Aluminum wires are better in electrical distribution and transmission. However, typical household wiring devices (GFCI, receptacle outlets, light switches, etc.) are not rated for aluminum wire. As a result, an aluminum wired house is more at risk to reach hazardous fire conditions at the outlet wiring connections rather than homes that are wired with copper wires.
Unfortunately, electrical aluminum wires rarely show signs of deterioration. However, If you detect any of the following signs:
You potentially have an aluminum wire problem and you should contact a licensed electrician to address it. Do not try to do it yourself. You could get electrocuted or cause an electrical fire.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) only recommends the following three methods to fix aluminum wire problems permanently
The COPALUM and the AlumiConn methods consist of connecting copper wire to the end of the aluminum wire using a special COPALUM crimp connector or an AlumiConn wire lug connector. This process is often referred to as pigtailing. The repair must include all direct connections or splices involving aluminum wire in the home such as but not limited to electrical outlets, light switches, GFCIs, appliances, light fixtures and junction boxes. As a result, standard copper wiring devices (receptacles and dimmers) can now be safely connected to the home aluminum wires.
The COPALUM method can only be administrated by a certified COPALUM electrician who has been trained by the special dedicated tool and crimping die manufacturer. Please visit tooling.tycoelectronics.com/copalum/copalum_home.asp to find a certified COPALUM electrician near your area. The tool will not be available to you unless you have been trained by the manufacturer.
These two methods are often recommended by some electricians, as they tend to be significantly cheaper alternatives. However, most crimped and wire nut connectors are not designed to address the overheating problems presented by Aluminum wires at the electrical device's connections.
For additional information on how to effectively and permanently repair your Aluminum wire problem..
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