How to Apply Antioxidants to Aluminum Wiring

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Use care with aluminum wiring. Aluminum reacts with oxygen in the air. The resulting oxidation causes extra resistance to the electric current. This means an increase in heat that possibly results in fire. Many electricians recommend changing out aluminum wires in favor copper wiring. However, if you're using aluminum wiring, applying an antioxidant to the aluminum wiring makes it safer. This application is available in a grease form that prevents the oxygen in the air from affecting the aluminum.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire stripper
  • Antioxidation grease
  • 240-grit wet-or-dry abrasive paper
  • UL-approved wire nut connector

Strip the wire’s coating with a wire stripper. Do not nick the wire.

Squirt some antioxidation grease onto your fingers. It coats the aluminum wiring and prevents oxygen from penetrating.

Rub the wires with your fingers, thickly coating the wire with the grease. Wiping the wires with 240-grit wet-or-dry abrasive paper helps work the grease into the wire.

Attach a UL-approved wire nut connector to any junctions between aluminum and copper wiring. Copper increases aluminum’s oxidation rate when they contact each other. The wire nut connectors are prefilled with antioxidant cream and are specifically designed to prevent oxidation at aluminum and copper junctions.

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