Branch Circuit in outlets


Are these Co-Palum connectors. Does the branch circuit wiring for the outlets also need to be retrofitted.

Those are alumicon connectors by king innovation. Odd that they are in the panel. The breakera are likely rated AL/CU but the devices are not. I can tell by the screws on them. The branch wiring should be remediated by a licensed electrical contractor.

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I see paint contamination

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Thank you so much!!! Stay safe, and have a nice weekend!

Here is a lot of information in a narrative form that you can cherry pick. If you are not qualified to offer remediation options please do not.

Circuit branch wiring included single-strand aluminum wiring. Between approximately 1965 and 1973 aluminum wiring was sometimes substituted for copper branch circuit wiring in residential electrical systems.

Neglected connections in outlets, switches and light fixtures containing aluminum wiring become increasingly dangerous as time passes. Poor connections cause wiring to overheat, creating a potential fire hazard.

In addition to creating a potential fire hazard, the presence of aluminum wiring may have an effect on your insurance policy. You should ask your insurance agent whether the presence of aluminum wiring is a problem that requires changes to your policy language in order to ensure that your house is covered.

Here are the reasons aluminum wiring connections deteriorate:

Thermal expansion and contraction :
Even more than copper, aluminum expands and contracts with changes in temperature. Over time, this will cause connections to loosen. When wires are poorly connected they overheat, which creates a potential fire hazard.

Vibration:
Electrical current vibrates as it passes through wiring. This vibration is more extreme in aluminum than it is in copper and as time passes, it can cause connections to loosen. Again, when wires are poorly connected they overheat, which creates a potential fire hazard.

Oxidation:
Exposure to oxygen in the air causes deterioration to the outer surface of wire. This process is called oxidation. Aluminum wire is more easily oxidized than copper wire and as time passes, this process can cause problems with connections. Again, when wires are poorly connected they overheat, which creates a potential fire hazard.

Galvanic corrosion:
When two different kinds of metal are connected to each other a very low-voltage electrical current is created which causes corrosion. Corrosion causes poor connections.

More information is available at this comprehensive website. https://inspectapedia.com/aluminum/Aluminum_Wiring_Hazards.php

Options for Correction:

  1. At a minimum, all connections should be checked and an anti-oxidant paste applied.

  2. Aluminum wire can be spliced to copper wire at the connections using approved wire nuts (called “pigtailing”, not recommended by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.)

  3. Copalum crimps can be installed. Although this is the safest option, Copalum Crimps are expensive (typically around $50 per outlet, switch or light fixture).

  4. AlumiConn Connectors can be installed which is an acceptable means of pigtailing and most common in our area. https://www.amazon.com/ALUM-COPPR-3PORT10PK-KING-MfrPartNo-95110/dp/B00IA87S0Y/

  5. Complete home re-wire. Costs will vary.

The inspector recommends that you consult with a licensed electrical contractor.

IMPORTANT CPSC INFORMATION ON THE TOPIC:

https://www.cpsc.gov/content/cpsc-safety-recommendations-for-aluminum-wiring-in-homes

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Nice stuff.
Most don’t get that voltage EMF stuff.

Thanks on the paint contamination. Also, this is in a condo, it is the sub-panel, to the main service panel. Should the green ground screw have been removed?

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Gloria, that appears to be bonding the grounding (bare) conductors to the cabinet. The grounded (neutral) conductors should be separated from the cabinet in a remote distribution (sub) panel board.

Hope this helps.

Just curious. Did you remove the outlets to check or were they already not secured to the boxes?

Something is also fishy about the way the outlets are set in the boxes. Looks like extension rings that do not align with the box behind it leaving a gap open into the wall cavity - which is a fire hazard.

It is a old work box.

I take that back i see it now

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The good news is that this does not have to be difficult. When you see or suspect something wrong, write it up for further evaluation and correction by a (in this case) licensed electrician. Copalum connections are a crimp connection. Copalum is a franchise and most electricians do not have the franchise. Any electrician (or handyman) can use the alumicon connections. Done properly, the alumicon work fine, though the Copalum is considered superior; they too, have to be done correctly.
Copalum is “freakin” expensive. That’s probably the biggest reason that I rarely see it. My father-in-law’s condo community insurance carrier required that every unit be pigtailed with the Copalum method. The residents got a quantity “deal” at $35 a receptacle. Properly done, pigtailing involves every outlet, switch and fixture, and the service equipment. His cost was north of $3500!
Pulling an outlet is obviously beyond our SoP, but heck, so is pulling the deadfront cover. Inspect within your comfort and competency area.

Here is my comment…

" Aluminum wiring present — Between 1965 and 1973, aluminum wiring was sometimes substituted for copper wiring in residential electrical systems. Connections in outlets, switches, and light fixtures with aluminum wiring become increasingly dangerous as time passes. Poor connections cause wiring to spark and overheat, creating a potential fire hazard. The wiring should be evaluated by a qualified electrician experienced in evaluating and correcting aluminum wiring problems. Not all electrical contractors qualify. Aluminum wiring connections are subject to greater deterioration than is copper due to thermal expansion and contraction, vibration (caused when electric currents pass through wiring), oxidation (caused by exposure to oxygen in the air), and galvanic corrosion (caused when two different metals are connected together), all of which can cause poor connections. When wires are poorly connected they overheat, which creates a potential fire hazard."

Not the best word choice, IMO.
In fact, that whole statement is a bit ‘old fashioned’ and outdated.
JMHO.

Then you give it a shot!

I did remove the outlet using the proper PPE.