When you come across solid aluminum branch wiring that looks fine, do you still recommend an electrician to evaluate solely on the basis that there is aluminum wiring or do you only recommend if the wires don’t look that great? I always recommend regardless but just want to get what the masses think. thanks.

Absolutely. All solid aluminum wiring must be corrected.

I always give them my link to Aluminum wiring.

Yes as it requires special hardware which can be bastardized over time by DIY types.
It needs to be noted for that reason if nothing else.

Just as a matter of policy, I always mention aluminum wiring but only go into detail if the connections look oxidized or something ugly like that. Maybe it’s just me, but cient deserves to know it’s Al if it is; with a little mention of what the concerns are.

Most SOP’s require (at minimum) that we identify the wire type. With that, if you note that the wiring at the general branch circuits consist of solid AL, you should also make the client aware of the problems associated with this type of conductor (IMHO).

While I certainly don’t subscribe to the "rewire your house" recommendation, I will almost always advise my clients to have the system inspected by a qualified electrician, who is familiar with AL wiring and approved repair methods.

There are “permanent” repair methods that are cost effective and I don’t believe that AL wiring needs to be replaced.

Typically, many connections, that are not readily visible, are problematic.

Upgrading Aluminum wiring

I like your pages David and you know I respect your opinion, but I disagree with this. . .

Replacing the AL wiring is not the “best” solution, it is an “extreme” solution that is (IMHO) completely unwarranted. It makes as much sense to me as re-piping your house because the faucets are leaking.

The AL wiring, the conductor itself, is not an issue. It’s the connection points that have problems and these problems can be corrected with relative ease, and minimal expense.


It must be pointed out that CPSC is a political organization, not a nationally recognized testing lab.


CPSC Overview

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $700 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

**Q.**Who heads CPSC?
**A. **The agency is headed by three commissioners nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate for staggered seven-year terms. The President designates one of the commissioners as Chairman. The current Chairman (Acting) is Nancy Nord. For more information on the current commissioners, see their biographical information.

**Q.**How is the agency organized?
**A. **The three commissioners set policy for CPSC. The Chairman is the chief administrator. Five offices report directly to the Chairman: Congressional Relations, Equal Employment and Minority Enterprise, General Counsel, Inspector General, and Executive Director.

The Executive Director directs and oversees Commission policy and administration, which are implemented by the offices that report to that office: Compliance and Field Operations, Hazard Identification and Reduction, Financial Management, Planning, and Evaluation, Human Resources, Information and Public Affairs, Information Management and Technology, International Programs and Intergovermental Affairs. See the CPSC organizational chart.

These are political patronage jobs, not a Nationally Recognized Testing Lab. The CPSC is not referenced in the NEC anywhere and there are only a couple of glancing references in handbook comentary.


I realize that.
Just what “political” decisions has it rendered that bother you?

If they are a useful agency, so be it.

If they are not they should be eliminated.

Frankly we could probably do without them but the insurance companies would have to step up and perform a similar function. Agreed?

That is why we have NRTLs like U/L, ETL and TUV.
U/L was originally founded to provide standards for the insurance industry.

The CPSC is not even “recognized” by the federal government (OSHA)

BTW to answer your question, I am always suspicious of anyone in the government who only has one solution that can only be sourced by one company.
It sort of makes me want to see who Tyco was contributing money to in the 92 and 94 elections.

Greg I used work for one of the NRTLs you mentioned:-)

I’m still not sure what your problem with the CPSC is.