Would AFCIs be a good solution to a house wired with aluminum wiring? I understand re-wiring is best. But how would an AFCI work as compared to copalum crimping?
It would not be a total solution since a bad aluminum connection under load can slowly heat up to the point of ignition. AFCI’s are programmed to detect only the most common arc waveforms. Having them installed as another level of safety is a very good idea. Aluminum wiring was one of the original reasons they developed AFCI’s.
Be careful in implying that AFCI’s are easy to install, it is common to have shared neutrals and problems that will trip the AFCI as soon as its turned on. The labor involved to correct the wiring can be enormous.
I think AFCI’s might also be a good idea with knob & tube wiring. I have even recommended it as an ‘upgrade’ a time or two for homes with K&T.
Now where can I get a AFCI screw in fuse???
Rewiring is not the best solution. Unless you feel that buying a new car is the best solution for flat tires.
Jeff, what is the best, most practical, solution?
The point of attachment is where the problems lie with AL wiring. Correcting the connections is far less expensive than rewiring a residence.
Copalum crimps are a reasonable solution. There are new products available as well, but I don’t have that info handy.
Installing AFCI’s could be helpful if the residence is wired in a manner that will accept the breakers currently available.