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My house was built in 1972 and it has all aluminum wiring. I need to replace switches and outlets. Can I replace these with switches made for copper wiring? Or what do I need to look for at the hardware store?
You need to use devices that are al/cu rated or install copper pigtails with connectors like alumiconn http://www.alcopstore.com/order/ Some Lowes stores carry them also . Which ever way you go be sure to use an anti oxidation paste.
Only devices rated 30A and higher are rated "CU/AL." Devices rated for 15 or 20A are rated "CO/ALR."
At one time, 15 and 20A devices were rated CU/AL, but it was discovered that they still didn't provide a good connection, so a new style was devised and named CO/ALR (the R is for "Revised").