
    What method of connection are you planning on using for CU to AL? I'm puzzled by the fan, recess and other lights. :-? Why pigtail copper to aluminum and then back to copper?
    I think the op wants to use copper pigtails and connect them to the existing aluminum wire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
    I think the op wants to use copper pigtails and connect them to the existing aluminum wire.
    It is late and been a long day but I still don't see the need for the pigtails for the fans and lights.
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    Copper pigtails to aluminum

    HELLO,

    The house is EMPTY. Completely. I still would like to hear of a good estimate please. I appreciate the posts so far but not confident yet in the advice as far as price goes. The home owner wants the aluminum wire that connects the recess lights, fan etc, to be copper. This will involve me taking down lights and exposeing the junction box to make splices. I'll be using wire nuts special for this application. The other factors are understood. Thank you.

    Very Best,

    Staticcontrol
    Last edited by staticcontrol; 06-29-09 at 10:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staticcontrol View Post
    HELLO,

    The house is EMPTY. Completely. I still would like to hear of a good estimate please. I appreciate the posts so far but not confident yet in the advice as far as price goes. The other factors are understood. Thank you.

    Very Best,

    Staticcontrol
    I would start at T & M. The type of connectors being used should make an impact on your price. You also need to think about box fill issues in pricing this project.
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