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Thread: Copalum installers in Washington State?

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    Copalum installers in Washington State?

    My daughter is looking to buy a house near Seattle. She had a home inspection performed on one house they were interested in, and discovered it has some aluminum branch circuit wiring present.

    The inspection report recommended Copalum connections for any remaining aluminum branch circuit wiring. The report also stated that, "The only approved Copalum connector installer in Washington State is: Pop Electric, 425 788-5118"

    I find it hard to believe that there is only ONE contractor in the entire state approved to install the Copalum system?

    Anyone from the Pacific Northwest care to comment on this?

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    More importantly, you're going to let your daughter move into a house with aluminum branch circuits?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow View Post
    More importantly, you're going to let your daughter move into a house with aluminum branch circuits?
    I have no final say-so as to what my daughter and her husband decide to do. I can only act in an advisement capacity here. There was another issue with that particular house: IT has a Federal Pacific split-bus panel. That, combined with the aluminum wiring would be enough for me to walk away from.

    I advised her to ask for several thousand dollars in concessions to defray the cost of replacing the service panel, and mitigating the aluminum wiring, if they really wanted that house due to its location and other factors.

    But the biggest surprise was the inspection-critter's report stated there was only one qualified contractor that can do the Copalum installation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
    I have no final say-so as to what my daughter and her husband decide to do. I can only act in an advisement capacity here. There was another issue with that particular house: IT has a Federal Pacific split-bus panel. That, combined with the aluminum wiring would be enough for me to walk away from.

    I advised her to ask for several thousand dollars in concessions to defray the cost of replacing the service panel, and mitigating the aluminum wiring, if they really wanted that house due to its location and other factors.

    But the biggest surprise was the inspection-critter's report stated there was only one qualified contractor that can do the Copalum installation.
    that would be most likely correct.... i was looking at doing the copalum dance, and was looking at certified
    sparkies in socalif, and there are literally millions of aluminum wired houses here.

    there were FOUR of them in the socal area. one of every six people in america lives here.

    and then, when you contact tyco, and see the hoops you jump thru....
    you wonder why there were so many....

    fly their tech out to certify your people, or fly your people to tyco's corporate hq.
    pay the cert fee... something like $1,200 or $1,500 per person.
    lease the crimp tool, at about $350 or $400 a month....
    pay a buck and change per crimp.....

    and their amazing indifference to the program... when i asked, they
    weren't even sure they were going to continue the program... they
    had one guy managing it at the time......

    that was five years ago... i had looked at it twenty years ago, and
    it was the same sorta thing, just a very minor part of a huge corporation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
    I have no final say-so as to what my daughter and her husband decide to do. I can only act in an advisement capacity here. There was another issue with that particular house: IT has a Federal Pacific split-bus panel. That, combined with the aluminum wiring would be enough for me to walk away from.

    I advised her to ask for several thousand dollars in concessions to defray the cost of replacing the service panel, and mitigating the aluminum wiring, if they really wanted that house due to its location and other factors.

    But the biggest surprise was the inspection-critter's report stated there was only one qualified contractor that can do the Copalum installation.
    Your children must know mine!!!!???? You should rewire the house for them. It would be a nice house warming present...
    Last edited by mike7330; 01-25-12 at 07:55 PM. Reason: spelling?

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    for free of course.

    bull like what cow say

    (ps, i'm in WA and never heard of any of this)
    The End of the World as i Knew it: 2012. I'm having my Doom's Day now.

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    I looked into becoming Copalum certified, since we submitted a proposal to do a condo complex. About 55 units or so, with that much volume, it would be worth the trouble and expense, etc.

    But they did not sign the contract, so here we are. I won't go to all that expense unless we have the jobs to back it up.

    It will have to be their insurance company that demands the procedure, I'm afraid. Otherwise, they don't want to part with the required $$$ to get the job done right.

    My daughter has for the time being walked away from this house, and is looking at another one, built much more recently (early 1990's). Another $400-500 for another house inspection report, this one makes 4 or 5 now ....

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    I spoke with another electrician several years ago about a home I was working on for a realtor. I had advised her that if they were really serious about fixing the AL wiring about the only way to go is to replace or the COPALUM product. After I contacted TYCO I said the heck with that and got the names of certified installers in NJ, there were only 3 or 4. After speaking with this guy, he told me he has been renting the equipment since he was certified as once you return it it's hard to get back. Further discussion brought about that this system while a good fix many times requires additional work to replace under sized boxes and wiring that is too short. I couldn't get over the fact that he had been renting it all that time and did few jobs with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken9876 View Post
    I spoke with another electrician several years ago about a home I was working on for a realtor. I had advised her that if they were really serious about fixing the AL wiring about the only way to go is to replace or the COPALUM product. After I contacted TYCO I said the heck with that and got the names of certified installers in NJ, there were only 3 or 4. After speaking with this guy, he told me he has been renting the equipment since he was certified as once you return it it's hard to get back. Further discussion brought about that this system while a good fix many times requires additional work to replace under sized boxes and wiring that is too short. I couldn't get over the fact that he had been renting it all that time and did few jobs with it.
    here's what will drive it to get done....

    when the actuaries for the fire insurance won't write paper on houses with aluminum wire
    unless they are copalum or complete rewire.

    i heard hartford won't write paper on aluminum wired houses any more.
    the ones that are grandfathered in get renewed, but that is it.

    and you have to have a fire insurance policy to close escrow.

    so, rewires or copalums will get done to close escrows. good news is
    that if an escrow officer is in the middle of it, you will get paid.

    i don't see squat happening till the insurance companys won't write paper
    any more. as long as ONE insurance company will write paper, then escrows
    will still close, and nothing will change.
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