Aluminum Wiring

I received this email Today.

How do you report conditions related to Aluminum wiring when encountered.

Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2007 11:16 AM
Subject: Aluminum wiring
[FONT=Arial]*I just went through a small claims law suit. I used the NACHI forums for some research. I came across a forum with you and some others speaking back and forth about Copalum crimping and aluminum wiring. I am not a member so I could not post. I was the seller of a home in Phoenix. The buyer read the inspectors summary report making the general “fire hazard” statements about aluminum wiring and recommended seeking counsel of an electrician and with proper methods “such as Copalum crimp”. The buyer stupidly copied and pasted from the summary report of the inspection to make his repair request. The electrician and I interpreted it as repair outlets or switches properly that are not working. All of outlets and switches did work by the way. The buyer was thinking the entire house every switch, outlet and connection needed to be Copalum crimped. The buyer ends up trying to sue me to have everything Copalum crimped in the house. The judge sided in our favor within minutes saying that “we agreed to repair not to update the house”. *[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]*Copalum crimping is an extremely expensive method. Each Copalum nut is $2.70 (in Phoenix), must be performed by a certified electrician who has gone through a certified Copalum crimp school. Copalum crimp is not a common method nor is it the only method approved by the NEC. I like the fact that you refer electrical stuff to an electrician. Too many inspectors are or inadvertently advising a little too much and those buyers who lack any common sense think take every word to heart. Too many people are looking at the smear campaign all over the internet concerning aluminum wiring. I wonder what company is behind all of that??? No home inspector should ever mention only one method of repair. They should either mention all of them or none of them. Please post this for me. Anyone is welcome to ask about my situation via email. I emailed this to you since your email was the only one I found of the posters. *[/FONT]

Once again Joe,

Good stuff.


I think the concerns around aluminum wiring are very real. I have yet to see an aluminum wired house without some sort of past/present arcing condition (burned wires, melted wirenuts, buzzing switches)----I don’t think there is any “smear” campaign against aluminum wiring. Copalum connections are the only CPSC approved connection regardless of what the NEC says----I would like to see a reference of the NEC saying anything one way or the other about it.

And I am on the other side of the fence .
I had aluminum in my last home and never had a concern.
I have inspected many homes with Aluminum wire and also have never had a concern .
Now Insurance companies are a different thing .
I was looking to but a nice home in Brighton and it had Aluminum no insurance company in this area would give a insurance .
Now I do a lot of inspections in Port Hope 25 miles away and 90% of the home in one area are all wired with aluminum and they never have a problem getting insurance.
Ontario Hydro has never condemned Aluminum wire in Canada.

… Cookie

That’s correct. The only “permanent” correction (short of rewiring the home) as advised by the CPSC. That’s why we will suggest cop-alum crimps.

The NEC does not address “corrective measures” for problematic or deficient systems. However, as the poster stated, there are other alternatives. None of which are advised by the CPSC. If your electrician suggests a less expensive correction, he is certainly well within his rights to do so, as he is assuming the liability for the repairs.

I too am from the side of the fence that solid conductor aluminum wiring is a potential hazard. About half of the homes in a sub-division I live in late in the 80’s had aluminum wiring. Several house fires occurred during the five years I lived there, and all were due to the aluminum wiring.

I call out it’s presence in the home, and defer to an electrician for a thorough evaluation of the electric system.


I’m a fan of these: Never than the cpsc posts here, and NEC compliant. :wink:


To square with teh NEC, you could go out this very day and wire an entire home with aluminium wiring if you wanted to. That would be dumb of you, but it’s still permissible.

I handle aluminium wired homes with more of a hybrid repair method. Replace as much as can be replaced with copper, without doing damage to the wall and ceiling finishes. What’s left, either CopAlum or change the devices to AL/CU rated one’s and put them on an annual PM program to check the aluminium terminations each year.

Guys… come on,
If a solid aluminum conductor is found during an inspection simply refer it out to a licensed electrician for evaluation instead of providing a “specialist solution”. We all know (or should if we actually read NACHI’s Electircal Course) that the presence of a solid aluminum conductor is an issue. Let the electrician determine what fix they are going to use not us. Remember “non-invasive…non-technical” is the key.

I have been told the Aluminum wire used in Canada was a different type then was used In USA that could be the reason very little problems with it here .
Same as FP panels no big concern Different panels then in USA.
… Cookie


Bear in mind CPSC is a political organization, U/L is a nationally recognized testing lab. U/L does list a couple other ways to deal with aluminum, not insignificantly the CO/ALr device. As much as CPSC and Inspect-NY hate them the Ideal 65 wirenut is also listed. The NEC only refers to nationally recognized testing labs, CPSC is NOT on that list.
You can pump up the Copalum device and the electricians will love you for it but don’t be confused about the code compliance issues and don’t be shocked if a lawyer notices too.

What is the Ideal 65? Have a link?

Therefore, you should seek the counsel of a electrician who is familiar with this issue**, and with the recommended procedures for correcting the known deficiencies, such as Copalum crimping


Most Electricians here (and Realtors) say things like, “well there have been no problems yet”. But they will not write the, no problems yet BS down, I womder why?

Be aware that the Ideal purple wirenut is for AL/CU connections only, NOT AL/AL connections.

Ideal 65 Wirenut

Joe to be far, I come across more Cu/Cu wire nuts melted than I’ve ‘heard’ of Ideals Al/Cu melted.

To be fair, we (HI’s) shouldn’t negatively speak against a UL/CSA approved product based on 10 year old information. Or even in favor of one.



I think that UL and CPSC and other groups are all interested in electrical safety. There may be politics involved with almost anything; and, I think we can all agree that while recalled Cadet heaters are UL listed that what the CPSC has to say about them is more important than the UL listing.

I like these connectors…:smiley: