Home buyers inspector at it again

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csett

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I have a potential customer who is a realator that is in the process of selling a home. The issue the home buyer inspector found out that part of the home is wired using aluminum conductors. Later the recepticals were pigtailed using copper conductors. Therefore the inspector informed the realator that the only way he could fix the problem is by using a crimped type of connection to couple the two metals together and that this method was the only one in which a liecend professoinal with approved training in this method could perform. Does this sound familiar and if so are there any alternative methods?
 

George Stolz

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Windsor, CO NEC: 2017
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Yes, it does.

I think I heard that 3M or one of the other big wirenut manufacturers makes a wirenut that is listed for connecting aluminum to copper. If that's the case, then they are expensive, but not as much as the super-special crimp connectors.

It would be less expensive to install CU/AL devices and forget the pigtails, in many cases.
 

kingpb

Senior Member
The correct use of a 3M wire nut is labor intensive. The wire nut is cheap, but each wire needs to be stripped, coated, sanded, twisted and excess cleaned off. The data indicates the TYCO COPALUM crimp device is the only permanent way to fix it.

Sounds like a whole lot of residentail work available. I would make some fliers, and canvas the neighborhoods were known aluminum wiring exists. Nothing like a little scare tactic (I mean consumer awareness) to get some work.
 

don_resqcapt19

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Illinois
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retired electrician
Bob,
which looks suspicious until you realize that they are the only ones with any incentive to compile the data in the first place.
Some of their data has been refuted by UL and Ideal.
Don
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
don_resqcapt19 said:
Bob,

Some of their data has been refuted by UL and Ideal.
Don

Who have every reason to do so.

I don't know or much care about who is "right". I am convinced that the crimped on pigtails are a "better" choice. Whether it is the only safe choice, I am unqualified to determine.
 

celtic

Senior Member
Location
NJ
csett said:
...the inspector informed the realator that the only way he could fix the problem ....
I hope that was just a little typo.
Here in NJ, a HI (home inspector) cannot solict work on a property he has inspected for a period of 12 months (might be 24 ??).
 

don_resqcapt19

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Location
Illinois
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retired electrician
Or as george said the COALR devices
As far as I know the CO/ALR devices have not be investigated for use with the original aluminum conductors that have caused the problems. These devices were designed to be used with the new aluminum alloy that came into the market ~1973.
Don
 

Jljohnson

Senior Member
Location
Colorado
Another new product on the market that may be a viable alternative. CoppAlum is definitely a good product, but expensive and when I looked into it, I had to rent the crimp tool from them for 3x what the tool was worth. They will not seel them. Check out this link www.alumiconn.com
 
Jljohnson said:
Another new product on the market that may be a viable alternative. CoppAlum is definitely a good product, but expensive and when I looked into it, I had to rent the crimp tool from them for 3x what the tool was worth. They will not seel them. Check out this link www.alumiconn.com
You can't just walk in & rent the tool!
click here

don_resqcapt19 said:
As far as I know the CO/ALR devices have not be investigated for use with the original aluminum conductors that have caused the problems. These devices were designed to be used with the new aluminum alloy that came into the market ~1973.
Don
Since when do devices have to be investigated before we use them?
As far as I know, if there was a problem with pre 1973 wires, there would be a warning label with the devices or listing associated with them.
Simular to a warning on light fixtures.."Warning, risk of fire, do not use more than a 60 watt bulb"
And there isn't......
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
Jljohnson said:
Another new product on the market that may be a viable alternative. CoppAlum is definitely a good product, but expensive and when I looked into it, I had to rent the crimp tool from them for 3x what the tool was worth. They will not seel them. Check out this link www.alumiconn.com

Interestingly, if you check out one of their links it advocates DIYers doing the pigtailing.

http://www.alumiconn.com/links.html

links to

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/electrical-wiring/part2/section-16.html

which in the very last paragraph says

If the wrong receptacles are used, you can replace them with the proper type, or use pigtails - having this professionally done can range from $3 to $10 per receptacle/switch. You can do this yourself too.
 

renosteinke

Senior Member
Location
NE Arkansas
Home buyers inspector at it again

While the "data" on the Tyco product may seem persuasive, its' endorsement is from the CPSC, which has a very spotted record of endorsements. Nor, for that matter, does Tyco seem the least bit interested in certifying / supplying contractors with the product.

Interstingly, the Aliminum wire makers are sending reps around IAEI meetings, again extolling the virtues of aluminum wire. Turning our collective memories on their heads, the reps are insisting that there is NO MORE NEED to sand, coat, etc aluminum wire, than there is for copper wire. They assert that the connection process will break through any oxide coating the wire.

I have also found that Ideal is NOT the only game in town. Thomas & Betts makes "Marlettes", wire nuts listed for joining copper to aluminum.


So we have quire a conflict here. One side of the argument says "no big deal, just use the right wire nut." The other side says "horror- you need to re-wire!"

I give up. Just burn the place down, and start over.
 
Cpsc

Cpsc

The Consumer Product Safety Commision has an article on this subject. They state that any method other than the AMP brand crimp method is not acceptable. Take that for what its worth.
 
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